Obsession as a Human Trait in Doctor Faustus, a Play by Christopher Marlowe

Human Obsession in Doctor Faustus

In his Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe writes on the topic of obsession. Through his examination of the extremes to which humans go when obsessed with an idea, Marlowe concludes that obsession is a human trait that must be checked. Obsession with any goal will lead to a change in a person’s character, which will then lead to one’s fall. In the play Doctor Faustus, Faustus’s moral decline is attributed to his fixation on the attainment of power and knowledge.

Upon deciding to learn magic, he is enthralled by “a world of profit and delight, Of power, of honor, or omnipotence” (5). His fixation on worldly knowledge and ambition leads to his moral descent: he becomes so consumed by these desires, he believes “But Faustus’ offenses can never be pardoned…for which Faustus hath lost both Germany and the world, yea Heaven itself, Heaven, the seat of God, the throne of the blessed, the kingdom of joy” (53).

Because of his addiction to power and knowledge, Faustus is unable to repent; Faustus’s obsession controls his actions so completely that he believes God could never forgive him. Therefore, he does not repent, which causes him to be dragged to Hell.

This idea that fixation on secular goals and objects leads to one’s moral decline and demise still serves as a guiding principle in the modern world. In today’s society, earthy obsessions are often put first: physical objects and material ambitions are often given precedence over other aspects of human life.

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Doctor Faustus reminds humans that the key to success is not a fixation on a single goal, but a balance between this life and the next.

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Obsession as a Human Trait in Doctor Faustus, a Play by Christopher Marlowe. (2022, Jun 14). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/obsession-as-a-human-trait-in-doctor-faustus-a-play-by-christopher-marlowe/

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