Classes in The Elizabethan World Order

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Classes in The Elizabethan World Order

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The Elizabethan World Order was a theological, legal, scientific, and moral plan that provided the ultimate solution to unexplained aspects of the world. It was designed to provide answers to problems that existed regarding human existence. The Elizabethan World Order consists of five major principles, "The Chain of Being", the linkage or classes, the middle position of man, man as a social being, and the "General Notion of Correspondences."

The Great Chain of Being states that order resides in polarities. "Hot things are in harmony with cold; dry with moist;" and so on. Everything is involved in the order. Go regulated all things. From the lowest earthly creature to the human beings, there is a set chain of order from the superior to the inferior delegated by God.

All classes in the Elizabethan world are linked. The lowest creature on the sea floor is linked to the highest creature in the heavens because the surface of the water is in contact with the air. Consequently all classes in human society are linked together.

Man lie halfway between angel and beast. They are superior to beasts whereas they were given reason and understanding, but they are inferior to angels because they have not been fully elevated to the level of understanding and control of angels. They are the image of God but still live like animals.

Man is insufficient alone. He is a social being who is proned to sin because of his inherited "fallen" nature. Only beasts or God can exists alone. Humans require social interaction.

In the human world there is a hierarchy. In the political and church world there exists a chain of command, so to in the everyday life of humans. God set a h...

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... after the disruption of order and the country will deteriorate. Till the end Carlisle does not accept the kingship of Henry and is banished for this belief.

The Gardener and Man speak up against Bolingbroke's ascent to the throne. Their perception of order is political in nature. Like their garden a government must keep unruly and ambitious forces in check in order to be fruitful and successful. "Why should we, in the compass of a pale, Keep law and form and due proportion, When our sea-walled garden, the whole land, Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers choked up, Her fruit trees all unpruned, her hedges ruined, Her knots disordered, and her wholesome herbs Swarming with caterpillars?" (III, 4, 43-50) In their eyes Bolingbroke is a weed choking Richard, the fair flower. Order must be kept as disorder brings about a chaotic mess, much like an unkept garden.
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