Doctor Faustus Analysis Essay.docx - Slaven 1 Emma Slaven...

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Slaven 1 Emma Slaven Dr. Phillips English Lit I 1 November 2019 Doctor Faustus Analysis Essay Throughout Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, there is an underlying theme amongst the plot of the play that asks the question every man ponders at least once in his life: are one’s sins too heavy a burden to ever see the light of heaven? The question of a chance for redemption occurs each time Faustus begins to wonder if he should follow through with his decision to sell his soul to the devil. Every character that surrounds and influences Faustus seems to lead him in the direction of the devil, to sell his soul to Lucifer and revel in the pleasures of sin. The only characters throughout the play that encourage Faustus against evil and lead him towards God are the good angel and the old man, both of which are physical embodiments that answer Faustus’ question by insisting that it is never too late to return to God, as well as warn him of the danger he is getting himself into involving the devil. During the time in which Marlowe wrote the play, two movements of the Reformation were Arminianism as well as Calvinism. The theology of Arminianism enables the sinner’s free will in their choice to repent and accept God’s love, similar to what the good angel and the old man in Doctor Faustus claim. By contrast, Calvinism focuses on the deceitful sinner’s fate being a predestined choice of God, not a choice of man, which can be seen as Faustus’ perspective. Both theologies shape the play and the different perceptions achieving redemption show what might have been an ongoing question during the fifteenth century.
Slaven 2 Beginning with Calvinism, the theology holds to the doctrine of salvation only being attainable by the almighty power of God. The people accessible to salvation are predestined by God, therefore it is His choice and not up to mankind to accept Him or not. The predestined are still sinner’s, but only such elect were given the chance for redemption through Christ’s death. Faustus is seen to hold these beliefs as well, beginning in Scene 5 when he declares, “Now Faustus, must thou needs to be damned, and canst thou not be saved.” ( Doctor Faustus Scene 5.1-2) He acknowledges that he is not one of God’s chosen ones, therefore he is damned because of his bondage to his evil nature. The scene presents itself after Faustus has made a request with

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