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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Defining Theatrical Forgiveness Narratives and Examining Their Effect on the Moral Tone of the Musicals of Hammerstein and Sondheim
by Landers, Josh, M.A., Regent University, 2020, 66; 28030624
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis explores forgiveness narratives in the musical theatre of Oscar Hammerstein II and Stephen Sondheim in the 1940s and 1970s respectively. First, Charles Griswold’s definition of interpersonal forgiveness is thoroughly explored and then tested for its universality across different cultural, religious, psychological, and literary perspectives. His twelve conditions for interpersonal forgiveness are then synthesized into a forgiveness narrative more workable for studying dramatic literature. Seven musicals by Hammerstein and Sondheim are examined for their forgiveness narratives or lack thereof: Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, and Sweeney Todd. The two writers are then compared and considered within the context of their own worldviews and the eras in which they wrote. Finally, this thesis explores the connections between each writer’s use of forgiveness narratives and the overall moral tone of their work, thus demonstrating the correlation between completed forgiveness narratives and morally positive and even redemptive plot outcomes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Southerland, Peggy
Commitee: Lahaie, Scot
School: Regent University
Department: School of Communication & the Arts
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: MAI 82/3(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Theater, Social psychology, Comparative literature
Keywords: Drama, Forgiveness, Hammerstein, Musicals, Sondheim
Publication Number: 28030624
ISBN: 9798664778960
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