Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis attempts to contribute to the vast pool of scholarship on Andrew Marvell’s poetry by analyzing his use of the dichotomy between the sacred and the profane in five of his pastoral poems. This objective is accomplished by first examining the dichotomies use as it relates to the archetype of the sacred locus amoenus in the story of the garden of Eden in Genesis, in Hesiod’s account of the golden age, and in Virgil’s first Eclogue. After discussing these ancient texts, the focus turns toward Marvell’s “The Mower Against Gardens,” “Damon the Mower,” “The Mower to the Glowworms,” “The Mower’s Song,” and “The Garden.” By examining the use of the sacred/profane dichotomy as it relates to the archetype of the sacred locus amoenus in the narratives created by the mower poems and “The Garden,” Marvell’s method of borrowing and refashioning structures from older texts is revealed.
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King, James Brent, ""Where nature was most plain and pure": The Sacred Locus Amoenus and its Profane Threat in Andrew Marvell's Pastoral Poetry" (2017). MA in English Theses. 18.