Date of Award

Spring 1978

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

McCanles, Michael

Second Advisor

Stephens, James

Third Advisor

McCabe, John


This study of Shakespeare's history plays goes beyond the older moral-historical oriented criticism which views the plays as polemical expressions of Tudor political orthodoxy, and describes with greater precision the ambiguities in kingship that recent critics of the plays have found. Proceeding from the conclusions of these recent critics of the histories, my dissertation shows that the characters' use of discourse about right exploits the rhetorical formulae which contemporary discussions about right employed in such a way as to evince the complexities and ambiguities of right and to criticize political language its elf.



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