The use of natural details in English poetry: 1645-1668

Wilcher, Robert (1972). The use of natural details in English poetry: 1645-1668. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This dissertation examines the use made of details from the natural world by English poets of the mid-seventeenth century. It is concerned with two main aspects of the subjects the function of natural imagery; and the rhetorical methods by which details from nature are exploited in poetry. It also seeks to demonstrate that the way a poet manipulates his material is influenced both by inherited literary tradition, and also by his age's changing conception of the nature of the universe and of man's relationship to it.
Part One of the thesis explores the implications of the title in the light of some early critical treatments of the subject of Nature in poetry and of more recent theories of seventeenth-century imagery and rhetoric, and surveys those changes in the thought and sensibility of the period which seem to have had a bearing on the poetic handling of natural imagery. Part Two investigates the various ways in which details from nature were employed by poets during the years 1645-1668. The material has been organised under three general headings, dictated by the function of the images in the poems in which they occur. Part Three examines the work of seven poets whose contribution is deemed to be of particular interest. Their poetry is related to the wider cultural setting discussed in Part One and to the literary background provided in Part Two. Part Four furnishes a brief survey of some of the major lines of development in the use of natural details in the poetry of the period immediately following the years studied in the main body of the thesis.
The study concludes with three appendices and a bibliography of books and articles cited and consulted in the course of its composition.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, The Shakespeare Institute
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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