ABSTRACT. The following is an exploration of Edmund Spenser’s mystic universe of love, beauty and truth. It will be shown that Spenser oscillates between Plato’s and Aristotle’s worldviews, with sometimes more inclination towards Aristotelianism. We take into consideration mainly Spenser’s famous four hymns dedicated to love and beauty (the earthly and the celestial kinds), but we also propose incursions into the mystic world of the Faerie Queene, especially for its depictions of Truth (Una) and Untruth (Duessa). We suggest that Spenser may be associated with modern science, via concepts akin to those embraced by modern scientists like Erich Jantsch and Alfred Korzybski. We also show how Spenser’s mystic universe has roots (Plotinus, Pseudo-Dionysus the Areopagite, Ficino) and possible ramifications (Joyce) in Occidental mystic thought; elements of Oriental mystic thought also are shown to be present. pp. 11–64

Keywords: earthly love; celestial love; earthly beauty; celestial beauty; Una; Duessa; attractor; Aristotelian being in potentia; Plotinian oculus spiritualis; coincidentia oppositorum

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Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, English Department,
University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

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