Walter Pater (essay date 1889)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: "Giordano Bruno," in The Fortnightly Review, Vol. XLVI No. CCLXXII, August 1, 1889, pp. 234-44.

[A nineteenth-century essayist, novelist, and critic, Pater is regarded as one of the most famous proponents of aestheticism in English literature. Distinguished as the first major English writer to formulate an explicitly aesthetic philosophy of life, he advocated the "love of art for art's sake" as life's greatest offering, a belief which he exemplified in his influential Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873) and elucidated in his novel Marius the Epicurean (1885) and other works. In this essay, Pater discusses the monastic background and pantheistic philosophy...

(The entire section is 5465 words.)

William Boulting (essay date 1914)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: "The Early Works," in Giordano Bruno: His Life, Thought, and Martyrdom, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, & Co., Ltd., 1914, pp. 66-80.

[In this excerpt, Boulting analyzes several of Bruno's early works, including philosophical writings and the comedy, Il Candelaio, commenting on the relevance of these works in the early twentieth century.]


(The entire section is 4405 words.)

Frances A. Yates (essay date 1943)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: "The Emblematic Conceit in Giordano Bruno's De gli eroici furori and in the Elizabethan Sonnet Sequences," in Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 1943. Reprinted in Lull & Bruno: Collected Essays, Vol. I. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982, pp. 180-209.

[An English educator, historian, and author, Yates is best known and widely respected for her books on the Renaissance. In the following essay, Yates examines Bruno's use of emblems in Eroici furori, arguing that by describing the divine with Petrarchan conceits, Bruno establishes a link between his work and Elizabethan poetry.]

The influence of Petrarch upon English poetry...

(The entire section is 10493 words.)

Paul Oskar Kristeller (essay date 1964)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: "Bruno," in Eight Philosophers of the Italian Renaissance, Stanford University Press, 1964, pp. 124–44.

[A German-born scholar, Kristeller is an acclaimed author of Italian, German, and English articles and books on Renaissance philosophy. In this excerpt, Kristeller describes Bruno's background and highlights the philosopher's beliefs as revealed in several works.]

[Giordano Bruno's] fame is partly due to the tragedy of his life and death, but no less deserved by his brilliant gifts as a thinker and writer. His vision of the world has a distinctly modern quality, and has impressed and influenced scientists and philosophers throughout the subsequent...

(The entire section is 4291 words.)

Arthur D. Imerti (essay date 1964)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: An introduction to The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast by Giordano Bruno, translated by Arthur D. Imerti, Rutgers University Press, 1964, pp. 3-68.

[Imerti is an Italian-American educator, scholar, and author. In this excerpt, Imerti discusses Lo spaccio de la bestia trionfante, focussing on aspects of the work that were viewed as heretical by the Roman Catholic Church, and on portions of the work in which Bruno criticizes his society.]

Bruno's opening words to Sidney in the "Epistola explicatoria" of Lo spaccio exhort his readers to be guided by the "intellectual sun," symbolic of reason, "the teacher of the senses, the father of substances,...

(The entire section is 5894 words.)

Frances A. Yates (essay date 1964)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: "Giordano Bruno: Last Published Work," in Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Routledge and Kegan Paul, Ltd., 1964, pp. 325-37.

[In the following excerpt, Yates examines De imaginum, signorum et idearum compositione, contending that in this work, Bruno uses his theory of imagination as a means of attaining the Hermetic goal of becoming "one with the universe."]

Bruno's stay in Frankfort, where the three Latin poems were printed, falls into two parts. He went there about the middle of 1590, paid a visit to Switzerland during 1591, after which he returned to Frankfort.

A curious character called Hainzell (Johannes Henricius...

(The entire section is 4212 words.)

M. A. Dynnik (essay date 1967)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: "Man, Sun, and Cosmos in the Philosophy of Giordano Bruno," in Soviet Studies in Philosophy, Vol. VI, No. 2, Fall, 1967, pp. 14-21.

[In this essay, Dynnik examines the merits of Bruno's arguments and conclusions concerning cosmology.]

Italy was the first country to take the course of elimination of feudal relationships. The Italian Renaissance marked the beginning of the complex and contradictory process whereby the new, capitalist society took form, triumphed, and became firmly established. The epoch of the Renaissance gave birth to centralized national states in what were the most advanced countries of Europe of that time, undermined the intellectual...

(The entire section is 4726 words.)

Giancarlo Maiorino (essay date 1977)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: "The Breaking of the Circle: Giordano Bruno and the Poetics of Immeasurable Abundance," in Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 2, April-June, 1977, pp. 317-27.

[In the following essay, Maiorino discusses Bruno's views on poetry, emphasizing the link between poetic and philosophical thought and the characteristics of both.]

Since its publication, Torquato Tasso painfully corrected his unorthodox Gerusalemme liberata (1575) in compliance with traditional requirements imposed by critical opinion. A few years later, Giordano Bruno declared in his Eroici furori (1584-85) that "poetry is not born of rules, except by the merest...

(The entire section is 5149 words.)

Edward A. Gosselin (essay date 1984)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: "'Doctor' Bruno's Solar Medicine," in The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. XV, No. 2, Summer, 1984, pp. 209-24.

[In the following essay, Gosselin analyzes The Ash Wednesday Supper, contending that in this work Bruno "bridge[s] the two extremes" of scientific and philosophical solar literature.]

I. The Solar Age and the Internal History of Science

In an article published in 1958, Eugenio Garin discussed the influence of the emperor Julian's Oratio ad solem upon the "solar literature" of the Renaissance. Nothing the deeply religious flavor of the texts of such authors as Gemistus Plethon, Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni...

(The entire section is 5527 words.)

Edward A. Gosselin (essay date 1987)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: "Fra Giordano Bruno's Catholic Passion," in Svpplementvm Festivvm: Studies in Honor of Paul Oskar Kristeller, Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 1987, pp. 537-61.

[In this essay, Gosselin examines the religious aspect of Bruno's work, maintaining that despite his alleged heresy, the philosopher retained some Roman Catholic beliefs at the time of his death.]

I. Introduction: The Heretic

As Giordano Bruno's ashes cooled on February 17, 1600, in the Campo dei Fiori, there was relief that an obstinate heretic had been eliminated. The sentence read (February 8) and the execution carried out, Bruno's words and actions...

(The entire section is 7433 words.)

Hilary Gatti (essay date 1989)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: "The Brunian Setting," in The Renaissance Drama of Knowledge: Giordano Bruno in England, Routledge, 1989, pp. 1-34.

[In the following excerpt, Gatti tracks Bruno's European wanderings, discussing the influential ideas and writings produced by the philosopher during this period of travel.]

Perhaps no writer more than Giordano Bruno has made such large claims for the extraordinary value of his own work. It is enough to remember the opening of his letter to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, written in 1583, where he presents himself as a philosopher whose work is applauded by all noble minds; or the pages of the first dialogue of the Cena delle...

(The entire section is 8937 words.)