Analysis Of Good Vs Evil In Literature English Literature Essay

One of the most common subjects in literature is the conflict between good and evil. From kids ‘s books to classic historical literature this subject has been seen throughout history. Most plants of literature have characters on either side of the conflict ; nevertheless there are some that focus on a different battleground. Such plants include Christopher Marlowe ‘s Dr. Faustus and William Shakespeare ‘s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark in which the conflict is internal. In both dramas we see the chief characters struggle with which side of the ageless conflict they identify with. While both characters begin on the side of good, their storyline introduces them to people and fortunes which alter their way to evil. It can be said that the writer ‘s purpose is to exemplify that immorality has the power to act upon anyone, and that good is non ever winning.

In Dr. Faustus we see a good respected, extremely educated adult male who is torn between the incarnations of good and immorality, which are God and the Devil. Two liquors stand foring a side of the conflict battle for Dr. Faustus ‘s psyche. In the infinite hunt for cognition, Dr. Faustus decides to side with evil and do an understanding with the Satan. In return for his psyche, Faustus received 24 old ages of power. Though good seems to divinely step in on his behalf, Faustus does non see it. Even after this pick, the good spirit implores him to atone and abdicate his treaty with Lucifer. However, Faustus does non believe he can be forgiven and struggles with his determination without atoning for 24 old ages. In the terminal when he eventually decides to atone for his wickednesss and beg of God ‘s clemency it is excessively late, and he is taken to hell for infinity.

The first comparative point between the two plants of literature is the importance of the incorrect determinations made by the characters, and how one hapless pick can take down a way of immorality. In Dr. Faustus we see a adult male who starts out as a respected, highly intelligent and educated adult male, but his chase for cognition leads him to a polar point in which he must do a determination which affects the remainder of his life. After going involved with charming Faustus calls upon a Satan called Mephistopheles who can allow Faustus power and cognition. However, he is warned that such gifts come with a monetary value, and the monetary value would be his psyche. Even Mephistopheles cautiousnesss Faustus about the effects of his determination, which can be seen in the undermentioned quotation mark. “ Why, this is snake pit, nor am I out of it. Think’st thou that I saw the face of God and tasted the ageless joys of Eden, am non tormented with 10 thousand snake pits in being deprived of everlasting cloud nine ” ( Marlowe, 1905, Act 1, Scene 5 ) ? Though Faustus is warned that the glorification of Eden everlastingly is worth more than impermanent cognition or power, he chooses to release his ageless psyche to the Satan in exchange for those things. On his falling journey Faustus makes many incorrect determinations, each determination taking him further down a route of immorality and evilness culminating in his decease and decent into snake pit.

Hamlet begins as a male child saddened by the decease of his male parent. After meeting the shade of his male parent, who asks Hamlet to kill Claudius in order to demand retaliation, Hamlet is faced with a determination which he inquiries through the drama. The petition from the spirit of his male parent, along with his uncertainness about the act begins to drive Hamlet insane. In the terminal, Hamlet takes the route of immorality and seeks retaliation, killing several people. This quotation mark shows Hamlet debating whether to kill his ego or others. “ To decease: to kip ; No more ; and by a slumber to state we end. The heart-ache and the thousand natural dazes. That flesh is heir to, ‘t is a consummation piously to be wished. To decease, to kip ; To kip: perchance to dream: ay, there ‘s the hang-up ; For in that slumber of decease what dreams may come. When we have shuffled off this mortal spiral, Must give us intermission: there ‘s the regard. That makes catastrophe of so long life ” ( Shakespeare, 1909, Act 3, Scene 1 ) .

Another comparative point is the evil influences both chief characters encountered. Both were influenced by events, people and most significantly religious existences. In Dr. Faustus, he encounters two liquors, one good and one bad who try to convert Faustus to pick their side. In the undermentioned quotation mark Faustus debates which spirit to take. “ How am I glutted with amour propre of this! Shall I make liquors bring me what I please, Resolve me of all ambiguities, Perform what despairing endeavor I will ” ( Marlowe, 1905, Scene 1, Act 1 ) . The evil spirit nevertheless is exultant by tempting Faustus with cognition, power and sex.

In Hamlet, a spirit claiming to be Hamlet ‘s dead male parent asks him to perpetrate slaying in the name of retaliation. This spirit while claiming to desire justness, is taking Hamlet to execute an act of evil by killing Claudius. Hamlet seeks the spirit, and allows it to act upon him as seen in the undermentioned quotation mark. “ If thou hast any sound, or usage of voice, Speak to me ” ( Shakespeare, 1909, Act 1, Scene 1 ) . The spirit of Hamlets male parent appears farther times, one time imploring, “ So art 1000 to avenge ” ( Shakespeare, 1909 Act 1, Scene 1 ) .Due to the emotional pull of the spirit being Hamlets ain male parent, it was easy for him to listen and continue down an evil way.

The concluding comparative point is the tragic death of each character due to their evil picks. In Dr. Faustus, we see the chief character doing a trade with the Satan, interchanging his ageless psyche after 24 old ages on Earth. From the minute Faustus made the trade he was cognizant of his damnation. His damnation was presented to him as no secret, “ Ah Faustus, now hast 1000 but one bare hr to populate, and so thou must be damned perpetually ” ( Marlowe, 2001, 5.2 140-143 ) . He knew the minute and mode in which he would decease, but it was a destiny he had chosen for himself. The tragic stoping comes when Faustus eventually realizes his wickedness, and asks for salvation yet is taken to hell anyhow because it is excessively late for salvation. He cries “ My God, My God! Look non so ferocious on me! Adders and snakes, allow me take a breath awhile! Ugly Hell, gape non! Come non Lucifer! Ill burn my books! — – Oxygen Mephostophilis! ” ( Marlowe, 2001, 5.3 194-197 ) .

The calamity for Hamlet comes after he has committed slaying, perchance experiencing guilty and believes his ego worthy of decease. As he prepares to contend Laertes, Hamlet says “ Not a shred, we defy augury. There ‘s a particular Providence in the autumn of a sparrow. If it be now, ‘t is non to come, it will be now. If it be non now, yet it come-the preparedness is all. Since no adult male of nothing he leaves knows, what is n’t to go forth bedtimes? Let be ” ( Shakespeare, 1998, 5.2 220-225 ) . After eventually finishing his end, and killing Claudius, Hamlet dies every bit good.

This essay has illustrated how Marlowe and Shakespeare used the subject of the good versus immorality, how it guides us in doing moral determinations, and how those picks can take to personal ruin. In Dr. Faustus, we begin to see his point of view when he explains to us his reading certain scriptural Bibles. He reads, “ The wages of wickedness is decease? That ‘s difficult: If we say that we have no wickedness, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. Why, so belike, we must transgress, and so accordingly die ” ( Marlowe, 2001, 1.1 38-43 ) . Possibly Marlowe was stating that it does n’t count whether you choose good or evil in any state of affairs because everyone is destined to decease. Faustus was presented with both good and evil liquors, yet chose immorality. In Hamlets instance his determination to seek retaliation was a justified cause, when the challenge came from the shade of his slain male parent. However, even if seeking retaliation seemed to be a baronial cause, Hamlet could non experience good about that act unless he gained more grounds. His chase in making this led him to meet the moral quandary which lead to his ruin. These two literary plants both illustrate a less common subject sing good versus immorality, and that is merely that good does non ever win.


Marlowe, C. ( 2001 ) . Doctor Faustus ( REV ed. ) . New York: Signet Classic

Shakespeare, W. ( 1998 ) . Hamlet ( REV ed. ) . New York: Signet Classic

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