This brief and illuminating account of the ideas of world order prevalent in the Elizabethan age and later is an indispensable companion for readers of the great writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—Shakespeare and the Elizabethan dramatists, Donne and Milton, among many others. The basic medieval idea of an ordered Chain of Being is studied by Professor Tillyard in the process of its various transformations by the dynamic spirit of the Renaissance. Among his topics are: Angels; the Stars and Fortunes; the Analogy between Macrocosm and Microcosm; the Four Elements; the Four Humours; Sympathies; Correspondences; and the Cosmic Dance—ideas and symbols which inspirited the minds and imaginations not only of the Elizabethans but of all men of the Renaissance.
Author: E.M.W. Tillyard