Thursday, 7 October 2010

part 2

Faustus responds to this in a very cynical manner, dismissing the idea of hell, “Come I think hell is just a fable.” This could come across as naive, as Faustus is being told this by a devil himself, so not to believe him when he claims it is where he is from is arguably arrogant. Faustus thinks he knows better than a devil. However, the arrival of Lucifer seemingly turns Faustus’ atheist perspective upside down. Faustus remarks “That sight will be pleasing unto me as paradise was to Adam the first day of his creation”. This appears to be an extended oxymoron and offers sadistic features to Faustus’ personality. The fact that he will find hell as pleasing as heaven was to Adam seems very masochistic in reference to Mephistopheles and his first hand experience of hell, and his painful descriptions which emphasise the negativity that comes with it. The protestant audience would have be very opinionated on hell at the time, whereas Faustus’ opinion seems to fluctuate constantly, suggesting he has very little idea of what hell is like, and is very arrogant as to disregard the outlook of Mephistopheles. He also quotes “This word ‘damnation’ terrifies not me, For I confound hell in Elysium”. He seems to hold the view that hell is merely the happy abode of the dead, the ‘elysium’ of classical literature. This courage shown here is not the bravado of the ignorant, but the recklessness of his over educated mind, which is a characteristic Faustus portrays throughout.
Overall Marlowe presents hell in a contradictory manner, and makes it very difficult for a reader from the modern day to decide upon what hell resounds of. The fact that Faustus and Mephistopheles contradict themselves never mind each other also makes it more difficult.

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