Analysis Of Christopher Marlowe's Paradise Lost And Doctor Faustus

1702 Words 7 Pages
Life is full of wonders; there is no doubt about it. Some search all their lives to discover the unknown. This can lead someone hunting in for knowledge that is supposed to be unidentified for a reason; which is why people wonder. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Although there is a vast difference in content and plot in Paradise Lost by John Milton and Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, there is a great deal in commonality. The two main characters in both works, Dr. Faustus and Eden, are on a quest for knowledge, which ultimately leads to their fall. Attaining knowledge in each work is not only tempting, but also quite dangerous. In both Paradise Lost and Doctor Faustus, the main characters strive to achieve knowledge and grasp …show more content…
Milton creates an invocation, or call to the muses, introducing the idea of the fall of man with an essay including the “warning” of the danger of knowledge by stating the nature of the text and what readers can learn from it. Milton writes, “Of Man’s first disobedience and the fruit / of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste / Brought death into the world, and all our woe / with loss of Eden, till one greater Man” (Milton, 1.1-4). Although readers are introduced with this invocation and understand the tale that will be told, Milton is careful when calling to the muses so that it performs as a warning against striving for forbidden knowledge. Milton indirectly reminds readers the act in attempting to attain illegal knowledge taken in action through the repulsive events. In addition, Milton ensures readers that they are not allowed to forget this message while reading Paradise Lost. For example, this can be seen during the lengthy lines detailing the astounding beauty of Eden that has been forever lost due to this pursuit for knowledge. On the contrary, in Doctor Faustus, Marlowe uses similar tactics that Milton employed; however, the message comes at the end of the text instead of the beginning, probably because the reader is not familiar with the tale at first. Later, readers see how the Chorus leaves readers with this message …show more content…
Faustus is seen to be more like the Satan presented in Paradise Lost than he is like to Adam or Eve. Readers can note in Doctor Faustus that he has reached past his boundaries. In doing so, he has ultimately led himself to his own misery since he signed his life away to Satan. The audience knows that Satan’s main reason for his journey to Paradise is his quest to be more intelligent than God, and it is evident that like Dr. Faustus, Satan laments his quest to know more and to be superior when he states, “The mind is its own place, and in itself / Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven” (Milton, 1.253-55). He even states how he created his own hell based off his thoughts and actions, in which included all of the other fallen angels and demons. In Doctor Faustus, even Mephistopheles appears to lament his exile state; in which Dr. Faustus had won as an outcome of trying to be more knowledgeable than God. Yet, the depressed Mephistopheles mimics and

Related Documents