Doctor Faust’s Last Soliloquy and Character Development

Through the words of the main character, the development of the personality and the change of views over time can be easily traced. The play Dr. Faust is a philosophical and psychological tragedy that reveals the inner struggle of a humanist scientist who strives for unlimited knowledge but is aware that this desire can cause isolation from other people and loneliness. Despite adhering to a different opinion, which was not accepted by society, the worldview and opinions of the protagonist, on the matter of religion especially, change on the deathbed.

Doctor Faust’s last soliloquy plays a significant role in the work, as it takes place in the last moments of the protagonist’s life and acts as an attempt to convey to the reader the feeling that envelops people in the last moments of their life. The author amplifies the terrifying impact of the future with the help of a watch. The mechanism that seems to count down the last moments of Dr. Faust’s life creates a depressing atmosphere in the final soliloquy. Therefore, Marlowe focuses on the fear of the endless torment of Faust’s soul using a longer clock beating.

By focusing on the character of the main character of his play, Marlowe creates an image of a strong personality, able to go beyond the limits of moral and religious institutions. However, in the last scene, Dr. Faust turns to God as never before in his life. If he used to condemn religion for limiting people, now he prays to God to save him from the infernal punishment. In his first speech, the protagonist spoke about the rise of man above God, about the desire that destroyed the whole fate of Faust. However, before his death, his views completely change. It begs to become something so insignificant that it can simply disappear without a trace.

All the self-confidence and determination of the main character disappears in his last words. In the epilogue, the author seems to say that any person who somehow repeats the fate of Faust will not be able to avoid the same violence and horror. However, the suffering of the protagonist is aimed at evoking feelings of pity and fear before such an end than calling for reflection on the honesty and justice of the punishment. The hell to which Faust is doomed is the disaster of the loss of inner harmony. Nonetheless, it is hardly fair to connect the real internal struggle of the hero and the entire ideological content of the tragedy with the religious quest of the playwright. This statement comes from the fact that the author does not allow the reader to fully see his own thoughts and views on the protagonist that he created.

Even at the beginning of the first act, speaking about the good and evil fate of Faust, the author compares him to Icarus, who “attempted to escape from Crete with a pair of waxen wings, but flew too near the sun and plunged to his death when the sun melted the wax.” Like the famous Icarus, Faustus made an attempt to exceed all possible limits of reach and was punished for his arrogance. The last monologue of Dr. Faust is performed with high tragic pathos. In despair, the humanist scientist, aware of the imminent death, conjures the forces of nature to change the inevitable course of time. Nevertheless, time is irreversible, and a man with a brave mind inevitably comes to his fatal end.

To conclude, it must be said that this scene of the death of the main character has a tremendous emotional impact on the reader. In it, a person who adheres to humanistic views and tries to put a person on the same level with God in despair realizes his near-death, clinging to life and begging higher forces to change the course of time. Thus, through the monologues of Doctor Faust presented to the reader, the author shows how his personality developed and changed.

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