Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus
There are many cases throughout history that depict characters who are overzealous with regard to their desire for knowledge or for power. One of the most important of these stories is the first tale of our hunger for unreachable power. It is that of Adam and Eve and the manner in which they disobeyed God by eating from the tree of knowledge. In the play The Tragic History of Dr. Faustus, the same battle that has consumed humans since their dawn appears to be exhibited in the character of Dr. Faustus. He fights a battle that has been fought by all: that for perfection. And yet he is never able to achieve this perfect because of his inherent human nature to never feel satisfied.
Faustus is offered salvation continually throughout the play and yet he turns it down. This piece of literature remains a classic as it displays Faustus with a great amount of knowledge placed before him and yet leaves it behind him in pursuit of something beyond. Our human nature is what causes us to work with blind faith as our guide hoping that the path right in front of us is the best one and reaching out for it in gluttony. In this play Dr. Faustus was even subject to the mortal decisions between right and wrong. But because of the fall of Adam and Eve and the original gluttony and desire for more it seems that even Dr. Faustus was condemned to live a life constantly wanted more than was given to him, which only served to leave him never content and empty.
Dr. Faustus longs for knowledge and will stop at nothing to obtain it. Yet he realizes that certain steps in his life must be completed in order to get to that knowledge. He realizes though that brutal force at the expense of everyone else is not how he can go about obtaining the things he wants. Finally Dr. Faustus is ready to learn too much. Heaven seeks to bring him down as he mounts his waxen wings and reaches for more. His final downfall was met in the same manner as Icarus in that he mounted wings and headed for Heaven only to be brought down as his wings melted. In the end this work of literary art demonstrates the idea that gluttony will only serve as a way to bring you back to the path of dissatisfaction no matter how hard you fight against it.
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