The Elizabethan World Picture
In the Elizabethan era it was believed that the Earth was the center of the universe and the Earth was surrounded by 9 or 11 spheres. In the 11th sphere was called coelum empyraeum which means the imperial heaven. It was here it was believed that God existed with his angles. The 9th sphere was called primum mobile. This sphere controlled the universes movements. In the sphere closest to Earth was the moon. From 2nd sphere and upward entailed eternity and stability and as the sphere get closer to the imperial heaven the purer and more brilliant they got. What was under the moons sphere was in stead unstable, unreliable and it changed and in danger of being destroyed. The Earth was viewed as dirty and heavy and it was called the dumping ground. It was called the dumping ground because of the fall of man. In the Elizabethan age there was a big horror of chaos. There would be chaos in the world if God gave up on his control of the universe.
The classes of the society were built up just like the universe. The idea was that every being including the smallest particle in the world had its place in the hierarchy which had a place for every being in the world. On top of the chain were God and the angles which was of spirit. In contrast to this class there was the inanimate class which only consisted of matter. In the middle of the chain was man, man consisted both matter and spirit and contended all four elements. Man summed up the whole universe and therefore it was said that man was the most marvelous creature. The only thing that did not make man an animal was his spirit or his reason which includes understanding and will. Because of man’s position in the chain he was always in conflict with his reason and his passion. Because of the fall of man he had gotten passion which belongs to animals and therefore he cannot become an angel or even move up in their class because man would always be able to go back to his passion because...
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