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The Great Chain Of Being

presentation for ENG 2D1

Elliott Hodgson

on 3 May 2011

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Transcript of The Great Chain Of Being

The Great Chain Of Being During Elizabethan England the
philosophers Tillyard and Lovejoy
devised a list of the order of
everything in existance The basic structure of the chain was God Angels Man Kind Animals Plants Minerals These Primary groups were again
divided into more groups
(exception God) Angels Humans Animals Plants Minerals Each subdivision has a 'primate being'
which is a being in said group that
has power over the others or shows
the characteristics of the group
better than others Primate: Seraphim Seraphim Cherubim Thrones (Ophanim) Dominations Principalities Powers Archangels Angels Primate: Monarch (King/Queen) Nobility (Powerful land owning families) Gentry (Land owners of lesser stature then nobles) Merchants (Artisans, Shopkeepers, Innkeepers etc) Yeoman (Rural equivalant of merchant class may also include land owning farmer) Peasantry (Servants, labourers, non-land owning farmers etc) Indigents (Those incable of working Beggars etc) Mammalian Group Mammal Primate: Lion or Elelphant Domesticated Predators (Cats or Dogs) Wild Predators (Wolves) Domesticated Herbavores (Horses, Cattle or Donkey) Wild Herbivores (Deer or rabbit) Avian Group Avian Primate: Eagle Birds of Prey (Hawk or Owl) Carrion Bird (Crow or Vulture) Worm Eating birds (Robin) Seed Eating Birds (Sparrow) Piscine Group Primate: Whale or Dolphin Fish (descending through larger nobler fish to smaller and less significant) Reptiles (same princple as fish) Amphibians (Same principle as before) Insects (Same principle as before) Sessile Animals (animals incapable of movement clams oysters etc) Primate: Oak tree Trees Shrubs Bushes Cereal Crops Herbs Ferns Weeds Fungus and Moss Lapidarical Group Lapidarical Primate: Diamond Various Gems (order determined by value, strength, beauty etc) Metallic Group Metallic Primate: Gold Various metals (same ordering principle as gems) Geological Group Geological Primate: Marble Various Rocks (ordered by strength, usefulness, look etc) Minute Particles (Sand, dust, soil etc) There were other
factors that
things ordering Its Elemental association Fire
associated with hot and dry
alchemical spirit is Salamander Air
associated with warm and moist
alchemical spirit is Sylph Water
associated with cold and moist
alchemical spirit is Naiad or Nixie Earth
associated with cold and dry
alchemical spirit is Gnome Its celestial association Primate: The Sun The Moon
(called the watery star because
it controls the tides) The Planets
(Excluding our own as it was considered the
center of the universe not part of the solar system) Stars
(all celestial bodies except those in
our system were refered to as stars) Its association with the four humours Yellow Bile (Choler) Anger or irriatability Black Bile (Tears) Sadness or melencholyness Blood Energy, happiness or arousal Phlegm Boredom or laziness Some rules that determine the postion
on the chain of a certain being the 'spirit' to 'matter' ratio
more spirit means higher upon the chain The amount of senses avaible for the being.
more means higher on chain The amount of control over
those lower on the chain
ei: eating them, shaping them, using them, training them etc The amount of responsibility of
the being in relation to the chain
more means higher on chain
ei: a king would have much responsibility while a trout would not Some uses culturaly were Comparison within entertainment or literature would
show the postion of said character in the situation Someone could be compared to something else
to show what their moral postion was It was used politically because if someone betrayed their
position upon the chain it was not only error against
their human superiors but a sin against the entire chain
Full transcript