To Repent or Not to Repent … That is the Question
Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus is a classic tale of a man who makes a pact with the devil, and as a result, forfeits his soul. Time and time again in this play, Faustus has opportunities to repent to God for what he has done. Instead, he ignores what his conscious is telling him, and falls into the temptations given out by the devil. Faustus does not repent because he is tempted by evil, does not want to look in superior to God, but yet is also afraid of God.
Many times throughout the play, God sent signs down to Faustus, showing him that he is accepting and will forgive him, no matter how major the sin is. Faustus gets the first sign from early in the play, when the good angel says to him, “O Faustus, lay that damned book aside, and gaze not on it, let it tempt thy soul, and heap God’s heavy wrath upon thy head” (Scene 1, line 60). The good angel tells Faustus to put aside the book of magic and to pick up the Bible. But instead, Faustus, being the arrogant character that he is, listens to the evil angel and keeps studying. God sends down the good angel yet again, when finding out that Faustus is having second thoughts about making the deal with the devil. This time, the good angel tries to convince him by making him think of heaven and of heavenly things he will receive if he follows through and asks for forgiveness. Yet again, Faustus falls into the trap of evil by listening to the evil angel trying to oversell the good angel by saying, “No Faustus, think of honor and of wealth” (Scene 5, line 21).
The good angel is not the only sign that God sent down to tell Faustus to back down with his deal. When it was time to sign the contract, Mephastophilis tells Faustus that to seal the bargain; he would need to sign in his blood. Faustus agrees, but when he cut himself to sign the paper, his blood congeals and begins to clot. Then an inscription carves into his arm saying, “homo fuge”, (Scene 5,...