Date of Award


Degree Type

Bachelors Essay

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Literatures, Languages, and Cultures

First Advisor

Thomas P. Whelan

Second Advisor

William M. Magee


Few subjects there are indeed, which have not been at some time or other, the seed from which some poetic fruit was borne. Nature in poetry is a old as poetry itself. Little wonder that it is, when we consider how many of our thoughts concern themselves with the things, which nature has so abundantly supplied us. In an age abounding in a spirit of "naturalism," there is much to be considered in the poetic treatment of nature, as dealt with in the past. An attempt to analyze the treatment of nature, in all of the poetic epochs, would be far to vast a problem for this thesis. We will attempt to see nature as interpreted by what is called the "Neo-Classic age" in literature. That we may better understand this interpretation, we will consider the views held upon the subject of nature by the classic writers of Greece and Rome. No attempt will be made here to set apart the varied meanings of the word "classic." We shall also concern ourselves with those English classical writers who lived prior to the eighteenth century.

Critics say that Neo-classic literature is lacking in an appreciation of nature. Generally speaking the critics are right. But we have stated before that nature has held a most prominent place in poetry every since the inauguration of the poetic art. With what did the Neo-classicists compensate the lack of interest in nature? What does Pope mean when he says "follow nature?" We are interested in knowing those ideas upon which the period of Neo-classicism is founded. The literature of any age reflects many of the dominant characteristics of the particular age.


A Thesis Submitted to Fulfill the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Philosophy