Synopsis of The Garden

Garden of EdenThis poem, which reflects on a beautiful garden in a way which evokes the lost Garden of Eden, is generally considered Marvell's finest work. It is the poem that most clearly expresses his pastoralism and his Platonism.

The Greek philosopher Plato lived roughly 428-348 BCE. His philosophy, together with that of Aristotle, dominated Western philosophy until well into the nineteenth century – and not just philosophy, but theology and the arts, as well. Aristotle's Poetics still contains the most influential theory of tragedy, for example.

Plato's philosophy is what we would call ‘ideal', meaning that the world of ideas and ideals is more important than the outward material world. Our central identity is contained in the concept of the soul, which is basically a spiritual entity, rather than a psychological one. The soul derives from heaven, the place of ultimate reality and perfection; is born into a physical body; and, longing to return to heaven, it is restless while ‘entrapped' in the body.

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