Why Faustus did not repent in "Doctor Faustus" by Christopher Marlowe

Essay by lil_falcoHigh School, 12th gradeC+, March 2007

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Faustus’s RepentFaustus did not repent even though he had many chances. He claims that the devil was “Holding his hands down” when he wished to raise them in praise to god, among other actions. He doesn’t seriously think about repenting until the last hour that he has on earth, asking forgiveness while Satan and his helpers tear him to pieces. Faustus doesn’t repent because of fear, uncertainty, and pure ignorance.

First of all, Faustus wants power and knowledge that he will receive from his pact with Satan. However throughout the play he doesn’t get everything he wants although the devil has promised him everything, he sells his soul to receive whatever his whim desires and yet Mephistophilis tells him he can't have a true wife, instead he offers a whore, and denies him the knowledge of who created the Earth among other things. In reality Faustus never receives his end of the bargain.

Also, Faustus doesn't repent because he doesn't believe that God would forgive him after he has cursed His name and signed a pact with the devil, in scene 5 Faustus says "If unto God, he'll throw me down to hell". This depicts Faustus fearing God’s wrath and his inability to seek his forgiveness. In the last scene he considers how he has wasted his life, and talks about repenting but he never actually requests that God forgive him for what he has done. repent.

Another reason Faustus doesn't repent is because he doesn't realize what he has done until the very last minute. Faustus shows himself ignorant of all things that may have led him to Heaven instead of Hell. In almost every scene that the Good and Bad Angels show up, he has a chance to change his mind and repent to save...