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Contrast in Shakespeare's

Historical Plays




Submitted to the Faculty of Letters of the Catholic
University of America in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree
of Doctor of Letters

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This dissertation is an investigation of Shakespeare's English Historical Plays in an effort to discover to what extent the dramatist shaped his materials according to the principles of dramatic contrast. The last ten chapters contain the detailed study and the results thereof. The second chapter is an attempt to amplify the theory of dramatic contrast as set forth by Mr. Hamilton and to test its applicability to typical plays of the past and of the present. Since the theory of contrast cannot be rightly estimated without some consideration of other theories of the drama, there is presented in the first chapter a brief survey of the theory of the so-called "classical" unities, and of the theories of dramatic construction identified with Freytag, Brunetière, and Mr. Archer.


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