Milton's Eve and Marlowe's Doctor Faustus were duped into spiritual doom in pursuit of knowledge, both seeking knowledge bought power at the expense of their spirit. Doctor Faustus sells his soul to Satan, exchanging it for knowledge of magic, while Eve ignores God's command not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge so that she may gain knowledge of good and evil. However, it is not only a thirst for knowledge, but the deepest pride and greed, which leads them both to spiritual jeopardy, for both seek not just knowledge to its own end, but rather hope to become godlike.
[...] With the rejection of heaven as a reward for piousness, as well as the rejection of a soul and therefore any punishment by damnation as well, Faustus makes himself free to reject God, so that through black magic he can be Jove in the (Faustus for sound magician is a mighty god.” (Faustus 1:62). This faulty reasoning is what leads him to summon Mephistophilis, to pledge to Lucifer his soul, and to abandon God; his shortsighted selfishness blinds him to the fact that his action, signing away his soul after twenty-four years of life, has not only lasting but eternal consequences. [...]
[...] In response Faustus claims do repent, and yet I do despair” (Faustus 12:54). However, Faustus is not saved; he is dragged to hell for eternity because he does not actually repent. In the final scene Faustus begs spare me, Lucifer!” (Faustus 12:73), and asks that the “Mountains and hills, come, come fall on (Faustus 12:76), to hide him from the wrath of God. He begs God to “look not fierce” (Faustus 12:110) on him, but he does not repent as Eve and Adam did. [...]
[...] Faustus is not nearly so guilty, for he takes all of the talk of soul and Lucifer as merely an intellectual exercise; though he acts worshipful to Lucifer he does not believe in Lucifer as a deity and does not commit idolatry as Eve does. Both are punished for their trespasses against God; Faustus is hopelessly damned for all eternity merely for personal desire, while Eve is punished by being made to bring forth children in sorrow and submit to her husbands will (Paradise 10:193-96), and humanity as a whole is expelled from Paradise and must suffer death. [...]
[...] He later praises Lucifer and further disparages God to show faith in him; on Lucifer's biding Faustus agrees to think of God; think of the devil, / And his dam (Faustus 5:266-7) and he also “vows never to look to heaven, / Never to name God, or to pray to him, / To burn his Scriptures, slay his ministers, / And make my spirits pull his churches down.” (Faustus 5:268-71). Faustus pays tribute to Lucifer as a deity, but does so not because he truly deifies Satan, but because Satan agrees to fulfill Faustus's wish of obtaining godlike power on earth, because Faustus himself is the only thing Faustus will accept as divine. [...]
[...] Hearing this, the Son of God supplicates his father to him (mankind) live / Before thee reconciled” (Paradise 11:39- 40) and that after death my redeemed may dwell in joy and bliss” (Paradise 11:43), and God shows mercy, allowing repentant Eve and all of mankind to live in heaven after death. Faustus, however, was never truly repentant. Although he often regrets deeding his soul to Satan, he never does repent. He considers himself beyond hope, and claims his “heart's so hardened, cannot repent!” (Faustus 5:194). The good angel earlier urges Faustus the same, ordering him “Repent, Faustus, and they shall never raise thy skin.” (Faustus 5:255), imploring that repentance is the only way Faustus can save himself from Lucifer. [...]
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