The Discarded Image

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The Discarded Image (Rewrite)

“The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature” by C.S. Lewis is not just an introduction of the Medieval and Renaissance period, as the subtitle suggests, but rather an overview of the cultural background of that time period. C.S. Lewis describes “the model” or “the image” of the universe as it was thought to be during the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. Their way of thinking was completely different from ours in our “Modern World” point of view. Their perception of the Universe was a “single, complex, harmonious mental model” (Lewis), unlike our scientific discoveries and newly formulated theories bout the universe. Instead of theories, they believed in these principles or ideas that explained their way of viewing things. Hierarchy, ordered scale in which everything is connected but has a certain order, and Body and Soul, the idea that everything has a soul and there are three different kinds of souls, are two of these principles.

Hierarchy explains the order in which everything is or should be, as well as how everything is co-related. During the middle ages, it was thought that “everything has its right place, its home, the region that suits it” (Lewis, 92). The people of medieval and Renaissance period came up with the order of the universe, “Earth, moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn”. They thought that everything revolved around the Earth; they believed that the Earth was the center of the universe, and they believed that everything was pulled towards the Earth. The “force” responsible for this attraction was the Primium Mobile or the First moveable, “everything proceeds from Him (God)” (Brand), “its existence was inferred to account for the motion of all others” (Lewis, 96).

Since everything has its purpose and space, it also has its own different soul. For example, because the different things or bodies have a different place and purpose they have...
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