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The Motivation of Characters in Othello, King Lear and Macbeth

Description: By examining the critical comment of some of the best known critics, who fall roughly into two groups, the philosophical or psychological on the one hand, and the realistic on the other, I have endeavored to gather the ideas they have advanced in regard to the motives of them main characters from three of Shakespeare's tragedies--Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. It is evident that the discussion of motives has not been the main consideration of any one of them, though the problem has naturally arisen in the analyses of characters and explanations of plot and dramatic art. Consequently it will be my purpose to study these plays from the standpoint of the motivation of the characters, having in mind two objects: the determination of which motives Shakespeare took from the sources of the plays and which ones he himself attributed to the characters, and the determination of which group of critics, the psychological or the realistic, is more nearly correct in their contentions in regard to the motivation of characters in Shakespeare's plays.
Date: 1942
Creator: Smith, Roger Mae

"Positive" and "Negative" Characters in Joseph Conrad's Fiction

Description: This thesis is an attempt to understand Joseph Conrad's own concept of the "moral law"; what is meant by the terms "positive" and "negative," often used to describe the forces so obviously influencing his characters; and the characters, the action, and the endings as proofs of Conrad's belief in such a law and such forces.
Date: 1951
Creator: Golson, Julian A.

Female Inheritors of Hawthorne's New England Literary Tradition

Description: Nineteenth-century women were a mainstay in the New England literary tradition, both as readers and authors. Indeed, women were a large part of a growing reading public, a public that distanced itself from Puritanism and developed an appetite for novels and magazine short stories. It was a culture that survived in spite of patriarchal domination of the female in social and literary status. This dissertation is a study of selected works from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Mary E. Wilkins Freeman that show their fiction as a protest against a patriarchal society. The premise of this study is based on analyzing these works from a protest (not necessarily a feminist) view, which leads to these conclusions: rejection of the male suitor and of marriage was a protest against patriarchal institutions that purposely restricted females from realizing their potential. Furthermore, it is often the case that industrialism and abuses of male authority in selected works by Jewett and Freeman are symbols of male-driven forces that oppose the autonomy of the female. Thus my argument is that protest fiction of the nineteenth century quietly promulgates an agenda of independence for the female. It is an agenda that encourages the woman to operate beyond standard stereotypes furthered by patriarchal attitudes. I assert that Jewett and Freeman are, in fact, inheritors of Hawthorne's literary tradition, which spawned the first fully-developed, independent American heroine: Hester Prynne.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Adams, Dana W. (Dana Wills)

Language and Identity in Post-1800 Irish Drama

Description: Using a sociolinguistic and post-colonial approach, I analyze Irish dramas that speak about language and its connection to national identity. In order to provide a systematic and wide-ranging study, I have selected plays written at approximately fifty-year intervals and performed before Irish audiences contemporary to their writing. The writers selected represent various aspects of Irish society--religiously, economically, and geographically--and arguably may be considered the outstanding theatrical Irish voices of their respective generations. Examining works by Alicia LeFanu, Dion Boucicault, W.B. Yeats, and Brian Friel, I argue that the way each of these playwrights deals with language and identity demonstrates successful resistance to the destruction of Irish identity by the dominant language power. The work of J. A. Laponce and Ronald Wardhaugh informs my language dominance theory. Briefly, when one language pushes aside another language, the cultural identity begins to shift. The literature of a nation provides evidence of the shifting perception. Drama, because of its performance qualities, provides the most complex and complete literary evidence. The effect of the performed text upon the audience validates a cultural reception beyond what would be possible with isolated readers. Following a theoretical introduction, I analyze the plays in chronological order. Alicia LeFanu's The Sons of Erin; or, Modern Sentiment (1812) gently pleads for equal treatment in a united Britain. Dion Boucicault's three Irish plays, especially The Colleen Bawn (1860) but also Arrah-na-Pogue (1864) and The Shaughraun (1875), satirically conceal rebellious nationalist tendencies under the cloak of melodrama. W. B. Yeats's The Countess Cathleen (1899) reveals his romantic hope for healing the national identity through the powers of language. However, The Only Jealousy of Emer (1919) and The Death of Cuchulain (1939) reveal an increasing distrust of language to mythically heal Ireland. Brian Friel's Translations (1980), supported by The Communication Cord (1982) and Making ...
Date: May 1994
Creator: Duncan, Dawn E. (Dawn Elaine)

The Monstrance: A Collection of Poems

Description: These poems deconstruct Mary Shelley's monster from a spiritually Chthonian, critically post-structuralist creative stance. But the process here is not simple disruption of the original discourse; this poetry cycle transforms the monster's traditional body, using what pieces are left from reception/vivisection to reconstruct, through gradual accretion, new authority for each new form, each new appendage.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Dietrich, Bryan D. (Bryan David)

(Broken) Promises

Description: The dissertation begins with an introductory chapter that examines the short story cycle as a specific genre, outlines tendencies found in minimalist fiction, and discusses proposed definitions of the short story genre. The introduction examines the problems that short story theorists encounter when they try to.define the short story genre in general. Part of the problem results from the lack of a definition of the short story in the Aristotelian sense of a definition. A looser, less traditional definition of literary genres helps solve some of the problem. Minimalist fiction and the short story cycle are discussed as particular forms of the short story. Sixteen short stories follow the introduction.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Champion, Laurie, 1959-

Sharing the Light: Feminine Power in Tudor and Stuart Comedy

Description: Studies of the English Renaissance reveal a patriarchal structure that informed its politics and its literature; and the drama especially demonstrates a patriarchal response to what society perceived to be the problem of women's efforts to grow beyond the traditional medieval view of "good" women as chaste, silent, and obedient. Thirteen comedies, whose creation spans roughly the same time frame as the pamphlet wars of the so-called "woman controversy," from the mid-sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth centuries, feature women who have no public power, but who find opportunities for varying degrees of power in the private or domestic setting.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Tanner, Jane Hinkle

Representation of the Social Class Structure in the Fiction of Ernest Hemingway

Description: Hemingway has given us pictures of individual members of society in the United States, in Africa and in Europe from the nineteen-twenties to the present time. In order to present Hemingway's characters as a study in social structure, the following classes will be considered: primitives, peasants, middle class, upper class, aristocrats.
Date: 1957
Creator: Cook, Mary K. McCarley

Walt Whitman and the Theatre

Description: This study attempts to establish the fact that Whitman was a frequent attendant at the legitimate theatre and that throughout his life he had a vital concern for it. The nature and scope of Whitman's interest in the legitimate theatre has been examined in detail to show by specific reference to his works the probable effect of his theatrical interest.
Date: 1957
Creator: Brown, Mary Kathryn Hall

A Study of the Treatment of Time in the Plays of Lyly, Marlowe, Greene, and Peele

Description: Because Shakespeare borrowed so many ideas and devices from other writers, we wonder whether he also borrowed the trick of double time from some of his predecessors; therefore one of the purposes of this study is to discover whether or not this device was original with Shakespeare. In this study I have considered the works of John Lyly, Christopher Marlowe, Robert Greene, and George Peele because these four seem to have influenced Shakespeare more than did any of the other of his immediate predecessors. To discover what influence, if any, these men had upon Shakespeare ts treatment of time is not, however, the only purpose of this study; for I am also interested in the characteristics of the works of these men for their own values, independent of any influence which they may have had on the works of Shakespeare.
Date: June 1941
Creator: Fussell, Mildred

Satire on American Life as Portrayed in the Novels of Sinclair Lewis

Description: Since 1920, Lewis has written only novels in which he has ridiculed the leading phases of American life. He has given an exact picture; he has left no faults uncovered. He loves America and he hates to see her in a state of degeneration. He has tried to appeal to the human side of his public in order to open the eyes of America to her own defects. He has been cynical, satirical, and humorous in his attempt to picture America as she really is. I have chosen the novels that Lewis has written since the year 1920 to show that he has satirized America in her various phases of life. I have not explored the fields of poetry and drama nor the earlier novels; for beginning with Main Street in 1920 and ending with the Prodigal Parents in 1938, Lewis has depicted the faults of a nation struggling for peace and security in a world of materialistic ideals.
Date: August 1940
Creator: Norman, Helen Marjorie

The Path to Paradox: The Effects of the Falls in Milton's "Paradise Lost" and Conrad's "Lord Jim"

Description: This study arranges symptoms of polarity into a causal sequence# beginning with the origin of contrarieties and ending with the ultimate effect. The origin is considered as the fall of man, denoting both a mythic concept and a specific act of betrayal. This study argues that a sense of separateness precedes the fall or act of separation; the act of separation produces various kinds of fragmentation; and the fragments are reunited through paradox. Therefore, a causal relationship exists between the "fall" motif and the concept of paradox.
Date: May 1987
Creator: Mathews, Alice (Alice McWhirter)

The Morality and Wit of Congreve and Sheridan in the Comedy of Manners

Description: Considering the comedies of the Restoration, and those of Congreve in particular, as the prototype of the comedy of manners and as the model for Sheridan later to revive and emulate, this thesis proposes to point out how the concepts of morality and wit have been a major obstacle to literary critics in analyzing the comedy of manners from its very beginnings, to discuss morality and wit as the basis of a proper evaluation of the comedy of manners both from the standpoint of seventeenth-century precepts and those of a century later, and, finally, to show how, during the early periods in which the comedy of manners flourished,--that of Congreve, 1693-1700; and of Sheridan, 1775-1779--morality and wit were modified and used to suit the divergent sociological and psychological conditions of each period.
Date: 1958
Creator: Williams, Samuel Richard

Contemporary Women Poets of Texas

Description: As a teacher of American literature in high school, I have become conscious of the importance of teaching students of that age level the lore and poetry of their native state. Poems of nature or local color in their own country will hold their interest when material from more distant points seems dull and uninteresting. Through my teaching I have become interested in the poetry of the Southwest and have enjoyed reading the poetry and knowing the poets through personal interview or correspondence.
Date: August 1942
Creator: Heatly, Katherine Stafford

Repetitions in the Most Popular Works of Mark Twain

Description: This paper is a study of the repetitions in the works of Mark Twain.The author has chosen repetitions which are most nearly alike and most representative of Mark Twain. The study was limited to repetitions of his own experiences repeated in his works, to repetitions of descriptions of the beautiful and the horrible, and to repetitions which are a result of his humor and a desire to save man from himself.
Date: August 1949
Creator: Chambers, Nettie Jackson

Persons and Places in Mark Twain's Fiction

Description: This paper focuses on Mark Twain's writing style and characterization in his fiction. The settings and characters of his fiction are in particular focus, specifically how Mark Twain draws on personal experiences and memories to make his characters and settings more relatable and realistic. A brief biography of Twain's life is given before the author goes into the specifics of characterization and settings.
Date: May 1947
Creator: Sherman, Elizabeth P.

Structural and Thematic Development in the Novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Description: In dealing with the individual works, I have attempted to analyze the structural element first, and then to deduce the novel's meaning, or theme, making use, wherever it is possible, of the results of the analysis of structure. In addition, I have attempted to reveal the development of certain themes from one novel to another, and certain developments in characterization and general design. I have attempted to reveal the relationship of the structure and thematic aspects of the individual works to Fizgerald's work as a whole. Finally, I have attempted to demonstrate Fitzgerald's relationship with certain of this peers and forebears in the American novel.
Date: August 1948
Creator: Burks, Sidney L.

Plots from Greek Tragedy in Twentieth Century Drama

Description: In so far as I have been able to determine, nothing by way of general criticism or comment has previously been written on the subject of Greek plots in twentieth century tragedy, although individual writers have themselves admitted a certain indebtedness to their sources, and comments regarding the specific plays which I have cited, of course, mention a Greek origin. As regards the whole field of contemporary drama, however, I believe that no treaties earlier than this one has discussed the prevalence of Greek plots among twentieth century dramas.
Date: August 1937
Creator: Talley, Eva Joy