Mirror of Minds

Mirror of Minds: Psychological Beliefs in English Poetry

GEOFFREY BULLOUGH
Copyright Date: 1962
Pages: 272
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt15jvxmb
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  • Book Info
    Mirror of Minds
    Book Description:

    The aim of this book is to illustrate the ways in which at various periods English poetry has reflected current views of the human mind, with special reference to such topics as its place in the cosmos, its relations with the body, the connections between sense, passions, and reason, the problem of soul and its possible survival after death.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3269-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-x)
    G.B.
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  4. Chapter One POETRY OF THE SOUL’S INSTRUMENTS DURING THE RENAISSANCE
    (pp. 1-47)

    In recent years considerable attention has been paid to the influence of psychology on literature in particular periods of literary history. There have been good books on the Elizabethan world picture in which the theories of mind current in Tudor times have been related to the work of Shakespeare and others; the importance of the idea of the Ruling Passion in Pope has been noted; and much has been made of Freudian influence in the modern novel. Nevertheless, it has not yet been adequately realized how continuously English literature has been affected, both in matter and in form, by changes...

  5. Chapter Two THE DEVELOPMENT OF SHAKESPEARE’S ATTITUDE TO THE MIND
    (pp. 48-89)

    Should future generations take any interest in the British and American drama of the twentieth century, their scholars will undoubtedly have to consider the views of the mind current in our time and the degree to which these permeated the work of Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Bernard Shaw, J. B. Priestley, and T. S. Eliot. For the drama of any age, representing the motives and traits which writers and audiences assume to lie beneath the behaviour of theatrical characters, holds a mirror up to human nature but sees it in the light of contemporary preoccupations and beliefs. Without some knowledge...

  6. Chapter Three REASON, THE PASSIONS, AND ASSOCIATIONS FROM DRYDEN TO WORDSWORTH
    (pp. 90-133)

    A few years ago one of the accepted commonplaces of criticism was the phrase “dissociation of sensibility” invented by Mr, T. S. Eliot in an essay on “The Metaphysical Poets” in which he contrasted the omnivorous mechanism of sensibility in Donne and Marvell with the less unified imaginations of poets such as Collins, Gray, Johnson, Tennyson, and Browning, whose language may have been more refined but whose feeling was more crude, for they “thought and felt by fits, unbalanced; they reflected”.¹ Mr. Eliot implied that between Dante and Donne a fusion of thought and feeling was general in poetry and...

  7. Chapter Four ASSOCIATIONS, INTUITION, AND IMMORTAL LONGINGS IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
    (pp. 134-187)

    Between 1750 and 1900 psychology was dominated by an intensification of the conflict between mechanistic and organic theories of the mind, and this naturally extended to notions of the artistic imagination. Without always sharing the philosopher’s systematized knowledge, many poets of the period were affected by his intellectual climate, and the differences between Augustan and Romantic literature and criticism are partly due to differences in the accepted assumptions about the mind’s functions and mechanism.

    From Hartley and Hume descended a long line of distinguished associationists, and the common sense school of Thomas Reid, Dugald Stewart, Thomas Brown, and Sir William...

  8. Chapter Five THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE RACIAL IMAGE IN MODERN POETRY
    (pp. 188-255)

    Previously the study of the mind had been inextricably bound up with the history of philosophy, from which in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it drew correspondences with the prevalent interest in mathematics and mechanics; but in the nineteenth century psychology became ever more closely associated with the new sciences of the living organism.¹ In 1843 John Stuart Mill could deplore any close dependence upon physiology on the ground that “imperfect as is the science of mind, . . . it is in a considerably more advanced state than the portion of physiology which corresponds to it” (Logic, ch. IV,...

  9. NOTES
    (pp. 256-264)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 265-271)