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Entertainment / Literature / The Four Elements: The alchemical theory that all matter was composed of four components: earth, air, fire, and water. Each element had two spectrums of quality: hot/cold and dry/wet. For instance, earth was cold and dry. Water was cold and wet. Fire was hot and dry, and so on. Varying combinations of elements resulted in the four bodily humors (see below) of the physical body. Like the Chain of Being, the elements were arranged hierarchically, with varying elements given qualities that made them subordinant or dominant. The lowest, earth, was beneath all the other elements. The highest, fire, was above all the others. References to the elements appear frequently in medieval and Renaissance literature, and these allusions often have complex but easily overlooked political, spiritual, and cosmological significance if one does not recall the hierarchical nature of the elements in alchemical models.
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Elements Noun Synonyms: (adverse or unfavourable) weather, climatic conditions
The Adjective Synonyms: drama, the stage, dramaturgy, dramatic or Thespian or histrionic art(s), the boards, show business, showbiz
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