Entertainment / Literature / Correspondences: An integral part of the medieval and Renaissance model of the universe known as the 'Chain of Being.' The idea was that different links on the Chain of Being were interconnected and had a sort of sympathetic correspondence to each other. Each type of being or object (men, beasts, celestial objects, fish, plants, and rocks) had a place within a hierarchy designed by God. Each type of object had a primate, which was by nature the most noble, rare, valuable, and superb example of its type. For instance, the king was primate among men, the lion among beasts, the sun among celestial objects, the whale among fish, the oak among trees, and the diamond among rocks. Often, there was a symbolic link between primates of different orders--such as the lion being a symbol of royalty, or the king sleeping in a bed of oak. This symbolic link was a 'correspondence.' However, correspondences were thought to exist in the material world as well as in the world of ideas. Disturbances in nature would correspond to disturbances in the political realm (the body politic), in the human body (the microcosm), and in the natural world as a whole (the macrocosm). For instance, if the king were to become ill, Elizabethans might expect lions and beasts to fall sick, rebellions to break out in the kingdom, individuals to develop headaches or fevers, and stars to fall from the sky. All of these events could correspond to each other on the chain of being, and each would coincide with the others. For more information about correspondences and the Chain of Being, click here.
Entertainment / Literature / Chain Of Being: An elaborate cosmological model of the universe common in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The Great Chain of Being was a permanently fixed hierarchy with the Judeo-Christian God at the top of the MORE