Publication details

Shakespeare – Monteverdi – Kepler: Pokus o stanovení paralel při hledání kosmického řádu světa

Title in English Shakespeare – Monteverdi – Kepler: An Attempt at Determining Parallels in the Search for a Cosmic Order


Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Opus musicum
Keywords Mannerism; destruction; broken rituals; parlare disgiunto; mirror; harmony; certainty; order; polycentric composition; parallelisms
Description Shakespeare, Monteverdi and Kepler, they all worked in the period of transition from Renaissance to Baroque, in the time when Boethius' notion of "harmonia mundi", as an order of cosmos and humans, was changing. While Kepler says in his treatise Harmonice mundi that celestial harmonies do not resound any more, in his Sonet no. 8, Shakespeare creates a parallel of a happy family and a harmony of tones. A similar effect can be found in the harmonized text "Et hi tres unum sunt" in Monteverdi's concerto Duo Seraphim from his Marian Vespers. These artists and thinkers try to cope with the destruction of existing values. While Kepler has to react to the change of circular universe into the universe where planets orbit in ellipses, Shakespeare and Monteverdi realize in critical moments that they fail to understand the world around them. This study focuses on seeking securities and order in a period which lacks these attributes. The author of the study believes that Shakespeare and Monteverdi resigned to the Baroque "descension of heavens to the earth" which may look theatrical and not convincing. Instead of creating simplified conclusions, they strive to look for an order through the structure of art and style. The inclination to polycentric composition, the centre of which is surrounded by parallel (mirror) scenes, is one of the phenomena the author follows in this study.

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