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Doctor Faustus

Doctor Faustus


by Christopher Marlowe

Doctor Faustus Sin Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)

Quote #1

Was not that Lucifer an angel once?
Yes Faustus, and most dearly loved of God.
How comes it, then, that he is prince of devils?
O, by aspiring pride and insolence,
For which God threw him from the face of heaven. (1.3.61-66)

Hmmm. Pride and insolence? Those sins sound awfully familiar. In fact, they sound just like the traits Faustus has. So if those happen to be the sins that got the devil kicked out of heaven, shouldn't Faustus get the hint? This exchange should be a warning to Faustus about the wages of sin but, of course, he ignores it.

Quote #2

The god thou serv'st is thine own appetite,
Wherein is fixed the love of Beelzebub,
To him I'll build an altar and a church
And offer lukewarm blood of new-born babes. (2.1.10-13)

What Faustus proposes to do here is exactly the opposite of the first commandment: to take other gods before God. These gods don't necessarily have to be Old Testament-type idols (which is what the ten commandments were warning against). They can be anything a person loves more than God, in this case, Faustus's own appetite. Yet Faustus expresses his worship in a very Old Testament way. He wants to build an altar and undergo human sacrifice. The point of this is probably to emphasize that despite how innovative Faustus thinks he's being by rejecting the old traditions in favor of magic, his sin is the very same Old Testament idol worship. In other words, Faustus, we've been there, done that.

Quote #3

I am Pride. I disdain to have any parents. I am like to Ovid's flea. I can creep into every corner of a wench. (2.2.110-111)

Aside from this lovely image of a flea creeping into every corner of a wench (pause for gagging), there's something else going on here, too. Did you notice that Pride was first up in this sinful stroll? Pride probably begins the parade of the Seven Deadly Sins because folks thought it was the root of all sin. For example, many believed that at the beginning of creation, the devil fell from heaven because of his pride, because he didn't want God ruling over him. Our hunch is that Pride's refusal to "have any parents" is probably an allusion to that event.

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