ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance

Download ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance

Post on 24-Dec-2015

215 views

Category:

Documents

2 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

  • Slide 1
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance
  • Slide 2
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance
  • Slide 3
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance We need to hurry up because soon it will be the Renaissance and we will all be painting.
  • Slide 4
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance The outlines of all things seemed more clearly marked than to us. The contrast between suffering and joy, between adversity and happiness, appeared more striking. All experience had yet to the minds of men the directness and absoluteness of the pleasure and pain of child-life.... Calamities and indigence were more afflicting than at present; it was more difficult to guard against them and to find solace. Illness and health presented a more striking contrast; the cold and the darkness of winter were more real evils. Honors and riches were relished with greater avidity and contrasted more vividly with surrounding misery. We, at the present day, can hardly understand the keenness with which a fur coat, a good fire on the hearth, a soft bed, a glass of wine, were formerly enjoyed.... Johann Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages
  • Slide 5
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance The characteristic of the world we men inhabit is incessant change by birth, growth, procreation, death, and decay. And within that world such experimental methods as had been achieved in his time could discover only an imperfect uniformity. Things happen in the same way not perfectly nor invariably but 'on the whole' or 'for the most part'. But the world studied by astronomy seemed quite different. No Nova had yet been observed. So far as he could find out, the celestial bodies were permanent; they neither came into existence nor passed away. And the more you studied them, the more perfectly regular their movements seemed to be.
  • Slide 6
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance Apparently, then, the universe was divided into two regions. The lower region of change and irregularity he called Nature. The upper he called Sky. Thus he can speak of 'Nature and Sky' as two things. But that very changeable phenomenon, the weather, made it clear that the realm of inconstant Nature extended some way above the surface of the Earth. 'Sky' must begin higher up. It seemed reasonable to suppose that regions which differed in every observable respect were also made of different stuff. Nature was made of the four elements, earth, water, fire, and air. Air, then (and with air Nature; and with Nature inconstancy) must end before Sky began. Above the air, in true Sky, was a different substance, which he called aether. Thus 'the aether encompasses the divine bodies,
  • Slide 7
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance but immediately below the aethereal and divine nature comes that which is passible, mutable, perishable, and subject to death'. By the word divine Aristotle introduces a religious element; and the placing of the important frontier (between Sky and Nature, Aether and Air) at the Moon's orbit is a minor detail. But the concept of such a frontier seems to arise far more in response to a scientific than to a religious need. ~C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image, Chapter 1: The Medieval Situation (1964)
  • Slide 8
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance If, with the help of some time-machine working in reverse, a man of the Middle Ages could be suddenly transported into the skin of a man of the twentieth century, seeing through our eyes and with our "figuration" the objects we see, I think he would feel like a child who looks for the first time through the ingenious magic of a stereoscope. "Oh!" he would say, "look how they stand out!" (Owen Barfield, Saving the Appearances 94)
  • Slide 9
  • The Legacy of Plato (428-347) The Allegory of the Cave
  • Slide 10
  • The Legacy of Aristotle (384-322)
  • Slide 11
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance The Ptolemaic Universe
  • Slide 12
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance The Ptolemaic Universe The Creation of the World (from The Garden of Earthly Delights)
  • Slide 13
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance The Allegorical
  • Slide 14
  • Everyman
  • Slide 15
  • Slide 16
  • Medieval-to- Renaissance Everyman Main character: Everyman
  • Slide 17
  • Medieval-to- Renaissance Everyman Main character: Everyman Everymans Journey: Life
  • Slide 18
  • Medieval-to- Renaissance Everyman Main character: Everyman Everymans Journey: Life Everymans Destination: Death
  • Slide 19
  • Everyman Main character: Everyman Everymans Journey: Life Everymans Destination: Death Everymans Companions: Worldly Possessions...
  • Slide 20
  • Everyman Main character: Everyman Everymans Journey: Life Everymans Destination: Death Everymans Companions: Worldly Possessions, Good Deeds
  • Slide 21
  • Everyman Main character: Everyman Everymans Journey: Life Everymans Destination: Death Everymans Companions: Worldly Possessions, Good Deeds Who can complete the journey of Everyman?
  • Slide 22
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance Gnosticism gnosticism derives from a Greek root meaning to knowthe stem in the word agnostic
  • Slide 23
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance Gnosticism While mainstream Christianity enshrined the Incarnationboth Christ's and our ownas the central mystery of its faith, the cross that must be both born and transcended, Gnosticism found repugnant everything bodily, everything concerned with matter. The fall into matter was for them unbearable and unacceptable. "Just as the semen of man, the minute, invisible, seed possessing a scarcely measurable weight, acquires size and weight as it develops," so for the Gnostics, Lacarriere explains, "do the primordial seeds, the potentialities of a hyper-cosmic world, acquire weight by falling into the lower world, becoming more and more dense in substance" (18). The Gnostics sought to reverse the process, to break the chain of being.
  • Slide 24
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance Gnosticism Gnosticism was convinced that (in the words of Jacques Lacarriere) "our thinking being is tied to evil as ineluctably as our physical being is tied to the carbon in our body cells" (24; my emphasis). "Why did ye carry me away from my abode into captivity and cast me into the stinking body?" one Gnostic text beseeches. "To surrender oneself to weight, to increase it in all senses of the term (by absorbing food, or by procreating, weighing the world down with successive births)," the Gnostics believed, "is to collaborate in this unhappy destiny.... To discard or lighten all the matter of this world, that is the strange end the Gnostics pursued" (Lacarriere 19). Even the most elemental
  • Slide 25
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance Gnosticism phenomenonnutritionwas thought to be a "maleficent interaction," part of "a never-ending circle, as vertiginous as the whirpool of the stars or the cycle of time" (Lacarriere 24). And so in the Gnostic mythology, Christ, for example, was idealized as a being who "ate and drank but did not defecate. Such was the strength of his continence that foods did not corrupt in him, for him there was no corruption" (Lacarriere 37). For the Gnostics, "The simple fact of living, of breathing, feeding, sleeping, and waking," implied "the existence and the growth of evil" (Lacarriere 24).
  • Slide 26
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance Gnosticism Only the eye, the Gnostics believed, is immune from worldly corruption; unlike the mouth, the anus, the navel, the eye lives on light instead of matter, on spirit instead of filth. Vision alone allows escape from the "noise" of this world to pursue the truly real. "The Gnostic," Zweig notes, "felt that he had been thrown into a desert" when born into the mundane world. "But he was not entirely lost, for he could retreat into his mind, to a point he called the 'apex' of his soul.... Persecuted by the world, the Gnostic found refuge in his 'spirit.'"
  • Slide 27
  • ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Medieval to Renaissance Microcosm/Macrocosm Macrocosm and microcosm is an ancient Greek Neo-Platonic schema of seeing the same patterns reproduced in all levels of the cosmos, from the largest scale (macrocosm or universe-level) all the way down to the smallest scale (microcosm or sub- sub-atomic or even metaphysical-level). In the system the mid-point is Man, who summarizes the cosmos.--Wikipedia
  • Slide 28
  • The Renaissance The Rediscovery of the World Observational Science Galileo (1564-1642) William Harvey (1578- 1657)
  • Slide 29
  • The Renaissance The Rediscovery of the World Observational Science Painting (Invention of Perspective) Giotto, The Presentation of the Virgin
  • Slide 30
  • The Renaissance The Rediscovery of the World Observational Science Painting (Invention of Perspective) Leonardo da Vinci, The Mona Lisa