In Christopher Marlowe’s play Doctor Faustus, Faustus faces harsh consequences at the end of the play. Faustus is damned for all eternity. It is quite difficult to put your fingers on rather his fate is a tragedy or justice served for all his sins. I want to say his fate was a tragedy because his fate changed into tragedy once he sold his soul for twenty-four years of knowledge and power. I wouldn't say it's a tragedy if he was a bad person and a sinner from the beginning. But I feel sympathy for Doctor Faustus and also sort of feel the connection between him and human being. Therefore, I think his fate was tragic and a pitiful death.
Doctor Faustus act of sin is very similar to what human being faces everyday in our lives. We all want to learn and want to gain knowledge and while achieving what we want, we make mistakes and fall but we continue with our path and we also know how not to make same mistakes twice. Faustus’s act of selling his soul was all because of him being ambitious to gain power that he never had, and he exchanges the twenty-four years of power with his soul. Faustus wanting to gain power and wanting to have knowledge of something that he never had is very similar to what we want in our lives. Humans always seek for something new and something to achieve. We have curiosity and jealousy that makes us going forward rather than staying still in one place. So when I was reading this play, I felt the connection with Faustus and felt the ending was such tragedy. I felt sympathy when Doctor Faustus said, “O soul, be changed to little water drops and fall into the ocean. Ne-re be found. My God, my God, look not so fierce on me!” (Scene 13. 108-110) This phrase was very emotional because it shows Faustus’s emotion of being afraid of death and I can hear the fear in his words and hoping that everything would be fine.
Frank Manley, the author of The Nature of Faustus Stated, “Faustus is a man, but a man who through his own free will has become transformed into spirit.” (Manley, 219) Manley thinks, “At the same time Faustus goes beyond man, however, he becomes a horrible parody of man, a mechanical man who no longer has a soul, who moves in mysterious ways, constantly questioning it and doubting his true nature. Free, but at the same time doomed by his manhood to death.” (Manley, 219) And pointed out that the crucial problem of the play is the problem of Faustus’s identity. I agree with Manley because Faustus struggles throughout the play by wanting to become something that he can’t become and along the way, he loses his true identity.
At the beginning of the play, Doctor Faustus clearly states that he is good with everything but he wants to know more and learn more about the thing that he doesn't know. He was eager to gain knowledge and sold his soul without any guilt and since then, Faustus never stopped with what he was doing and continued sinning. I can’t let go of the idea how he could have faced a different fate...