God's and Devil's

God's and Devil's - Alexander Nunes Mac Test English 267...

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Alexander Nunes Mac Test English 267: Survey of British Lit. 6 May 2011 God's and Devil's God's and Devil's play a part in almost every major literary movement. In medieval texts, God's served as a saving grace; Devil's, as an evil and constant force that the character must battle or overcome. However, through time the roles of God's and Devil's in literature changes and evolves with society changing with it. As societal views change on God and the Devil it is reflected through the literature. Works such as The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe and Paradise Lost by John Milton challenge the social normality by providing a different context in which God's and Devil's are viewed. In the two aforementioned works, God's and Devil's create a dichotomy between the fear of damnation but promise of power through Devil's, and the safeguard of God's but only through obedience. Characters are locked in this moral dilemma which in turn shows society that we as humans are not so far from the dilemma the characters face. Devil's in texts such as these serve as usurpers of faith. They use duplicity and challenge the character into either sinning or destroying their religious belief. In La Tentation de Saint Antoine the Devil tries to challenge Antony's face in God. The Devil uses multiple tactics to try and dissolve Antony's faith such as twisted reason. And you claim to move him [God]! You speak to him, you even grace him with virtues- goodness, justice, mercy – instead of recognizing that he possesses every perfection! To conceive of something beyond, is to conceive of God beyond God, of Being beyond
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Being. Therefore he is the one Being, the one substance. If Substance could be divided, it would lose its nature, it would not be itself, God would no longer exist. He is therefore indivisible as well as infinite. And if he had a body, he would be made up of parts, as he would not be one, he would no longer be infinite. Therefore he is not a person! (qtd. in Dale). This passage shows only one of the forms the Devil uses to corrupt individuals. After the Devil tries to use reason he moves onto temptation to try and corrupt Antony, “ You want God not to be God – for if he felt love, or anger, or pity, he would pass from perfection to a greater or a lesser perfection. He cannot descend to a feeling, nor be contained in a form (qtd. in Dale). The Devil is manipulative and evil, he will do whatever he can to corrupt the innocent. While we as reader would like to think that the purpose of God in literature is to correct
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course ENGLISH 267 taught by Professor Mactest during the Spring '11 term at Boise State.

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God's and Devil's - Alexander Nunes Mac Test English 267...

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