What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?

Essay by HorheHigh School, 12th gradeA+, November 2005

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Since the beginning of time and the civilization of mankind, people have always had a thirst for knowledge and power. Throughout history, humanity tried to find how and why everything came to be, why we live and die and how it all started.

There are cases in which a given person would do anything in exchange for wisdom and absolute knowledge. Like the tragic doctor Faustus who, as the story says, sells his soul to the devil despite his great education in philosophy, law, physics and so on. What he has gained is the power to do magic, but what he has lost cannot be substituted by anything. So, doctor Faustus gains power only during his mortal life on earth, which is not worth selling his soul. What he profits from all this is petty and miserable when having in mind that the price he pays is eternal and everlasting pain and torture of his soul.

It is too great a price to pay for such a thing.

Bearing a guilty conscious and not being able to find peace and comfort is but earthly torture unbearable even by the bravest and strongest of men. As in Shajespeare's "Macbeth", the pain and uneasiness of the spirit may drive anyone mad and lead to unnatural deeds. Lured and enchanted by the thought of overwhelming power as a king and leader of a country, Macbeth, a brave general and thane, turns against his own king and friends, and even though it is his wife, lady Macbeth, a dominant and persevering woman, who kills Duncan, he also suffers from an uneasy conscious which slowly devours him from the inside, but he remains stable until the end.

Even though Macbeth doesn't exactly sell his soul to the devil, still he condems...