Creative Responses to Galileo's "Sidereus Nuncius" Research Paper by sinkopayshun

Creative Responses to Galileo's "Sidereus Nuncius"
Explores literary responses to the Moon discoveries in Galileo's tome, "Sidereus Nuncius", and the people who created them.
# 152364 | 4,700 words | 18 sources | MLA | 2011 | CA
Published on Feb 01, 2013 in Literature (World) , History (European - 17th Century) , Astronomy (General)

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This paper explains that, in the seventeenth century, Galileo Galilei produced his images of the Moon, along with observations of Jupiter and the stars, in a small book "Sidereus Nuncius', which set off an astronomical amount of creativity relating to the moon, planets and stars. Next, the author details and compares the works of John Donne, Ben Jonson, Johannes Kepler, Bishop Francis Godwin, Bishop John Wilkins and Aphra Behn, which were creative responses to Galileo's "Sidereus Nuncius". The paper argues that all of these pieces attempted in some way to deal with the philosophical implications of Galileo's lunar discoveries that moved seventeenth century Europe into a new era of scientific discoveries away from old astrologies and ancient religions. Several quotations and footnotes are included.

From the Paper:

"Aphra Behn's play "The Emperor of the Moon" (1687), the final case of this study, is a spectacular farce based in the traditions of the Italian commedia dell'arte. Doctor Baliardo, "with all manner of mathematical instruments hanging at his girdle," is tricked by the classic pairs of young lovers, along with the servants Scaramouch and Harlequin, into believing that his daughter and his niece have been proposed to by none other than the Emperor of the Moon and the Prince of Thunderland. Near the end of the play, two costumed figures approach the Doctor: they claim that their names are Kepler and Galileus, "sent as interpreters to great Iredonozar, the emperor of the moon, who is descending." Until the very end of the play, the Doctor is deceived, and all due to the fact that his constant use of his telescopic instruments blind him to the illusion being played out directly before his eyes.
"The deception enacted in Behn's play has at least two layers to it. First, the Doctor, the learned man with the instruments, is the one being deceived."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Adams, Jr., Joseph Quincy. "The Sources of Ben Jonson's News from the New World Discovered in the Moon." Modern Language Notes 21.1 (January 1906): 1-3.
  • Behn, Aphra. The Emperor of the Moon. In The Rover and Other Plays. Ed. Jane Spencer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. 271-335.
  • Donne, John. An Anatomie of the World, the First Anniversarie. London, 1612.
  • --. Ignatius His Conclave. Ed. T.S. Healy. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969.
  • Evans, Arthur B. "The Origins of Science Fiction Criticism: From Kepler to Wells." Science Fiction Studies 26 (1999): 163-186.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Creative Responses to Galileo's "Sidereus Nuncius" (2013, February 01) Retrieved December 05, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Creative Responses to Galileo's "Sidereus Nuncius"" 01 February 2013. Web. 05 December. 2020. <>