“Contending with the Fretful Element”: Shakespeare and the (Gendered) Great Chain of Being

  title={“Contending with the Fretful Element”: Shakespeare and the (Gendered) Great Chain of Being},
  author={Gy{\"o}rgy E. Sz{\"o}nyi},
Abstract E. M. W. Tillyard’s short but seminal book, The Elizabethan World Picture made its appearance as a ground-breaking work in the mid-1940s. It successfully adapted Arthur O. Lovejoy’s discovery of the Great Chain of Being as the central idea and metaphor of the premodern world picture for English Renaissance culture and literature, offering a key to understanding the often unfamiliar and obscure natural philosophy and metaphysics behind its works of art and literature. The concept of the… 

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