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Explain the following quotation as it relates to the content of Christopher Marlowe's...

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user8918300 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:46 AM via web

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Explain the following quotation as it relates to the content of Christopher Marlowe's "Faustus":

     That sight will be as pleasing unto me,/as paradise was

     to adam,the first day/of his creation

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jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted June 27, 2013 at 7:33 PM (Answer #1)

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"Dr. Faustus" is Christopher Marlowe's dramatic presentation of the legend of Johann Faustus, a man who sells his soul to the devil in order to gain pleasure and secret knowledge.

In Scene VI of Marlowe's play, Dr. Faustus considers repenting.  Faustus is discouraged from repenting by Mephistopheles (the evil angel that arranged the sale of his soul), by an "Evil Angel," and by Lucifer.

Lucifer chastises Faustus for even talking about Christ and repentance, because he has already promised not to do so.  Faustus promises to behave "correctly": 

Faustus vows never to look to Heaven,
Never to name God, or to pray to him,(105)
To burn his Scriptures, slay his ministers,
And make my spirits pull his churches down.

As payment for Faustus's promise, Lucifer offers to show to Faustus "all the Seven Deadly Sins"...in their proper shapes." The Seven Deadly Sins, according to traditional Christianity, are: wrath (anger), greedsloth (laziness), pridelustenvy, and gluttony.

Faustus replies to Lucifer's offer: 

That sight [of the Seven Deadly Sins] will be as pleasing unto me,
As Paradise was to Adam, the first day
Of his creation.


This is a highly ironic reply.  On the first day of creation, before Adam sinned, he was extremely close to his Creator.  Faustus, upon seeing the Seven Deadly Sins, will be moving away from his Creator.  Ironically, he says that his pleasure in distancing himself from God will be as great as Adam's pleasure in his closeness to God.  

 

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