Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

'Nature's fragile vessel': rethinking approaches to material culture in literature

Gregory, Johann 2017. 'Nature's fragile vessel': rethinking approaches to material culture in literature. Cahiers Élisabéthains 94 (1) , pp. 37-56. 10.1177/0184767817722260

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (258kB) | Preview


The notion of fragility is a pervasive one in Western culture. Considering its appearance in early modern texts can help us to understand the history of fragility, as an idea, metaphor, and feeling. The relationship between humans and breakable things is used as a metaphor that recognises human limitations, in body or mind. This essay begins with one peculiar instance of fragility from Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens before analysing other examples in early modern culture. It ends by making a few tentative propositions regarding the relationships between literature, material culture and the representations of human fragility.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human fragility, fortune, frailty, material culture, Shakespeare, Timon of Athens,
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0184-7678
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 February 2017
Date of Acceptance: 2 December 2016
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2021 20:58

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics