Imagining the Soul in Premodern Literature

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This book is a study of ghostly matters - of the soul - in literature spanning the tenth century and the age of Shakespeare. All people, according to John Donne, ‘constantly beleeve’ that they have an immortal soul. But he also reflects that in fact there is nothing ‘so well established as constrains us to beleeve, both that the soul is immortall, and that every particular man hath such a soul’. In understanding the question of man's disembodied part as at once fundamental and fundamentally uncertain he was entirely of his time, and Imagining the Soul in Premodern Literature considers this fraught, shifting, yet uniquely compelling entity in the context of the literary forms and effects involved in its representation. Gruesome medieval dialogues between damned souls and worm-eaten bodies; verse and prose works by Donne, René Descartes, Margaret Cavendish and Andrew Marvell; a profusion of sonnet sequences, sermons, manuals of instruction and travelogues; Hamlet and its natural philosophical thinking about the apparently disembodied soul haunting Elsinore: these chapters range across all this and more, offering a rigorous yet accessible account of an essential aspect of premodern literature that will be of interest to scholars, students and the general reader alike. 

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ReiheEarly Modern Literature in History
ISBN 9783030663322
Sprache Englisch
Ausgabe 1st ed. 2021
Erscheinungsdatum 29.06.2021
Umfang 244 Seiten
Genre Sprachwissenschaft, Literaturwissenschaft/Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
Format Hardcover
Verlag Springer International Publishing