Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Theatre Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Emily Rollie

Second Committee Member

Dr. Natashia Lindsey

Third Committee Member

Dr. Lily Vuong

Abstract

This thesis project argues for the value of Henry Arthur Jones’s work in the late 1890s and seeks to illustrate that Jones’s contribution to the larger Modernist movement in the theatre. Using a close textual analysis of Jones’s plays Michael and His Lost Angel, Judah, and Saints and Sinners, this project examines Jones’s use of popular theatrical genres to provide commentary on the religious and fiscal tensions in the surrounding Victorian society. The critical commentary in Jones’s plays is then used to draw a connection between Jones’s work and his fight for dramatists to have greater freedom in the topics they sought to portray onstage, demonstrating that Jones used his own work as part of the “National Drama” that he sought to create in England. Ultimately, this thesis ties together the elements of religion, Victorian society, and the theoretical foundation of a National Drama to justify Jones’s place in the Modernist movement.

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