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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: English
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
A Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays into History: A New Historicist Interpretation of Social Crisis and Sexual Politics in Troilus and Cressida and Measure for Measure

A Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays into History: A New Historicist Interpretation of Social Crisis and Sexual Politics in Troilus and Cressida and Measure for Measure

Date: December 1998
Creator: Jin, Kwang Hyun
Description: This study is aimed to read Shakespeare's problem comedies, Troilus and Cressida and Measure for Measure into the historical and cultural context of dynamically-changing English Renaissance society at the turn of the sixteenth century. In the historical context of emerging capitalism, growing economic crisis, reformed theology, changing social hierarchy, and increasing sexual control, this study investigates the nature of complicated moral problems that the plays consistently present. The primary argument is that the serious and dark picture of human dilemma is attributed not to Shakespeare's private imagination, but to social, political, economic, and religious crises in early modern England.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Reconsidering Regionalism:  The Environmental Ethics of Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, and Willa Cather

Reconsidering Regionalism: The Environmental Ethics of Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, and Willa Cather

Date: August 2011
Creator: Clasen, Kelly
Description: This study identifies environmentalist themes in the fiction and nonfiction of Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, and Willa Cather and argues that these ideals are interdependent upon the authors’ humanistic objectives. Focusing on these three authors’ overlapping interest in topics such as women’s rights, environmental health, and Native American history, this dissertation calls attention to the presence of a frequently unexplored but distinct, traceable feminist environmental ethic in American women’s regional writing. This set of beliefs involves a critique of the threats posed by a patriarchal society to both the environment and its human inhabitants, particularly the women, and thus can be classified as proto-ecofeminist. Moreover, the authors’ shared emphasis on the benefits of local environmental knowledge and stewardship demonstrates vital characteristics of the bioregionalist perspective, a modern form of environmental activism that promotes sustainability at a local level and mutually beneficial relationships among human and nonhuman inhabitants of a naturally defined region. Thus, the study ultimately defines a particular form of women’s literary activism that emerged in the last decades of the nineteenth century and argues for these authors’ continued theoretical relevance to a twenty-first-century audience increasingly invested in understanding and resolving a global environmental predicament.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Redemption and the other: the supernatural narrator and the intertextual (sub)version of the Miltonic command

Redemption and the other: the supernatural narrator and the intertextual (sub)version of the Miltonic command

Date: May 2000
Creator: Gowdy, Robert Douglas
Description: In literary discourse from the Genesis creation myth through John Milton's Paradise Lost and beyond, Eve has been patriarchally considered to be the bringer of Sin and Death into the world. In Paradise Lost Eve is depicted as deceiving Adam into the Fall by way of the Serpent. Paradise Lost creates a Miltonic command that helps to further blame Woman for Sin and Death. Milton's poem is based on the Genesis creation myth written by Canaanite authors. In this myth the Canaanite authors wished to rid the world of Goddess worship and, by humanizing Eve, they successfully obliterate that form of worship. As a result of this obliteration of the Goddess, Eve, as a humanized form of the ancient Goddess Asherah, remains unredeemed for her sin and forever held to blame. Throughout what Michel Foucault calls the archive, or discourse in which power resides, Eve/Woman continues to be seen by patriarchal discourse as to blame for the Fall. There has never been a successful redemption for Eve in the archive. Although Samuel Richardson's Clarissa has been suggested as a successful redeemer of Eve, Clarissa's blatant will to death and, therefore, will to power precludes a successful redemption of Eve. The ...
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Reforming Ritual: Protestantism, Women, and Ritual on the Renaissance Stage

Reforming Ritual: Protestantism, Women, and Ritual on the Renaissance Stage

Date: December 2006
Creator: Reynolds, Paige Martin
Description: My dissertation focuses on representations of women and ritual on the Renaissance stage, situating such examples within the context of the Protestant Reformation. The renegotiation of the value, place, and power of ritual is a central characteristic of the Protestant Reformation in early modern England. The effort to eliminate or redirect ritual was a crucial point of interest for reformers, for most of whom the corruption of religion seemed bound to its ostentatious and idolatrous outer trappings. Despite the opinions of theologians, however, receptivity toward the structure, routine, and familiarity of traditional Catholicism did not disappear with the advent of Protestantism. Reformers worked to modify those rituals that were especially difficult to eradicate, maintaining some sense of meaning without portraying confidence in ceremony itself. I am interested in how early Protestantism dealt with the presence of elements (in worship, daily practice, literary or dramatic representation) that it derogatorily dubbed popish, and how women had a particular place of importance in this dialogue. Through the drama of Shakespeare, Webster, and Middleton, along with contemporary religious and popular sources, I explore how theatrical representations of ritual involving women create specific sites of cultural and theological negotiation. These representations both reflect and resist ...
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The Religious Dimensions of William Faulkner: an Inquiry into the Dichotomy of Puritanism

The Religious Dimensions of William Faulkner: an Inquiry into the Dichotomy of Puritanism

Date: May 1999
Creator: Wu, John Guo Qiang
Description: "The Religious Dimensions of William Faulkner: An Inquiry into the Dichotomy of Puritanism" traces a secular mode of thinking of American moral superiority and the gospel of success to its religious origins. The study shows that while the basis for American moral superiority derives from the typological correspondence between sacred history and American experience, the gospel of success results from the Puritan preoccupation with work as a virtue instead of a necessity because labor improves one's lot in this world while securing salvation in the next. By explaining how Puritanism begins as a rejection of worldliness but ends as an orgy of materialism, my study raises and addresses the paradoxical nature of the Puritan legacy: Why should the Puritan work ethic, when subverted by its logical conclusion---the gospel of success, result in the undoing of Puritan spirituality in its mission of redeeming the Old World? Furthermore, this inquiry examines the role Puritanism plays in creating the mythologies of America as the New World Garden, the white man as the American Adam, the black man as the American Ham, and the white woman as the American Eve. In the Puritan use of biblical typology, blacks and women function as the white ...
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The Rhetoric of Posthumanism in Four Twentieth-Century International Novels

The Rhetoric of Posthumanism in Four Twentieth-Century International Novels

Date: August 1998
Creator: Lin, Lidan
Description: The dissertation traces the trope of the incomplete character in four twentieth-century cosmopolitan novels that reflect European colonialism in a global context. I argue that, by creating characters sharply aware of the insufficiency of the Self and thus constantly seeking the constitutive participation of the Other, the four authors E. M. Forster, Samuel Beckett, J. M. Coetzee, and Congwen Shen all dramatize the incomplete character as an agent of postcolonial resistance to Western humanism that, tending to enforce the divide between the Self and the Other, provided the epistemological basis for the emergence of European colonialism. For example, Fielding's good-willed aspiration to forge cross-cultural friendship in A Passage to India; Murphy's dogged search for recognition of his Irish identity in Murphy; Susan's unfailing compassion to restore Friday's lost speech in Foe; and Changshun Teng, the Chinese orange-grower's warm-hearted generosity toward his customers in Long River--all these textual occasions dramatize the incomplete character's anxiety over the Other's rejection that will impair the fullness of his or her being, rendering it solitary and empty. I relate this anxiety to the theory of "posthumanism" advanced by such thinkers as Marx, Bakhtin, Sartre, and Lacan; in their texts the humanist view of the individual ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Rhetorical Transformations of Trees in Medieval England: From Material Culture to Literary Representation

Rhetorical Transformations of Trees in Medieval England: From Material Culture to Literary Representation

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Date: December 2008
Creator: Grimes, Jodi Elisabeth
Description: Literary texts of medieval England feature trees as essential to the individual and communal identity as it intersects with nature, and the compelling qualities and organic processes associated with trees help vernacular writers interrogate the changing nature of this character. The early depiction of trees demonstrates an intimacy with nature that wanes after the tenth-century monastic revival, when the representation of trees as living, physical entities shifts toward their portrayal as allegorical vehicles for the Church's didactic use. With the emergence of new social categories in the late Middle Ages, the rhetoric of trees moves beyond what it means to forge a Christian identity to consider the role of a ruler and his subjects, the relationship between humans and nature, and the place of women in society. Taking as its fundamental premise that people in wooded regions develop a deep-rooted connection to trees, this dissertation connects medieval culture and the physical world to consider the variety of ways in which Anglo-Saxon and post-Norman vernacular manuscripts depict trees. A personal identification with trees, a desire for harmony between society and the environment, and a sympathy for the work of trees lead to the narrator's transformation in the Dream of the Rood. ...
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Road Debris

Road Debris

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Date: May 2012
Creator: Dewoody, Dale W.
Description: This dissertation comprises two parts: Part I, which discusses the growing trend in project books in contemporary poetry, and Part II, a collection of poems titled, Road Debris. There is an increasing trend in the number of project books, which are collections of poetry unified in both thematic and formal ways. the individual poems in a project book share overt connections which allow the book to work on many different levels, blending elements of fiction and non-fiction or sharing a specific theme or speaker. While these books have the advantage of being easily memorable, which might gain poets an edge in book contests, there are also many risks involved. the main issue surrounding project books is if the individual poems can justify the book, or do they seem too repetitive or forced. As more poets, especially newer ones, try to use the project book as a shortcut to publication, it can result in poorly written poems forced to fit into a particular concept. By examining three successful cotemporary project books—The Quick of It, by Eamon Grennan; Incident Light, by H. L. Hix; and Romey’s Order by Astory Riley—this essay discusses how these books work in order to understand the potential ...
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Robert Penn Warren's Archetypal Triptych: A Study of the Myths of the Garden, the Journey, and Rebirth in The Cave, Wilderness, and Flood

Robert Penn Warren's Archetypal Triptych: A Study of the Myths of the Garden, the Journey, and Rebirth in The Cave, Wilderness, and Flood

Date: December 1971
Creator: Phillips, Billie Ray Sudberry, 1937-
Description: Robert Penn Warren, historian, short story writer, teacher, critic, poet, and novelist, has received favorable attention from literary critics as well as the general reading public. This attention is merited, in part, by Warren's narrative skill and by his use of imagery. A study of his novels reveals that his narrative technique and his imagery are closely related to his interest in myth.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Samuel Johnson's Epistolary Essays: His Use of Personae in The Rambler, The Adventurer, and The Idler

Samuel Johnson's Epistolary Essays: His Use of Personae in The Rambler, The Adventurer, and The Idler

Date: August 1972
Creator: Vonler, Veva Donowho
Description: One goal of the present study is to emphasize Johnson's "talent for fiction, the range of his comic invention, and the subtlety of his tone." A substantial group of essays from all three serials, those written in the form of letters ostensibly submitted to the essayist by his readers, appears to offer many examples of the inventiveness of Johnson's mind, and it is to this group that the term epistolary essays refers. Johnson was following a well-established tradition in utilizing the device of the imaginary correspondent, but the main objective of this dissertation is to analyze the various personae which Johnson adopted in these essays.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries