Saturday, November 10, 2012
Great Chain of Being
When I think of the great chain of being I think of a ladder. The ladder very ridged, and defined. The king is at the top, supported by god, and everyone else is below him in a hierarchy going from beggars to lords. There was some fluidity within English society though, and people were able to improve their social and financial circumstances, especially with the rise of the merchant class. When the fluidity of society is juxtaposed with the great chain of being, the two seem to be opposites. But the fluidity of society did have a mold. A beggar could become a farmer, and a farmer could become a merchant, but not anyone could claim the throne, and not anyone could possess a title of nobility.