Paper: The Arrogant Nature of Martin Luther, a Character in Luther by John Osborne

Martin takes the concept of avoiding sin much further then intended. In order to subject himself to such a standard of perfection, Luther must negate his humanity and consider himself above the imperfection that accompanies it. Martin's arrogance and scrupulosity show how he believed he was a superior individual. "I thought of the righteousness of God, and wished his gospel had never been put to paper for mean to red; who demanded my love and made it impossible to return it." (76) He believes that this superiority requires of him an uncharacteristic perfection from humanity as he strives for a perfection he knows he cannot obtain. "He has a pedestrian style and a judicial restraint and that'll always pass off as wisdom to most men." (88) Martin describes John Eck, a chancellor that disagrees with Martin, as seemingly wise to the masses but that wisdom being only a product of his mannerism. Martin's presents a view of superiority over those, not only Eck, who disagrees with his viewpoints. Martin's tragic heroism is a result of his inability to fulfill the task to which he believes God has assigned him. “All you've ever managed to do is convert everything into stench and drying and peril. But you could have done it, Martin, and you were the only one who could have ever done it. You could even have brought freedom and order in at one and the same time." (107) He fails to reform the Church because of he could not morally submit to the Church's beliefs as a result of his need for perfection, resulting in his excommunication and banishment. "At least my father'll praise me for that." (110) Martin has given up trying to fulfill God in every dimension possible. Finally, the inevitable imperfection associated with his humanity is finally made evident to him. Luther finally realizes that he cannot be that perfect being....