The Hodgepodge of Fancy and Philosophy in Cavendish’s Blazing World
This chapter examines how vernacular eloquence operates by focusing on Margaret Cavendish's philosophical romance The Blazing World. More specifically, it uses The Blazing World to show how the linguistic anxieties first confronted by sixteenth-century rhetorical manuals move from the relationship between Latin and English into a different arena: the relationship between words and things. It first considers the two different notions of linguistic abuse outlined by Quintilian and John Locke—the contamination of one's language with dialect or foreign words and the more widespread confusion of words and things perpetrated by figures of speech in general. It then analyzes the figure soraismus, or what George Puttenham calls the “mingle mangle” and explains how it evokes one of the core problems of the English language: its linguistic impurity resulting from an ongoing susceptibility to foreign contamination. The chapter also discusses the challenges faced by vernacular rhetoric at the end of the early modern period.
Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.