g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Holiday/Seasonal Cooking
Crafts for Kids
Computer Careers
Mexican Food
Autism Spectrum Disorders

All times in EST

Low Carb: 8:00 PM

Full Schedule
g Literary Fiction Site

BellaOnline's Literary Fiction Editor


Review - Dr. Faustus

Guest Author - Veronika Walker

The tale that brought us the phrases "Faustian Bargain," "selling your soul to the devil," and "the shoulder angel and devil" convention is still as accessible and poignant today as it was to 16th century Elizabethans. And it's still one of my favorite plays ever written!

The biggest difficulty in reading Dr. Faustus is the uncertainty of Marlowe's original point. Being an Elizabethan in the time of turbulent religious upheaval and the birth of "scientific thought," Marlowe could have been a doctrinal Christian writing about the damnation of a humanist scholar...or he could have been that humanist scholar writing about the glories of scientific thought and the absence of God.

It's difficult to say, as most of Marlowe's life is shrouded in mystery and conflict. Scholars have debated on both his life and his writings, especially Dr. Faustus, with few creditable results. Still, regardless of his intentions in Faustus, Marlowe's most infamous play leaves a lot for us to chew on every time.

To sum up, Faustus is a doctor of practically everything; he's studied philosophy and law, medicine and theology...and wants more. He makes the fatal mistake of trying to subject the doctrine of total depravity to the rigors of brute logic, and strips the Bible of its entire Gospel message. In his analysis of sin in the first scene, Faustus quotes Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death..." but completely forgets (or ignores) the second half of the verse: "...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." It is this "reasoning" that dilutes Christ's sacrifice and pulls Faustus to only one conclusion: If all people sin, and the wages of sin is only death, I might as well sin since my soul is lost anyway.

In concluding this, Faustus draws another point: If he's already damned to hell, he can join with the demons of hell to learn about the one thing that has alluded him all his life: the knowledge of the supernatural. More specifically, the dark side of the supernatural.

And thus it spirals downward. Faustus' rejection of the Gospel spurns him to conjure up the dark demon Mephostophilis, a servant of Lucifer himself. Mephostophilis promises to show Faustus all he wishes to know so that he can truly attain all knowledge, in exchange for selling his soul to Lucifer. Faustus willingly agrees, and seems on his way to being truly happy and satisfied...but even Mephostophilis knows that Faustus has damned himself to something more horrible than he can imagine.

It's dark and thought-provoking, beautifully written and magnificent in its points and conclusion. Everyone should read this play, if only to be reminded of the dangers of trying to reach beyond our human limitations...and to see the horrific ramifications of "exchanging the truth of God for a lie, making the image of the incorruptible God into an image of corruptible man" (Romans 1:23).

Buy Doctor Faustus at Amazon.com!
Add Review+%2D+Dr%2E+Faustus to Twitter Add Review+%2D+Dr%2E+Faustus to Facebook Add Review+%2D+Dr%2E+Faustus to MySpace Add Review+%2D+Dr%2E+Faustus to Del.icio.us Digg Review+%2D+Dr%2E+Faustus Add Review+%2D+Dr%2E+Faustus to Yahoo My Web Add Review+%2D+Dr%2E+Faustus to Google Bookmarks Add Review+%2D+Dr%2E+Faustus to Stumbleupon Add Review+%2D+Dr%2E+Faustus to Reddit

Historical Literary Movements
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Literary Fiction Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Veronika Walker. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Veronika Walker. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Ije Kanu for details.


g features
Bittersweet Dreams - A Review

Book Review - Stella Rose

Book Review - Americanah

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2015 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor