Study Guide

Doctor Faustus Sin

By Christopher Marlowe


Just as Faustus refuses to take religious issues seriously, he laughs at the parade of the Seven Deadly Sins in Act 2, Scene 3 of Doctor Faustus. But really, buddy, they're no laughing matter, which becomes all the more clear when the Sins start to tell Dr. F a bit more about themselves. This parade of sins should be a warning to Faustus to repent, but he has already decided he'd rather serve the devil than God, all so he can grab himself some wealth and power before his soul hits the road. Sounds like sin to Shmoop.

Questions About Sin

  1. What sins does Faustus commit in the course of the play? What, in your opinion, is his worst sin? Why?
  2. Does Doctor Faustus portray any one of Faustus's sins as "originary," that is, as the sin that leads to all his other sins? If so, which one was it? And how does it lead to all those other sins?
  3. How does Faustus react to the parade of the Seven Deadly Sins? Does his reaction surprise you? Why or why not?
  4. What's the cure for sin, according to Faustus's friends? Why is Faustus unable to take it?

Chew on This

Doctor Faustus portrays pride as the sin at the root of Faustus's fall. If he hadn't been so full of himself, he never would have sold his soul to the devil.

A whole boatload of sins, among them pride, covetousness, and despair, all work together to bring about Faustus's fall.