Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Vessels of vengeance: Divine wrath and human instruments in early modern revenge tragedy
by Romeo, Genevieve, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010, 171; 3409958
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the intersections between human anger and divine wrath in Tudor and Stuart revenge tragedies. Traditional scholarship on Renaissance drama looks to the philosophical foundations of the passions, while more recent criticism focuses on the physiological origins of early modern conceptions of emotion. My work combines both of these approaches with a sustained investigation into the theological foundations and implications of the passions—specifically the passion of wrath as it finds both divine and human expression in revenge tragedy. My dissertation explores instances where divine and human anger collide—or, perhaps, collude—on the early modern stage by contextualizing plays such as William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Cyril Tourneur’s The Atheist’s Tragedy, and John Marston’s Antonio’s Revenge with theological writings by John Calvin, Martin Luther, and Thomas Jackson, among others. My study analyzes the way authors used the anthropopathic conception of divine wrath as both an exhortation against human anger and as a metaphorical accommodation that legitimizes and sanctifies sinful, passionate human emotion.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wolfe, Jessica
Commitee: Barbour, Reid, Floyd-Wilson, Mary, Gless, Darryl, Kendall, Ritchie
School: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department: English
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 71/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: British and Irish literature
Keywords: Anger, Drama, Old Testament, Passions, Revenge, Wrath
Publication Number: 3409958
ISBN: 9781124078564
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