Doctor Faustus (Marlowe)

The Struggle between Good and Evil in Doctor Faustus

In Doctor Faustus, good and evil are presented as two polarized ideas: God and Heaven on one side, and Lucifer and Hell on the other. Contrasting representations of this division also appear, such as the old man and the Good Angel opposed to Mephistopheles and the Bad Angel. Initially, this struggle between good and evil is Faustus' major internal conflict as he is deciding whether to make the blood bond. However, by the time Faustus views the seven deadly sins, evil persists as the dominant force and is the path that Faustus follows to his final damnation.

The struggle between good and evil begins with Faustus' divided conscience. The Good and Bad Angels represent the conflict between his devotion to knowledge and his longing for power. They most blatantly exemplify the traits of good versus evil when the Good Angel tells Faustus to "think of heaven and heavenly things" (2.1.20) while the Bad Angel tells Faustus to "think of honor and wealth" (2.1.21). However, at the end of the play, the Good Angel and the Bad Angel no longer appear. This absence represents Faustus' commitment towards evil, symbolized through the blood bond. No longer does he reminisce about turning to God, nor does he lament...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 730 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4255 literature essays, 1414 sample college application essays, 175 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in