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Marvell’s Devout Mythology of the New World: Homeland and Home in ‘Bermudas’

From: Parergon
Volume 30, Number 1, 2013
pp. 203-219 | 10.1353/pgn.2013.0057



Andrew Marvell’s ‘Bermudas’ contributes to debates in Interregnum Britain about colonization of the New World, the idea of the ‘homeland’, and the identity of ‘true religion’. He creates what is in effect a sacred fable – a re-telling of the Exodus narrative – related not only to the Psalms and to psalm-paraphrase, but also to the theology of contemptus mundi that John Calvin articulates throughout his commentary on the Book of Psalms. In doing so, Marvell attempts to supplant Edmund Waller’s mock-heroic account of the Bermudas with his own devout mythos of the colony.

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