The last scene of ‘Doctor Faustus’

Discuss the last scene of ‘Doctor Faustus’.

‘The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus’ is the greatest play of Christopher Marlowe where the last scene of this play especially the tragical death of Doctor Faustus and the last tragical feelings, things and speeches of Doctor Faustus makes the audience hopeless and sad.

At the last scene of this play Doctor Faustus appears as completely a hopeless and helpless man. He realizes that he has lost his eternal life because of his longing for vain joys. At the end even he makes no real effort to turn to God. As he realizes the magnitude of his sin, he is almost afraid to turn to God whom he has abjured. He would like to go back but the evil does not allow him to pray to God. We see how Faustus fights against his time. As the clock strikes eleven, he realizes that he has only one hour left to live. Gradually he desires to have time to continue and thus repent for his sins,

                 “Let this hour be but

   A year, a month, a week, a natural day,

   That Faustus may repent and save his sow!”    

But even in this final scene, he cannot remain resolute and call on God or Christ. At one point he tries to invoke the aid of Christ but at last he asks Lucifer to spare him. He realizes that his body is tortured for a hundred thousand years but his soul be spared from eternal punishment.  

When the clock strikes half-past eleven, he says that it would be better if his soul after death could enter the body of some beast, because all beasts are happy. When the clock strikes the final hour he desires his body to turn into the air or the ocean and get lost forever. All these are impossible and impracticable desires of Faustus indicate the magnitude of his suffering. He curses his parents for having begotten him on earth but the next moment he realizes that he ought to curse himself or curse Lucifer who has deprived him of his joys of heaven.

 The appearance of Helen and his beauty charms Faustus very much. He is so attracted to Helen that he kisses her and thinks that this kiss has made him immortal. According to the speech of Faustus, her lips are so sweet that they have drawn his soul out of his body. He also says his soul is outside of him. He urges Helen to come and give his soul back to him. He will always live there, close to Helen, because heaven is in her lips. He pronounces that,

              “Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss”

The final monologue us remarkable as a piece of psychological self- revelation. In the final speech of chorus, Faustus who was a great scholar and favorite of Apollo tried to go beyond the boundary of lawful things.


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