We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Self-Transformation in the Hypnerotomachia

O'NEILL, JAMES,CALUM (2022) Self-Transformation in the Hypnerotomachia
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


This thesis critically engages with the narrative of the Hypnerotomachia and with Poliphilo as a character within this narrative. Using narratological analysis, it critically engages with the journey of Poliphilo and the series of symbolic, allegorical, and metaphorical experiences narrated by him that are indicative of his metamorphosing interiority within a mystagogic journey. This is conducted through an analysis of the relationship between Poliphilo and his external surroundings in sequences of the narrative pertaining to thresholds; the symbolic architectural, topographical, and garden forms and spaces; and Poliphilo’s transforming interior passions pertaining to his love of antiquarianism, language and rhetoric, and of Polia, the latter of which leads to his elegiac description of lovesickness. The thesis examines the relationship between the narrative, which functions both realistically and symbolically to portray the protagonist’s transforming self into its final state at the climax of the narrative, and the symbolic function of the architecture and objects of art within the narrative. The thesis engages with the source material for the narrative drawn from classical, medieval and humanist literature in the areas of philosophy, poetry, natural history, travel diaries and architectural treatises. It demonstrates, through analysis of the broad literary source material of the Hypnerotomachia, how antiquarian objects, buildings, gardens, and topography are used as expressive narrative devices by the author, drawing on medieval and Renaissance concepts, to demonstrate Poliphilo’s transforming interiority, symbolically, metaphorically or allegorically, established through the character’s encounters during the narrative.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2022
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:17 Jan 2022 09:16

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter