- Hardcover: 116 pages
- Publisher: Chatto & Windus; 1st Edition edition (Dec. 1943)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0701111496
- ISBN-13: 978-0701111496
- Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 13.7 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Elizabethan World Picture Hardcover – 1 Dec 1943
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"Shines a brilliant light." (Toby Clements The Big Issue in the North) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
'An exciting book. . . Dr Tillyard adds new incitement to the adventure of reading the Elizabethans. ' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
After having read Tillyard's study, I've gone back to several Shakespeare speeches and found dozens of references to everyday Elizabethan ideas. Speeches that were previously vague to me now have a much richer, more exact meaning. It's probably one of the most valuable books for the actor, director, or scholar who wants to take their reading of Shakespeare further.
The book discusses how the Elizabethans' believed that creation was ranged in an unalterable order from the angels down to man and from the beasts to plants. Tillyard tells us that the universe was pictured under three main forms: a chain, a series of corresponding planes and a dance, which is how, the book is divided up.
For example, he begins with the Chain of Being which was a hierarchy of all existence broken down into classes with the inanimate class at the bottom, which was the elements leading to the top where the spiritually pure angels were placed, closely followed by man. In order for this chain to be whole, each class had to be linked to the next: hence the food chains.
Tillyard points out that that Elizabethans talked much about nature and that nature itself cannot be omitted from the world picture view. The Elizabethan's believed that there was a law of nature and that this was a direct and involuntary tool of God himself. Tillyard notes some of the most common beliefs were that of superstition and magic and a wide practice of astrology, during a time when Christianity was in its foetal stages.
Tillyard explains common beliefs thought of by most Elizabethans such as the normal working of the body being a balance of the four Humours, also common in the practice of medicine in the Middle Ages. This short study sets out a series of fairly familiar, and often mystifying concepts such as the celestial harmony of the "nine enfolded spheres", the four elements and macrocosm and microcosm.Read more ›