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The awareness of time and eternity in the German lyrics of Andreas Gryphius.


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Evenhuis, Edith Katherine 1975 , 'The awareness of time and eternity in the German lyrics of Andreas Gryphius.', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The intention of this thesis has been to demonstrate the centrality of
Gryphius' awareness of time and eternity in his German lyrics. By way of
introduction, we have looked briefly at the poet's life and background, as
well as at the concept of poetry prevalent in his era.
In the main body of the thesis we have then proceeded to discuss the
poet's awareness of time and eternity as revealed, firstly, in the theme
and subject matter of his German lyrics, secondly, in structure and imagery.
Wherever relevant, reference has been made to his drama and funeral dissertations.
Having attempted to define the concepts of time and eternity - as far as
possible in terms of Gryphius' own statements - we have then dealt with the
poet's predominant themes: transience of universe, world-system, man and
his values, human life, the use and conquest of time - always within the
wider context of the awareness of time and eternity.
From the above analysis we have arrived at the following conclusions:
far from being torn apart by the dichotomy between time and eternity, Gryphius'
whole creative personality is orientated towards the ultimate integration of
the two. This is not to deny, in any way, his profound sense of the transience
and futility of the things of time in themselves. But here his awareness does not end. While refusing to ascribe any eternal or eternalising qualities
to anything born of, or created in, time, he is swift to recognise that
the temporal may well serve as a pointer to the eternal. He also believes
in the potential of every individual to conquer time, not by any of the
temporal means, whose spuriousness he decries, but by availing himself of
the ultimate conquest of time accomplished by Christ.
It is still within this essentially Christian framework that we have
viewed Gryphius' use of structure and imagery. In examining his exploitation
of the sonnet form, we have pointed to a definite correspondence between
structure and the view of life presented, it being virtually impossible, in
Gryphius' serious sonnets, to speak of intricacy of form for its own sake.
Similarly, in the domain of imagery, we have detected a clear purpose behind
his incorporation of even the most conventional metaphors and similes.
We have shown that Gryphius' frequent use of allegory and emblem is
highly symptomatic of his assessment of time in the light of eternity: it
is not just that merely incidental or accidental phenomena from the material
realm may assume universal and spiritual significance, but rather that,
according to Gryphius' conviction, the temporal assumes value, significance
and durability only as it is brought into focus with the eternal.
In our final conclusion we have noted that, for Gryphius, the only unit
of time to which man may lay any claim is the moment. Depending on the
individual's attitude towards it, it is either an elusive, moving point in
the inexorable course of time or the very point at which eternity offers
itself to us.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Evenhuis, Edith Katherine
Keywords: Gryphius, Andreas, 1616-1664, German poetry
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1975 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.) - University of Tasmania, 1976. Bibliography: l. 249-261

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