What is hell? What is the address of Hell? Who stays there? Can anyone provide proper answers to all these questions? But they will give a big NO to the above questions. We don’t really know what Hell is; its exact location and whereabouts. At this point in the discussion I can remember the golden lines written by Milton in Paradise Lost;

“The mind is in its own place, and in itself, It can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” lost paradise

In reality, the human heart and mind are the only place for both Heaven and Hell. Even Milton has also clarified the subject very well in Paradise Lost. But we like to imagine about the conventional Hell as it is mentioned in many mythologies and we like to relate the mythical characters together with the events. We often love to imagine that hell is full of darkness. The sun’s rays cannot penetrate the deep darkness of Hell. Hell is something located in the subsoil of the earth. In the center of Hell there is a cauldron that burns twenty-four hours a day. The soul of sinners is undergoing constant torture. They are receiving punishment for their offense. This is the main image, oh heck, that we have in the books. But this image is purely imaginative. It is the pure creative process of writers. Practicality Hell is created within the mind of every man. And the man suffers emotionally from his offense. This is the place where he receives the final punishment. He fears for his near future and off course for the impending results.

In Dr. Faustus, Marlowe deals with the concept of hell. But Marlowe reflects the spiritual aspect of Hell through the central character Dr. Faustus. In the drama Dr. Faustus we have the introduction of hell in Act 1. Dr. Faustus wants to attain the ultimate power. To fulfill his wishes, Mephistophilis appears before him to perform and carry out the duties of Faust.

Mephistophilis is a follower of Lucifer, the Prince of Hell, but regrets his golden days in Heaven and God as well. But he now lives in Hell and walks down memory lane that leads to Heaven. Faust asks how he gets out of hell. And in answer to this he says that he is not out of Hell but he carries Hell wherever he goes. And suddenly he remembers the face of God that he used to see in his bygone days.

You cannot enjoy your days in Hell. Feel a constant tug between Heaven and Hell; Good and bad. You can’t get out of this terrible place. While carrying Hell within his heart and mind. On the other hand, Dr. Faustus wants to reach the supreme power of this world. And so he gives his soul to Lucifer. He signs an agreement with the blood of his own body. Faust again and again wants to know and collect information about Hell and its exact location.

Mephistopophilis says that hell has no limit. It is the place where sinners have to go through different punishments and agonies. And all sinners carry hell in their bosom. Where the sinners are, there is only Hell. Even Milton echoes the same expression in Paradise Lost; “I myself am hell” he calls back Satan.

Faust has also committed sins and suffers for this too. Faust wants to become God. He rejects and neglects God and Christianity in exchange for worldly powers and sensual pleasures. This is the most serious sin he has ever committed. He suffers from his sky-high ambitions and his pride. He wants to gain a deity and so he gives his soul to Lucifer or the devil.

Faust can get out of this suffering only by praying to God. And if he doesn’t want to earn mercy, he will sink deeper and deeper into darkness. Mephistophilis warns him over and over again for his pride, ambition, and good humor. But Fausto refuses to heed his warnings.

In the final part of the drama, Faust realizes his guilt and eternal damnation. Dr. Faustus realizes the deep agony and his soul is full of horror. His last soliloquy reflects the image of both conventional Hell and spiritual Hell. He finally feels the terror and tortures of his mind and carries the thousand hells inside his mind. Therefore, Mephistophilis wisely says that Hell is located within the mind, heart and soul of the human being. Faust asks for mercy for his soul.

He says:

“May Faust live in hell a thousand years

One hundred thousand, and the last one will be saved”

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