Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Number of Pages
This dissertation is concerned with the use of "wonder" in the Renaissance. Recently, new historicists have batted around the notion of "wonder," linking it to travel discourse and the curiosity that is piqued when two foreign cultures collide. Thus, the would of travel literature is peopled with the "strange and admirable." However, there is another notion of "wonder" that stands outside the realm of mere curiosity and embraces contemplation, knowledge, and philosophy. Aristotle described "wonder" by saying, "it is owing to their wonder that men both now and at first began to philosophize." This classical notion of "wonder" filtered down to the Renaissance with great vitality. It can be found in the works of Spenser, Davies, Jonson, Shakespeare, Herbert, Cervantes, and Milton. Thus this dissertation attempts to reveal that "wonder" is much more than mere curiosity; rather, it is a classical notion that served as the spark to philosophical inquiry, the stimulus to knowledge, and a starting point for understanding greater matters.
Age; Classical; Renaissance; Wonder
British literature; English literature--Irish authors; Irish literature; Comparative literature
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Behunin, Robert T, "The Renaissance: An age of classical wonder" (1994). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 2985.