Summary and Analysis of The Over-Soul
sod Grassy surface soil.
mean Worth little.
calculator A mathematician.
pensioner One who is dependent on another for economic well-being.
droll Amusing or farcical.
"Can crowd . . . to eternity" Spoken by Lucifer in Cain (1821), by the English romantic poet Lord George Byron (1788-1824).
Plato (c. 427-347 B.C.) A Greek philosopher, he formulated the philosophy of idealism, which holds that the concepts or ideas of things are more perfect — and, therefore, more real — than the material things themselves.
Zeno (335-263 B.C.) Greek philosopher and founder of the Stoic school of philosophy.
Arrian Second-century Greek historian.
the Pacha A variation of "pasha," a Turkish government official of high rank.
Swedenborg, Emanuel (1688-1772) A Swedish scientist, mystic, and philosopher, he insisted that the scriptures are the immediate word of God; his teachings became the nucleus of the Church of the New Jerusalem.
"blasted with excess of light" Spoken about the English poet John Milton in "The Progress of Poesy" (1757), by the English romantic poet Thomas Gray (1716 — 71).
Socrates (d. 399 B.C.) A Greek philosopher, he initiated a question-and-answer method of teaching — called the Socratic method — as a means of achieving self-knowledge; opponents of Socrates' method felt that he was undermining the authority of the state by teaching youths to question received knowledge. He was brought to trial, convicted of corrupting youth, and condemned to die; he carried out the sentence by drinking poison.
Plotinus (205-270) An Egyptian-born Roman philosopher, he gave a mystical and symbolic interpretation of the doctrines of Plato.
Porphyry (c. 232-304) Roman philosopher.
Behmen, Jacob (1575-1624) German mystic.
Fox, George (1624-91) The founder of the Society of Friends (1647), popularly called the Quakers, Fox preached equality between men and women, and pacifism. The Quaker doctrine of inner enlightenment belongs in the religious tradition called quietism; the emphasis on inner enlightenment is similar to transcendentalists' emphasis on intuitive knowledge.
Moravian and Quietist Eighteenth- and seventeenth-century religious sects, respectively.
Herbert, George (1593-1633) An English metaphysical poet, he wrote The Temple (1633), a famous posthumous collection of religious poems.
Pope, Alexander (1688-1744) English poet and translator.
Spinoza, Baruch (1632-77) Dutch theologian and philosopher.
Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804) The German philosopher who greatly influenced Emerson.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772-1834) A British poet and critic, his works include "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."
Locke, John (1632-1704) An English philosopher, Locke developed a theory of cognition that denied the existence of innate ideas and asserted that all thought is based on our senses. His works influenced American Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards, who modified Puritan doctrine to allow for more play of reason and intellect, building a foundation for Unitarianism and, eventually, transcendentalism.
Paley, William (1743-1805) English theologian.
Mackintosh, Sir James (1765-1832) Scottish political philosopher.
Stewart, Douglas (1753-1828) Scottish philosopher.
Homer (eighth century B.C.) The reputed author of the earliest surviving epic poems in the European tradition, the Iliad and the Odyssey.
Chaucer, Geoffrey (d. 1400) The English poet who wrote The Canterbury Tales.
Spenser, Edmund (1552-99) An English poet whose major work is The Faerie Queene.
Milton, John (1608-74) An English poet, he is renowned for his religious epic poem Paradise Lost 1667), which sought to "justify the ways of God to men."
Cromwell, Oliver (1599-1658) Cromwell was the Lord Protector of England (1653-58).
Christina (1626-89) Queen of Sweden.
Charles II (1630-85) King of England.
James I (1566-1625) King of England.
The Grand Turk The Sultan of Turkey.