Heaven Or Hell? That Is The Question. Essay, Research Paper
I have caught myself thinking several times about all the people that are in hell. And I wonder if they look back at their sinful lives and ask themselves if all the pleasures that they had while living were worth it. I am almost sure that none of them like to be in that place of eternal suffering and misery, but hell is the price they have to pay for their earthly carnalities. Some desires can bring us to do unimaginable things in order to obtain them. Occasionally, we, bring down people we love and in extreme cases, even sign away our soul to Lucifer. We might be happy for a while, but at the end, is it worth it? Dr. Faustus is the story of a man who makes a pact with Lucifer in exchange for magical powers in hopes to attain the ultimate in knowledge. He desires this knowledge because he wants to satisfy his every dream and be in constant control of all of his surroundings. The reason why I think that people like Dr. Faustus do not care about being sinful or giving away their souls to gain pleasure is because they cannot see the gratification that heavenly life will bring. They only see the pleasures they are receiving right now. We are all humans, thus we are not perfect, and God knows it. He has given us the choice to pick right from wrong and if we pick the wrong way He is willing to forgive us if we repent. Dr. Faustus has more than enough opportunities, after the contract, to prove his wisdom through repentance. Sadly, pride obscures his view of several signs that show that the Lord would hear his cries. His first unnoticed manifestation is when his blood freezes on his arm. Another indication is the nervous hurry with which Lucifer appears whenever Faustus begins thinking or speaking about God. This should have alerted the doctor of God’s willingness to forgive him. At times, he sincerely wishes to repent but believes himself to be too far committed to the dark side and thus, wallows in self-pity. I would attribute the change that takes place in him on his death bed to the realization on his part that he is not a god, and that he is going to have to pay for his bargain with Mephistopheles after all. This scares him enough to pierce the almost insane hubris that possesses him at all other times. With the sure knowledge that hell does exist, he shows a regret of a kind, but it is not a regret of his actions, but more a sense that he has been betrayed by his own knowledge. Any service he gives to God in these last moments of his life is purely a sort of self-serving wish that things would not end up the way they do. But, even the imminent threat of eternal damnation is not enough to force Faustus to admit that his own knowledge is not supreme and that there might be something above him which he must accept on faith.
Faustus chooses to die and go to hell, even though he could have saved his soul through the simple act of repentance. Faustus is in control of his final destiny, but his inner disturbance refuses to choose repentance as a acceptable option. As I said before, we are not perfect creatures, but even if we are imperfect, God, in His mercy, gives us the chance to repent. The reason why this work influences my life so much is because I do not want to regret not living in heaven because my pleasures won over my faith. Living a life full of pleasures would separate me eternally from God. In my view, that is not worth it.