Contrasting Views in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus Play

Subject: Literature
Pages: 2
Words: 388
Reading time:
2 min

Religion and the relationship to God permeate the entire play of Christopher Marlowe. Many critics and readers find it difficult to come to a consensus about whether the main character’s repentance to higher powers is even. The author of the work himself deliberately misleads them, supporting different points of view. Faust is sure that he cannot escape the curse of his soul, and God himself will not help him.

Critics have noted that the author considers the influence of Protestantism, which prevailed in the sixteenth century, on the basis of Calvinism. Calvinism views focused its attention on the sinfulness of the human soul and on the fact that salvation is the prerogative of God and only he decides who can have it. On the one hand, it gave comfort to the lower strata of society, but on the other hand, it brought a sense of injustice and hopelessness to the other more religious people. This view explains the main character’s inability to come to repentance and believe that God does not love and accept him. Despite the protagonist’s attempt in one of the scenes to get his soul saved, The Almighty does not do it. It is this episode that casts doubt on the Christian view of the great and merciful creator.

However, experts mentioned in this chapter see the play as a representation of the loving and forgiving Almighty. It is argued that Faust could not achieve repentance, not because of the desire of God, but only because of the insincerity of his intentions since the hero constantly leaned on the side of Evil. It is noted that with this view, fate lies in the hands of the person himself and only depends on him whether he will receive divine salvation or not. In conclusion, Faust’s monologue has a duality that skillfully integrates the problems of human sincerity and ulterior motives. The author of the play makes it impossible to understand his attitude to God since the text of the work supports both views of different critics on religion. In the monologue of the main character, his inner struggle with the consequences of his decisions can be easily traced. Thus, Faust himself was the creator of his fate, which led him to such consequences.