The Present in the Eyes of Doctor Faustus

People give themselves more readily to push for their own beliefs, and when common ways fail they go a little further to seek for command, power and sword. Mostly they only consider the present pleasures and do not consider the repercussions at the end. In this Marlowe’s play, Faustus makes a deal with the devil and denounces God, knowing very well the consequences (Faustus 403). This leaves us with a question whether God acts from his free will to save some people and leave others damned.

Ideology is a logical belief system obligated to reality, while identity is something that is chosen and not given by nature. Every one chooses what to become and this is not influenced by tradition or nature. We think differently though, but there is that logical belief system that a person is indebted to see reality. Ideological belief drives behaviour, as it guides one’s judgement over issues and most importantly it helps one reason logically. For instance, Faustus has his own ideas of the things that he encounters. He is much educated, and he understands people. However, his education has failed to show him some things, and he airs this in his grievance about life (Faustus 396).  To start with, people think of themselves in terms of sex or gender, religion, race, a particular political system, or narrowly as a person, who belongs to a certain family or class. In the modern world, certain ideologies and belief systems pose to be a big threat to an individual identity. The drive to get definite basic and collective human needs brings about recognition, identity and security to a person and when not achieved they can bring many frustrations to a person.

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Using the Marlowe’s play, Dr. Faustus was not satisfied with his life even after rising to great heights with his studies from a poor family (Faustus 423). In the play, he says that he has read to the end of each study and appreciates the logic, medicine, law, and divinity, but he still feels that his knowledge is limited. This shows that nature is unsatisfying and it cannot quest all our desires, as it is impossible to learn everything in a lifetime. Personal ideological belief resulting from religions, education institutions, families and is later aroused by the intellectuals, political leaders and influential people who tend to shape an individual existing identity.

Cultural ideologies, whereby a person may think that their culture, race or ethnic group is more superior, may make an a person loose individual identity as they may want to behave in a definite way only to be associated with a certain cultural group.

Political and religious ideologies play a major role in shaping people’s identity. Some leaders may consider identities that only include a few. These leaders may privilege some languages, religions and, therefore, provoke emotions against other people. This is what happens in war strike as people have lost their identity, and only identifies him or herself with a certain group or movement.

Social ideologies may provide an identity to assume. For instance, in a society there may be a group, which acts like a model for others. A person may seek identification with relating with that class, copying their lifestyle, beliefs and language only to be identified with it. This poses as a threat to an individual identity.

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In the old past, every social custom was accepted as a religious practice. Traditional religion is, therefore, the passing of beliefs, opinions, practices, rites, doctrines, and customs with code of ethics from one generation to the other through oral communication. These practices make people develop attachments to them. For instance, Faustus society believes in God, and they are shocked when Faustus denounces the existence of God and hell (Faustus 4903). In the area of public politics, traditional religion is seen to promote social justice by use of beliefs and practice among the vulnerable. People accept religion as a source of democracy hence the politicians use this to influence the people thinking. In politics, we see many politicians going back to the traditional religious men for pray that protect them from evil, when in power, to get them into power and get control over issues of their concern.

In sociological realms, traditional religion is used to justify some course of action as it is said to determine the social dynamism, adaptation, resistance, and consequences. This helps to set values in the modern world. For example, traditional religion believed in unity, and this may be used as a foundation to building and maintaining unity today; Faustus’ society advances these sentiments, and people are seen following this trend. Tradition religion is said to be the womb of many cultures. Culture of certain realms can be influenced by tradition in such ways of thinking, ways of doing things, sustaining of cultural trait. The interaction also between different traditional religions has a great impact on open-minded people and their culture.

Moral, ethics and rational systems are standards that direct one to do what is good or wrong for optimal living. Ethics give practical guidance to our lives as one acquires virtues that mould an individual character and impact on society. In life, we may not be sure on what will benefit or harm us and, therefore, we have to make choices that will at least have positive effect on the length and value of our lives. It is also upon a person to make rational choices on values that match up to what they wish for life and how to accomplish these goals. Morals and ethics are all about the choice we make or fall short to make. The moral system is prime concern to social interactions and what effects a person’s action has on others. These principles apply while making decisions in almost all public spheres, for example, in education, business, relationships, careers, politics, security, and as well making decision in life and death matters. In the context of Marlowe’s play, Faustus makes his choice to get supernatural powers for twenty-four years in exchange of his life in eternity. He chose magic, which interests him and takes an oath to serve Lucifer in his remaining life (Faustus 402). At sometime in the play, he is remorseful of his actions, and an idea of repenting crosses his mind, but he is then too late for him to repent.

Technology and knowledge is taking every aspect of today’s life. This technology has opened many avenues for people from different corners of the world to interact easily. The various technologies that have challenged religious, moral, and ethical values include information technology, which offers access to resources and knowledge worldwide on different topics. This may be a great challenge, since the knowledge becomes available to even those that the information may be restricted for them. This results to deterioration of morals and ethics as this group of people may not be able to make a good choice or may act irresponsibly with a good example of use of contraceptives in the web, availability of pornographic materials and negative influential movies. Use of cellular technology may also pose challenges to these values. This is because people can use the social channels to pass on detrimental information for instance, passing biased information concerning a certain religion; this may bring out conflicts and religious war.

Using military technology may challenge religious values, since many religions are against use of violence to attack even an enemy. Using the Christianity as an example, their bible states that we should pray for enemies, and its teachings are against use of violence or revenge on a person who has wronged.

Marlowe’s play is a prophesy to the modern world as people are becoming more greedy, and sin has almost become acceptable. Everybody chooses and determines their fate at the expense of their own lives. This play warns us to be extra careful with the choices we make as they have consequences. Faustus chose the evil even after tasting the heavenly sweetness, which only lasted shortly as he was put to hell for eternity. This shows us that every decision that we take counts as we get advice from both the good and bad angels and it is upon us to make a decision. The play also encourages us to be contented with what we have as we cannot have everything in a lifetime.

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Concerning our cultural, social, political and technological issues, ideology has an impact on how individuals conceive their identities, as it is far different from nature and reality, and with time, reality bites back. The reality, in this story, makes people discover that life entails a lot of things; Faustus and Mephistosphilis come to realize this, later. It is, therefore, upon every person to determine their own identity, and making decisions improves quality of life. God has given human beings the power to make decisions, and he saves any person who is ready to repent and come to him.


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