BOETHIUS THE DEMIURGE: TIMAEAN DOUBLE-CIRCLE SPIRAL STRUCTURE IN THE CONSOLATIO
Watson, Cristalle Nerine
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The aim of this thesis is to relate the content and form of the central poem (IIIM9) of Boethius' Consolatio to the narrative structure and philosophical movement of the work as a whole. A line-by-line metrical analysis of IIIM9 yields a double-circle spiral pattern reflecting its Timaean content; IIIM9 is thus a microcosmos, with Boethius, as author, in the position of Demiurge. This pattern in turn serves as paradigm for the narrative of the Consolatio, which likewise falls into two circles, each consisting of a fall from a previous pinnacle followed by an ascent to a new pinnacle. In the first circle, that of the Same, the Prisoner attempts to return to God by leaving behind the divided world of human experience and ratio to attain the unified realm of divine intellegentia. However, his human inability to consistently hold onto this unity causes him to undergo a second fall. In the circle of the Different, the Prisoner must combine human ratio, represented by rectilinear motion, with divine intellegentia, represented by circular motion, to yield a composite motion: the spiral. This spiral mode of return to God, an "inclusive perfection," allows the Prisoner and all created beings to participate in the divine unity without losing their individual identities and natures.