Sacramental tempest: a return to literary mystery
Early modernity's rise during the seventeenth century in England created a shift in culture including literary artistic expressions. This paper proposes that the rise of modernity limited the communicative power of language within literary art due to the overpowering influence of New Science and empirical explanations of reality. Underpinning the elevation of empirical reality was the impact of Northern humanism that greatly influenced and empowered the Protestant Reformation. As a result, the building blocks for secularizing Western Civilization were laid by a religious movement rooted in scholastic rigor. This paper examines the sacramental ontology of premodern England in contrast to the early modern influence of the late seventeenth century to propose that a return to premodern, sacramental examinations of texts provides unique and useful scholarly conclusions. By examining William Shakespeare's The Tempest, written at the beginning of the seventeenth century, in contrast to John Dryden's adaptation, written in the latter half of the seventeenth century, an understanding of modernity's impact on literary expression and communicative power of language will be conveyed and a path to reenchantment proposed.
Thesis (M.A.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of English