Date of Award

Fall 1998

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

McCanles, Michael

Second Advisor

Stephens, James

Third Advisor

Duffy, Edward


Having read some of Soren Kierkegaard's references to Shakespeare in explication of his own philosophy, I began this study with the hypothesis that a Kierkegaardian reading of Shakespearean drama could discover new appreciations for the plays. Before testing such a Kierkegaardian application, a thorough study of the philosopher's prolific writings was conducted. A synthesis of his psychological, philosophical, and theological concepts and constructs formed the basis for the first chapter. This accomplished, Shakespeare's tragedies, with various characters involved in existential struggle, appeared as particularly inviting areas in which to test my theory. Hamlet, Troilus and Cressid!!, and Antony and Cleopatra, because of the numerous and often conflicting criticisms surrounding each play, were chosen as subjects for chapters two, three, and four, respectively.



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