In the play "The Tragedy of Doctor Faustus," Christopher Marlowe shows us that there are moral and ethical lines that one can cross in the pursuit of ones desires. The character of Doctor Faustus chooses an unmoral and unethical path to satisfy his lust for power and his addiction for knowledge. This ultimately leads to his undesirable demise. Morals and ethics are intertwined in that many of the actions we take and many of the decisions we make are based on what we believe to be right and wrong. .
In the beginning of the play the chorus immediately tells us that Faustus was an excellent student. They say, "The fruitful plot of scholorism graced, that shortly he was graced with Doctors name."1 Although he gets his doctorate in theology the chorus leads us to believe that he wants to know more. Faustus says himself, "Yet level at the end of every art."2 He is telling that he aims to know every art. This is a bold statement and seemingly impossible for a human, but there is nothing immoral or unethical in his desire.
In fact his ambition is admirable.
It doesn't take long, in the play, for Faustus to start making unethical decisions. When he is first introduced to us he is sitting in his study contemplating what he is going to make of his life. He takes an Aristotle-like approach to reach his conclusion. Through the use of reason he decides that magic will bring him the end he finds most desirable, and that end is total power. .
"Of power, of honor, of omnipotence, is promised to the studious artisan! All things that move between the quiet poles shall be at my command A sound magician is a mighty god: Here, Faustus, try thy brains to gain a diety."3 .
The unethical decision to become a magician marks the turning point for Faustus. For the remainder of the play his greed drives him to make multiple immoral and unethical decisions in his attempt to become as powerful as a god.
In scene two, two scholars let us know that dealing with black magic is unethical and immoral.