Tma 01

Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus

In the first line of the chosen passage Faustus declares that the word “damnation” does not terrify him, thus treating it as a word and not a concept relevant to himself. He rhymes this line with the word “Elysium”, the Latin form, “Elysian”, the place where noble souls go to rest, and claims to be in awe of Hell from this place. He then breaks with rhyme, alluding to old philosophy, perhaps referring to the pre-Aristoteliean philosophers who preceded Christianity, therefore disregarding Christianity; Aristotle's philosophy being the blueprint for or bridge to Christian theology. He then waves off his musings to bring the focus onto Lucifer, missing the personal relevance that is to come.
Faustus enquires of Lucifer's descent from Heaven to Hell and in Mephistopheles response seems to miss the corollary with his own chosen path: pride. Mephistopheles explains that Lucifer and all his co-conspirers were cast out of Hell for conspiring against God, the same as Fautus is.
Faustus then asks how, if Mephistopheles has been cast to eternal damnation, he is not there now. Mephistopheles answers that where he is is Hell. I believe this is Marlowe's way of describing Hell as an internal state of being as opposed to a place, going on to speak of his good fortune which he took for granted in conspiring with Lucifer and lost in his exclusion from Heaven. He ends by expressing his need to cease discussing the matter, which to me should act as a warning to Faustus that even this powerful being who he seeks to extract knowledge from, who comes from a “place” which Faustus admires even from the one where noble souls rest, and who is Faustus' first port of contact with the being he looks to for all he desires, is in fact still in a state of suffering over his fate.
This whole passage seems to me to be one of the moments where Faustus is being shown a clear warning of the path he is choosing to take, and the past consequences of those...