The Image Of The Archetypal "burning Babe" In Metaphysical Poetry And Art (southwell)
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Robert Southwell's poem "The Burning Babe" was used as an incentive to explore the numerous implications of the image of a burning infant, an image so universal that it can be traced to the most ancient beliefs of mankind concerning the annual rebirth of an infant sun god. Eventually some of these early ideas became incorporated into Christianity, with Christ assuming some of the characteristics of this fiery god. This is evident in literature which predates and influences metaphysical poetry, and particularly in the images of the "burning" infant Christ in metaphysical poetry, itself, culminating in Robert Southwell's arresting and lurid image of the "Burning Babe." The prevalence of the image of a glowing or burning infant in European art from the medieval period through the sixteenth century further confirms its importance and universal appeal.
Winter, Deborah Kathleen, "The Image Of The Archetypal "burning Babe" In Metaphysical Poetry And Art (southwell)" (1985). Dissertations from ProQuest. 1482.