Faust is a highly learned professor, but who is exceedingly unsatisfied in life. Despite all the knowledge he has, he still feels empty and wants to know even more. He desires to know beyond what God intends for man to know. He feels that human knowledge is limited and does not offer the satisfaction he seeks. “Just nothing I see in the sum of our learning,” (Fiero 34). At the beginning, we see that Faust does not know the real meaning of life. Despite all his achievements, he still wonders what life truly means, and even tries to commit suicide thinking life is worthless. From Faust, many human traits are evident, with the main one being a quest for more knowledge and unending desires. Throughout the poem, Faust tries to achieve his ambitions for more knowledge. The character of Faust in every way represents humanity, where he posses all the qualities, motivation and desires of a human being, making him an archetype of every human being.
Faust is a tragic hero who made decisions according to his desires and ambitions. It is the nature of human beings to have ambitions and desires, which they wish to, satisfy. In a quest to satisfy one’s desires, people go beyond the limit in order to achieve more. Faust was driven by the desire for more knowledge than God intended for human beings. This is not different from human beings considering they continue to pursue knowledge. Many people have taken dangerous journeys for knowledge. His desires and ambitions made him make a pact with the devil. The devil in this case represents what people are willing to forego in order to achieve their desires. Just as many people today would be blinded by their desires to enter into contracts they would not under usual circumstances, Faust entered into a contract with the devil in a similar manner.
Human beings have never been satisfied or fulfilled in their life. It is the nature of humanity to have desires that last throughout their entire life. It is hard to find a person who is fully satisfied with earthly pleasures. Faust sought all kinds of earthly pleasures including transforming back to a young man and other adventures including loving the most beautiful woman in the world. He had made a pact where the devil would be his servant on the condition that, “if Faust ever says that he is totally satisfied, that the moment is so perfect he wants time to stop, then he will die,” (Fiero 35). The fat that he never said these words means there is not one time he was thoroughly satisfied. This proves that, despite all the pleasures and adventures, Faust is not entirely fulfilled. Towards the end, Faust realizes that he can never be satisfied fully, and only God can fulfill his desires.
Faust made many wrong choices that were driven by his desires and ambitions. Human beings make wrong decisions in their lifetime, from which they learn. Faust made the wrong choice when he could not understand the true meaning of life. Many people make wrong choices when faced by such circumstances. Faust’s idea about purpose of living was to achieve all the desires that one has. Thus, he made the decision of trading his soul for the world to the devil. From the wrong choices, we make, we learn and sometimes pay dearly. Although Faust soul was redeemed towards the end, he had paid a huge price. Faust learnt that human beings are not perfect as he thought.
Despite what Faust went through, he managed to realize the true meaning of life. However, some things such as ego and ambitions act to hinder the free will of a person. Free will is about making a decision without the influence of anything. Even at the end, Faust still has something holding him back from repenting. Probably his ego or maybe some ambitions stopped him from repenting. Alternatively, it is probable the devil managed to convince him out of repenting. Faust’s life is acts as a mirror through which human beings can look at themselves and learn (Fiero 32). In this case, Faust is a tragic hero, who could have made the choice he made even under different circumstances considering he was driven by ambition and desire for complete fulfillment that every human being posses.