Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Comparative Literature

First Advisor

Paul A Miller

Abstract

This dissertation explores the difficult problem of transcendence in lyric poetry by analyzing the themes of eroticism, transcendence and the sacred in the Roman poet Catullus and tracing the reception of Catullus in English lyric in Sir Philip Sidney and Thomas Carew. I argue that the function of the erotic in lyric discourse underwent a major shift in relation to sacred discourse and transcendence. This shift consisted of an alteration from a poetics of metaphor to metonymy and a conceptual alteration of transcendence from a vertical to a horizontal plane. I argue that the 'Catullan Consciousness' did not fully emerge until the poetry of Philip Sidney. So, my work brings together a number of strands of thought in recent Catullan and Renaissance scholarship to develop a theory and hermeneutic of the inter-textual relationship between Catullan, Renaissance and early-modern poetics.

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