Date of Award

Summer 1939

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




It is the purpose of this thesis to examine the critical opinions which have been expressed on the subject of the epithets and images in George Herbert's English poems and to verify or disprove these opinions by actual analysis of Herbert's work. There is no attempt to institute a detailed comparison between Herbert's poetry and that of his contemporaries or to trace literary relationships, but it is obviously impossible and undesirable to consider Herbert as writing in a "splendid isolation". Unless we take into consideration the doctrines and practice of the poets who, since the days of Dryden and Johnson, have been called "The Metaphysical School", we cannot justly evaluate Herbert or give him his proper place in his century or, indeed, in the history of English literature. The newly-awakened interest in the seventeenth century writers makes a study of this kind timely, and if by it even a little light is thrown upon one of the century's most appealing figures, the work will not have been done in vain.