Date Thesis Awarded

5-2014

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

English

Advisor

Suzanne Raitt

Committee Member

Laurie Wolf

Committee Member

Erin Minear

Abstract

Shakespeare’s influence on the writings of Victorian novelist and poet Thomas Hardy is the topic of much of Hardy scholarship. Hardy’s numerous, overt references to Shakespearean tragedy in particular tend to cast him as a primarily tragic writer, most notably in novels such as The Mayor of Casterbridge and Jude the Obscure. This thesis presents a different view, examining Hardy’s heavy reliance on Shakespearean comedy and romance, rather than tragedy, throughout his career as a novelist. In doing so, this paper questions the accuracy of Hardy scholarship that confines him to the genre of tragedy, and instead poses an analysis of his novels that accounts for his explorations in genre.

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