“Companions of My Thoughts More Green”

Damon’s Baconian Sexing of Nature
  • Anthony J. Funari


In the last chapter, we saw how Donne, through recounting his bout with relapsing fever, challenges Bacon’s situating humanity in a dominant position to Nature. While Bacon holds out the promise that humanity could make the natural world mendable to its own ends, Donne reasserts humanity’s submissiveness to Nature. As Donne reveals, any control humanity might seem to gain over Nature is finally predicated on Nature’s own complicity. Donne offers a narrative that resists the anthropocentricism that is the hallmark of the Baconian narrative. In this chapter, I continue to analyze the resistance to Bacon’s narrative of humanity’s scientific conquest of the natural world, now as it is reiterated by Andrew Marvell. The return to a pristine, Edenic state with Nature and the human perversion of the natural world are two significant themes Marvell explores in pastoral poetry of the 1650s. Most likely written during his time at Appleton House, Marvell’s pastoral poems realize the paradisiacal space, marked by an intrinsic harmony between humanity and Nature, as beyond our ability to return to. Often Marvell concludes his pastoral poetry with a perspective looking to a prelapsarian moment that has been irretrievably lost. Moreover, Marvell depicts human intervention into the natural world as a corruption, one he realizes in highly sexualized language.


Natural World Sexual Maturation Scientific Revolution Romantic Love Grand Narrative 
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© Anthony J. Funari 2011

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  • Anthony J. Funari

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