Cathy Perkins

Date of Award

Winter 1972

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




During the seventeenth century man continued to hold onto comfortable old of the "Elizabethan world picture," but the impact of the new science grew steadily. Donne and Wilton both used images from the old world view and the new discoveries; but in the final analysis they both rejected worldly system and turned to faith. Many seventeenth century poets turned to faith, perhaps as an answer to their despair. For Donne and Wilton the harmony was lost. In "The First Anniversary," Donne wrote that harmony had died and that the new ideas made everything questionable. Wilton's Adam and Eve fell from paradise because of the empiricist Satan and the tempting fruits of the tree of science. Both poets connect a loss of a perfect harmonious world. As poets they realize that a beautifully ordered world scheme was disintegrating, and their poems reflect this loss and the influence of science in causing the loss.

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