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What is the concept of hell in Dr Faustus? 

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prettygirl007 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 14, 2009 at 4:21 PM via web

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What is the concept of hell in Dr Faustus?

 

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ecofan74 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted July 23, 2009 at 10:05 AM (Answer #1)

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In Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe does not present a hell where the guest list is already determined.  One's descent into hell is ultimately a voluntary decision.  Doctor Faustus, in his fervor to aspire to forbidden magical knowledge that he believes will confer power upon him, resolves to achieve it regardless of the means he must use to get it.  The curiosity and pride of man, rather than the journey to hell, is the one inevitability in Doctor Faustus.  Mephistopheles, knowing that man has this particular weakness, offers Faustus a deal which will give him the knowledge he seeks.  Mephistopheles does warn Faustus to strongly consider all of the consequences of his decision, a suggestion Faustus does not heed.

In many ways, hell and Mephistopheles, hell's emissary, are quite honorable.  One's descent into hell takes the form of a business contract, and the terms of the contract are upheld to the letter.  If anything, the concept of hell in Doctor Faustus is very much like that of a business corporation very familiar with the failings of human nature.

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tipputhyagarajan | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted May 15, 2010 at 12:03 AM (Answer #2)

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HELL ACCORDING TO MARLOWE IS ONES OWN SELF. IT IS EXPERIENCED NOT ONLY AFTER DEATH BUT WHILE A PERSON IS STILL LIVING FOR "WHERE WE ARE IS HELL AND WHERE HELL IS THERE MUST WE EVER BE"

ACCORDING TO HIM ALIENATING ONE'S MIND FROM THE THOUGHTS OF GOD IS HELL.YOU MIGHT QUESTION ME THAT HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE SINCE MARLOWE WAS AN ATHEIST.BUT ON A DEEPER ANALYSIS OF DR FAUSTUS YOU WILL FIND THAT HE WAS STRICTLY NOT RELIGIOUS BUT HE WAS SPIRITUAL. HE SOUGHT GOD NOT OUTSIDE IN THE CHURCH BUT INSIDE IN HIS MIND.

 

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jmichas | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 22, 2011 at 11:22 PM (Answer #3)

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He wasn't religious

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