British Poetry Seminar I(2019)

from The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics.
Preminger, Alex; Brogan, T. V. F. (co-eds); Warnke, Frank J.; Hardison Jr, O. B.; Miner, Earl (assoc. eds).
Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993. xlvi, 1383 p.
Copyright ㄏ 1993 by Princeton University Press.


Inscape is Gerard Manley Hopkins' term for the pattern of attributes in a physical object that gives it at once both its individuality and its unity. In his critical study, Peters defines inscape as "the outward reflection of the inner nature of a thing, or a sensible copy or representation of its individual essence" (2). Gardner (1970) concurs: inscape denotes "those aspects of a thing, or group of things, which constitute its individual and 'especial' unity of being, its 'individually-distinctive beauty'" which is the "very essence of its nature" (xx). Hopkins later found confirmation of his conception of inscape in the Scotist notion of haecceitas or "thisness," namely that which uniquely differentiates each thing from all other things. Cf. ENARGEIA.

Closely related to inscape, the principle of individuation, is instress, which is "that energy or stress of being which holds the 'inscape' together" and, as a projective force, "carries it whole into the mind of the receiver," being "ultimately the stress of God's Will in and through all things" (Gardner xxi). See Letters 66, Note-books 98.




   Related Keyword : Hopkins Inscape Instress