TRANSHUMANISM AND GNOSTICISM IN CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE’S DOCTOR FAUSTUS


ÖZENÇ A.

Turkish Studies (Elektronik), vol.13, no.20, pp.619-629, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 20
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Journal Name: Turkish Studies (Elektronik)
  • Journal Indexes: TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.619-629
  • Istanbul Gelisim University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

The quest for immortality, which has been featured even in theoldest of myths, is as old as the history of humanity. It has its roots inthe occult tradition, which stems from an idea (Gnosticism) that putshumans at the centre of all creation. According Gnosticism, the God whocreated the physical world is himself flawed, and that is the reason of allthe imperfection that surrounds us. In order to reach to the true God ofall creation, who has our essence, humans have to break all theboundaries that were put up by the false Creator God, and reach beyondthe limits that bounds them. Transhumanism, deriving from such occultideas, tries to come as close to the true God as possible, by aiming tomerge every being in the world within one singular consciousness. InChristopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, the academic anxiety of anaccomplished scholar turns into a quest for immortality, as Faustusstrives to achieve those very ends which have been sought after for ages.In the end, Faustus loses his eternal soul and fails miserably, however,his true intention marks his struggle as an extraordinary quest forknowledge and eternity. The aim of this paper is to prove that Faustusstrives to achieve a much bigger ideal by selling his soul to the Devil,which is the attainment of immortality, and therefore he can beconsidered one of the earlier exponents of transhumanism. For thatpurpose, various motifs and symbols that are featured throughout theplay will be closely examined, as many of them have close affinities withthe dominant occult ideologies of the play’s period, Renaissance.