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Title: The cosmic, the human and the divine : the role of poetic images in Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas's Sepmaine and Maurice Scève's Délie
Author: Banks, Kathryn Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis explores conceptions of the cosmic, the human, and the divine in two poetic works: the Sepmaine (1578), a natural philosophical and religious poem, and the Délie (1544), a collection of love lyric. It examines in particular notions of the relationships of similarity, difference and causality between the cosmic, the human, and the divine. Secondly, the thesis also investigates one aspect of the relationship between ‘literary’ texts and philosophical thinking: the specificities of imagistic poetry in representations of the cosmos. The thesis argues that images – which imply a similarity between, for example, the cosmic and the human – are of crucial importance for a sixteenth-century mentality which considers that the similarities between the human, the cosmic, and the divine may be real. Such similarities can be ‘thought through’ in images: images explore the extent to which two domains are similar or different, as well as the nature and implications of these similarities. Common sixteenth-century images thus represent part of the ‘thinking tools’ of a particular mentality. The Délie and the Sepmaine employ two very pronounced poetic styles which present such images in unusual ways; this thesis argues that, as a result, cosmic conceptions fundamental to a certain mentality can be configured differently. In order to discern the specificities of imagistic poetry in relation to the cosmos, the Délie and the Sepmaine are compared with other, non-poetic, texts including Neoplatonist prose discourses on love, Calvin’s depictions of man and his relation to the divine, and various representations of the body politic. Close readings serve to analyse the ways in which images present dominant cosmic notions. The thesis focuses on two images which were omnipresent in many sixteenth-century discourses: firstly, the interactions of the four elements depicted as human love and hatred; secondly, the effects of the beloved lady upon the lover depicted as the effects of the sun or the divine upon the earth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available