Marvell’s Green Thought(s): The Paradoxes of Marvell’s Nature Poetry

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Abstract

This paper interprets the “green” poetry of Andrew Marvell (1621-1678). It discusses the main features of the Renaissance pastoral, especially the standard elements of the genre and its ethical aspects. Methodologically, it combines ecocritical reading with the philosophical concepts of harmony, based on Pythagorean harmonic lore. It shows the paradoxes of Marvell’s treatment of the pastoral, especially the dramatic contrast between the meditative and comforting aspect of the pastoral genre and the impossibility of reconciling the harmonious ethos of the natural world with the plagues of human love and its finality.

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