Doctor Faustus: A Deal with the Devil

Let me preface this by apologizing, for I am about to include one of my favourite tv shows in this blog post. I have two good reasons: 1) Because I can, and 2) Because it actually has something to do with the text.

So this week our assigned reading was Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. For those unfamiliar with the text, it is about a man who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for power and knowledge.

You may be thinking, What?! Why would someone do such a crazy and stupid thing?!

Well, in one of favourite shows, Supernatural, this theme is one that is brought up often. What must be going on in someone’s head to make a deal with the devil, especially as, historically speaking, the devil doesn’t seem like a very trust-worthy guy.

In Supernatural, the main character’s have often made deals with demons and devils alike, usually for a good reason. In their cases, they do it to save family members, or to try to right a wrong. Sometimes even, to save the world

Unlike them, Faustus does not seem to do it for others, or the greater good. His reasons are for him, and eventually lead to his demise (surprise, surprise!).

This question is one I have always been curious about: in our day and age, what would it take for someone to make a deal with the devil? Knowing full well it may not end nicely?

What would possess someone to do something so risky? Extreme poverty, sickness, depression?

It makes you wonder what we as humans are capable of doing if we really want something enough.