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The Trials Of Becoming A Hero

1190 words - 5 pages

The Trials of Becoming a HeroHero worship has existed in this world since the beginning of time, from the Jews honoring Moses, to the Germans honoring Adolf Hitler. Becoming a hero is a very difficult thing to accomplish. One must be successful in gaining the reverence of one's peers while at the same time not developing to big of an ego. Two examples of men trying to become heroes are Prince Henry and Dr. Faustus. Both, in their respective plays, have the capabilities of becoming a hero, but only Prince Henry succeeds while Dr. Faustus fails.At the beginning of The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, Faustus is a well known doctor and is looked up to by his friends. Hal, on the other hand, starts out in Henry IV, Part I, spending much of his time in a tavern engaged in talk with robbers and hoodlums, therefore being looked down upon by the high society which he is supposed to live in. While it appears that Faustus seems to be headed to becoming a hero and Hal seems to be throwing away his chances, the audience can see from their soliloquies, that they both plan on changing their ways; Hal for the better and Faustus for the worse.Faustus has risen to a great point in his life. He was born to 'parents base of stock (line 11),' but still has managed to gain a degree from the University of Wittengberg, thus acquiring much respect from the professional world. From the onset though, Faustus has his mind set on other things; such as magic and necromancy. Hal, on the other hand was born to a high society. Even though he does all of these mischievous things, he plans on repenting and returning to his father.The audience can see from Hal's soliloquy at the end of Act I, scene 2, that no matter how unruly the individuals are that he hangs out with, they do not have an influence on him:Yet herein will I imitate the sun,Who doth permit the base contagious cloudsTo smother up his beauty from the world,That, when he please again to be himself,Being wanted, he may be more wondered atBy breaking through the foul and ugly mistsOf vapors that did seem to strangle him. (line 152-158)From the onset, Hal informs the reader that he is only befriending these unruly individuals to have some fun, but when the time comes, he will take on the serious role of being a prince.In opposition to this, the only thing that influences Faustus is evil. When he calls upon his friends Valdes and Cornelius to teach him magic, he does this only to draw himself closer to evil:Philosophy is odious and obscure,Both law and physic are for petty wits;Divinity is basest of the three,Unpleasant, harsh, contemptible and vile.'Tis magic, magic that hath ravished me. (line 106-109)The reader can see from here how enthralled Faustus is with magic.From the magic that Faustus performs, he comes to sell his soul to Lucifer. Though Faustus brings this all upon himself, he is not doomed for an after-life of hell, but still has the chance to repent. Four different times, his conscience, in the form a good...

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