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Reading nature The georgic spirit of "Paradise Lost", early modern England, and twenty-first-century ecocriticism

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Description: This thesis explores how the georgic mode's emphasis on agricultural labor provides the best framework for understanding the educative aspect of the relationship between humans and the non-human natural world. Beginning with an ecocritical reading of Paradise Lost , the thesis argues that Milton's Adam and Eve are educated away from a pastoral and toward a georgic state of mind that informs their gardening labor with an ethic of partnership between humans and nature. Following an argument that the georgic is the dominant mode of Milton's Eden, the thesis then explores how the georgic spirit embodied by Adam and Eve pervades early modern husbandry discourse. Focusing on Markham's The English Husbandman , the thesis argues that agricultural rhetoric of the period straddles a boundary between partnering and profit-driven labor. Finally, the thesis concludes by exploring how the georgic mode provides an appropriate model for the reading work currently undertaken by ecocritics, who have often assumed a pastoral mindset in their own literary labor.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work