Doctor Faustus

by: Christopher Marlowe

Sin versus Redemption

Quotes Sin versus Redemption
What, is great Mephostophilis so passionate For being deprivèd of the joys of heaven? Learn thou of Faustus manly fortitude And scorn those joys thou never shalt possess. Go bear these tidings to great Lucifer: Seeing Faustus hath incurred eternal death By desperate thoughts against Jove’s deity, Say he surrenders up to him his soul So he will spare him four and twenty years, Letting him live in all voluptuousness, Having thee ever to attend on me . . . And always be obedient to my will.

Faustus speaks to Mephostophilis in response to Mephostophilis’ warnings about falling from God and making a deal with the devil. The theme of sin versus redemption plays out through Faustus’s decision to ignore the warnings and choose sin, making a deal with Lucifer, over the joys of heaven. Faustus surrenders his good soul in order to gain the power of having Mephostophilis at his beck and call. Faustus focuses only on the power he will gain from making this deal, looking past his drastic decision to choose sin and evil over redemption and God.

O gentle Faustus, leave this damnèd art, This magic that will charm thy soul to hell And quite bereave thee of salvation. Though thou has now offended like a man, Do not persever in it like a devil. Yet, yet, thou hast an amiable soul If sin by custom grow not into nature. Then, Faustus, will repentance come too late! Then, thou art banished from the sight of heaven! No mortal can express the pains of hell! . . . For gentle son, I speak it not in wrath Or envy of thee but in tender love . . . And so have hope that this my kind rebuke, Checking thy body, may amend thy soul.

An old man pleads with Faustus to repent and turn away from sin and the devil. In these lines, the old man not only implores Faustus to repent before it is too late, but he also warns of the harsh pains of hell and explains how Faustus can repent and come back to God as long as he still has his good soul. While Faustus starts to contemplate redemption, Mephostophilis threatens Faustus and quickly turns him back to evil and sin.

But Faustus’ offense can ne’er be pardoned. The serpent that tempted Eve may be saved, but not Faustus! O gentlemen, hear with patience and tremble not at my speeches . . . for which Faustus hath lost both Germany and the world, yea heaven itself—heaven, the seat of God, the throne of the blessèd, the kingdom of joy—and must remain in hell forever! hell, O hell forever! Sweet friends, what shall become of Faustus being in hell forever?

Faustus speaks directly to the scholars about his decision to make a bargain with Lucifer and turn away from God, vehemently declaring that he now has moved beyond saving. Faustus accepts the consequences of his choices despite his strong feelings of regret. In these lines, Faustus wishes for redemption but accepts that his many decisions to turn toward sin have placed him in his current position, incapable of redemption.