Epiphany at Death and the Road to Salvation Essay

1352 Words Aug 27th, 2011 6 Pages
Epiphany at Death and the Road to Salvation
In Everyman and Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, the protagonists are faced with their judgment day and presented with an account of their lives. Everyman is a man wealthy materialistically, while Faustus is wealthy in arts such as logic, medicine, law, and divinity. Everyman represents the men in society who are fixed in their material lives and lose sight of Christ. He befriends men who abandon him while on a pilgrimage to Christ, learning that what he once valued, his wealth, is useless to him when he has to account for his lack of good deeds. Faustus unlimited intelligence, yet he is dissatisfied with his gift; he would prefer experiment with black magic. Faustus gives his soul to the
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When man faces death he suddenly comes to terms with his life, as if the time of death is the pivotal moment in one’s life, resulting in man reevaluating and redefining his life and pleading for chances previously exhausted by idolizing worldly possessions. The moment that man realizes that worldly materials do not descend to the grave, they are only left with themselves, then becoming helpless and at mercy to death:
It is the very helplessness that makes Everyman’s descent into the grave so poignant—and so victorious. It is the letting go of the self that we all fear the most. The recognition that there is nothing further to be done, that we have lost control that our solipsistic assumptions about our own importance are dissolving before our eyes. It is Nothing encroaching upon Everything. It is the end (Spinrad 84).
Everyman receives salvation, unlike Faustus who fails to realize that there is more to mortal life than his greedy quest for power. Faustus voluntarily surrenders his soul to the devil, greedily seeking more than the knowledge that Christ has blessed him. His curiosity for Black Magic lands him a deal with the devil where he is damned because of his decision and failure to accept salvation from the good angel who tries to save him. In exchange for his powers he is ordered to never speak of Christ and he to surrender his soul so that a servant of the devil, Mephistopheles, could serve him. Throughout the

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