Fate and Free Will in Dr Faustus

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Shelby Hall
Smith
ENG 221.02
11/18/09
Fate and Free Will in Dr. Faustus
Since the fall of man it has been made very evident that human nature flees from admitting that it has done anything wrong. Being accountable for our own actions is a great idea in theory but goes against the very hardware of our DNA. In the garden, Adam and Eve fled and tried to hide and cast the responsibility for their disobedience onto each other and the serpent and throughout the ages this flaw in us has subtly infiltrated itself into the very essence of what it means to be human. Deep down in our gut we know that doing this is wrong and while this revelation may never bubble up and over into our consciousness, it is always there, simmering in the subconscious and driving our actions. If we must label this facet of humanity, it could suitably be titled pride. One very popular thing for us to do is try and blame the outcome of our lives on fate, which is utterly false; this is just something we do because it helps us sleep better at night. We desperately cling to and harbor the notion that nothing is really our fault. Now picture a man, a doctor. This doctor is well versed in theology, medicine, law, and logic and has a thirst for knowledge and a driving ambition that could potentially lead to his ultimate demise and damnation. No one can justly say that this character is not fully competent and capable of making his own decisions. As a renowned expert on theology, one could say that he knows full well of the free will and choices of a man depend solely on himself. Doctor Faustus is free to make his own decisions and is not trapped by fate as some would like to believe. Although there are those that may try and pin the blame on fate, it is obivious that this is only a weak attempt to soften the harsh reality that this man damned himself; he was not a victim of anyone but himself. In Christopher Marlowe’s play, The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, the demise of our prideful doctor is...
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