Discuss how the passage (Act 5 Scene 2) contributes to the portrayal of Faustus as a terrible hero, paying specific attention to Marlowe’s usage of language. Dr Faustus is a well-educated and well respected scholar and we acknowledge immediately that he has a track record for this reality. He has actually made the fatal mistake of questioning God’s existence, making a mistake that is characteristic of human nature. By doing this we feel some type of connection with him since he has a sense of realism. He wishes to get more knowledge that is also another feature of humans.
In the passage we learn that his time has come, and because circumstances he ends up being a terrible hero as you sympathize with him as he actually doesn’t want to die. This passage itself connects highly to the central themes of the play. Marlowe’s usage of language communicates that Faustus has actually accepted his fate, and you hear the relief in his voice that it will lastly be over as soon as he has seen Helen and “may extinguish tidy, those ideas that do discourage me from my vow”. Once Mephistopheles has brought Helen to him, his enjoyment is clear and he is satisfied that he will always remember her kiss “here will I dwell, for heaven remain in these lips”.
He is drifting away envisioning himself as Paris, effective and triumphant. However he selects not to remember that Paris was viewed as a coward and a failure. He explains beating Achilles and going back to Helen, perhaps hoping that he will conquer his tortured soul with the memories of Helen kissing him. This reveals that although Faustus knows the Greek stories so well as to recite them, he does not comprehend them. Such a hero struggles with a change of joy to anguish since of his incorrect choice which is led by his mistake of judgement.
His speech is gorgeous, but as typical Faustus is all talk. He seems unable, or reluctant, to understand that his words are only a damned guy’s dream. He asks Helen to make him never-ceasing “Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss”. Does this show that he has actually learnt his lesson and is all set to pass away or does it suggest that he wishes to become mortal in order to dominate Lucifer. He appears to still be looking for power, to become as effective as the devil himself, still making wrong options when he ought to be repenting his sins.
Marlowe indicates throughout the play that redemption still exists when it is truly needed or wanted. But Faustus declines, making him a tragic hero unable to withstand the temptations of the devil and the pleasures he provides. He evokes both our pity and fear due to the fact that he is neither excellent nor bad but a mix of both. He wanted to be the master of his own fate; he did not wish to be a puppet dancing to the strings of destiny. But Faustus’ mistaken option, to exchange of his soul to Lucifer, leads to his failure.