The two fictional characters who “play God” in their own lives are two doctors, one of philosophy (Faustus) and one of medicine (Frankenstein) and, in real life, it is anyone who takes power over another’s and one’s own life and makes up his/her own rules which go against the commandments given to us by God as the athlete Lance Armstrong did during many years. First, there is Dr. Faustus, a very famous and successful scholar. He is a smart man who knows everything about almost all sciences in the world, including philosophy, theology, law, and medicine.
Yet, this knowledge is not enough for him. He is greedy and obsessive about it and the more he learns, the more he desires. Soon, all that he knows makes him extremely bored; there is only one science that gives him excitement – magic. “These books by magicians- lines, circles and mysterious drawings- Yes, these are the books that I enjoy the most. Oh, what a world of power and reward they promise the hard-working student! With this knowledge, I’ll be the master of everything that moves on Earth… this is your answer Faustus. Use your brain to become a god” (Marlowe 22).
Faustus is willing to do anything to be the greatest in this field, so he decides to sign an agreement with the Devil and give him his soul in exchange for 24 years of magical talents and power over life itself. After this agreement is set, Faustus gets all the unimaginable power in life; learns all that he wants about this forbidden science; brings people back to life, and earns worldwide admiration and recognition for his work. Nevertheless, none of these God-like powers and tricks of magic bring him happiness. Deep in his heart he knows he is doing wrong and he will be damned forever.
At last, he ends his days being lonely and is punished forever in hell. Clearly, Faustus tries to play God, but at the end, the only thing he does is to bring God’s anger upon himself. “With paper wings he flew too near the sun and heaven planned his downfall” (epilogue). Secondly, there is Victor Frankenstein, a man who has everything he needs plus a very happy family. He is a great man, who is dedicated to his studies and very clever, but he makes the same mistake as Faustus did. He plays God by trying to discover the secrets of life, and when he does, he uses them the wrong way.
When his mother dies, he has to leave his sad family and go to university to study medicine. There, he becomes obsessed with the idea of knowing “the secret of life” and how to help others not to feel the sorrow he and his family did because of the loss of a loved one. Soon, after much study about death and life, he finds the answer to all the questions in his head and starts to develop a horrible project. “He takes parts from dead people and builds a new ‘man’. But this monster is so big and frightening that everyone runs away from him – even Frankenstein himself! (Comment by editor). Victor is so terrified of his own creation that the only thing he wants is to escape from it so, irresponsibly; he abandons his laboratory and the monster, which has no idea of how to speak, survive, or live. ”The monster is like an enormous baby who needs love. But nobody gives him love, and soon he learns to hate. And because he is so strong, the next thing he learns is how to kill” (Comment by editor). The monster is full of resentment and decides to make Frankenstein just an unhappy and lonely as he has been his entire life.
He kills all people Frankenstein loves and makes Victor look forward only to the day that he can be dead and together with his family. Clearly, Frankenstein tries to play God, but at the end, the only thing he does is to bring unhappiness and misery to his life and his loved ones’. Finally, there is Lance Armstrong, a successful and rich cyclist who has won the Tour De France seven consecutive times. He has a lot of fans around the world and is considered a strong and admirable man by many people.
However, after years of arduous denials and attacks on any person who has questioned his clams of competing clean, he has been proved to use performance-enhancing drugs since 1998. Now, he is disqualified from all his titles since that year and banned from professional cycling for life. Fans, friends, and family have gone away from him and now he is left only with the money that he has made, but today this does not seem to make him happy. He did a lot of mistakes through his career and personal life and used his cancer to justify them to himself. My cocktail, so to speak, was only EPO, not a lot, [blood] transfusions and testosterone, which I almost justified because of my history. Obviously, the testicular cancer and losing [a testicle], [I] thought, surely I’m running low. ”(Armstrong’s interview with Oprah). The first mistake that he makes is to forget about his spiritual values and to start violating God’s law. Victory becomes his obsession and he is willing to obtain it at all costs. He is not only loosing his soul, but also damaging his body and reputation. Moreover, he has given false witness in front of millions of people and fooled everyone who believes in him.
Again in this case, it is clearly illustrated how “playing God” can destroy someone’s life. Considering all the above, it is evident how obsessions can lead people to self-destruction. Armstrong, Frankenstein, and Dr. Faustus have made up their own rules and ways of living, according to what they want and not caring about how they are damaging themselves and the ones around them. They are all men of successes until God decides that it’s time to pay for the mistakes they have done; and at that point, it is too late to repent. The three of them have forgotten that life is not about what we accomplish, but about the way we do it.