The World in Harmony Framed: A Musical Approach to Renaissance Poetics from the Works of Thomas Campion and His Contemporaries

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joe Gailey, Student (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site:
Gary Ettari

Abstract: This thesis questions fundamental assumptions about analytical approaches and evaluative procedures relating to the interpretation of early-modern English poetry. In particular it looks at how typical analyses prioritize elements of close reading, such as complexity of diction, syntax, metaphor, which in many ways neglect to account for the full possibility for interpretation. Because this thesis challenges core assumptions about poetry, it will require a reworking of approach that requires that the generative elements of poetry, especially linguistics, phonetics, and prosody, which form the foundation of literature, be considered alongside secondary features, mainly historical perspectives, performative traditions, metaphysical assumptions, and cultural backgrounds. This research will be focalized through Elizabethan poet and musician Thomas Campion and select examples from his contemporaries. Campion’s large body of lyric verse presents a unique challenge to criticism from any literary perspective in that his literature being written simultaneously as music deconstructs fundamental assumptions about the sanctity of the written text. This research uses this inherent deconstruction and its ripple effects as the foundation for an argument towards multi-disciplinary approaches. Conclusions are based upon close considerations of the relationship between music and poetry. This approach is ordered as such: firstly by an establishment of issue and context, secondly by close analysis using modified and interdisciplinary approaches, and thirdly through hermeneutic conclusions positing some potentially rewarding alternatives to traditional analysis and greater insight into English Renaissance Poetics.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Elizabethan poetry, Thomas Campion, interpretation

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