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The Voice of God in Early Modern English Literature and Culture, c. 1590-1671

Chancellor, Harold; (2021) The Voice of God in Early Modern English Literature and Culture, c. 1590-1671. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis offers the first sustained study of the various ways that English-language authors represented the voice of God during the early modern period. By situating the idea of God’s voice in the context of Protestant anxiety over scriptural usage, I consider how writers working across a broad range of early modern literary genres – such as prose tracts, printed sermons, lyric poems, prophecies, and epic poems – gave voice to God. Chapter One considers Thomas Nashe’s employment of the classical rhetorical technique prosopopoeia to give voice to Christ in Christ’s Tears over Jerusalem. Chapter Two surveys how key biblical proof-texts for the voice of God were explicated in early seventeenth-century printed sermons; and Chapter Three focuses on George Herbert’s rhetorical representation of God’s voice in The Temple. Chapter Four, which surveys a range of prophecies authored at around the time of the English Civil Wars and Interregnum, considers how the voice of God was often thought to be mediated by individuals ordinarily lacking in authority. Chapter Five, which attends to John Milton’s dialogic treatment of the voices of God the Father and the Son of God in Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, suggests that the poet’s epic verse emphasises the necessity of responsiveness to God’s voice. This thesis argues that representing the voices of God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, in literary forms, became much more heavily scrutinised in the post-Reformation era. I demonstrate that, over the course of the seventeenth century, new opportunities for giving God’s voice within texts began to emerge in English Protestant culture, across a broad range of genres.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Voice of God in Early Modern English Literature and Culture, c. 1590-1671
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of English Lang and Literature
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122826
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