Prof. E. Froese
English 202 (61)
18 November 2011
SOME THINGS ARE BETTER LEFT UNKNOWN
Both Milton's Eve, from Paradise Lost, and Marlowe's Faustus, from Doctor Faustus, are seekers of forbidden knowledge. Faustus feels like he has learned all that is available to learn, and feels the only thing that can help him learn all the things that are out of his grasp is magic. Eve, on the other hand, seeks out forbidden knowledge out of sheer curiosity. While it is true that Satan was the one to tempt her in the first place, it is her curiosity that leads her to bite the apple. In both cases, the desires of Eve and Faustus to obtain forbidden knowledge does not result in anything good. Faustus sells his soul to the Devil and in the end, he essentially learns nothing new or of value. Eve eats an apple from the Tree of Knowledge, an act that was forbidden by God, and the only thing she gains is the knowledge of all the good she has lost, and of the evil she brought upon herself and mankind. The knowledge Eve gained was definitely not worth the fall of humankind. Faustus and Eve chose to seek out forbidden knowledge instead of keeping their faith and accepting things as they were, as they were taught by Christianity, and they both suffered.
The reason for limiting knowledge is to prevent suffering. A parent will not tell their children certain things, or will tell them not to do certain things, to protect the child from pain and suffering. God tells Eve and Adam not to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge because the he knows the things they will learn will bring them nothing but negative feelings and cause negative events. Before Faustus delves into magic, he is visited by a good angel and a bad angel. The good angel pleads that he put down his book of magic and read scriptures instead, because the good angel knows that Faustus will suffer, one way or another if he seeks out the knowledge. The bad angel encourages Faustus' learning of magic. While...