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The Rhetoric of the Glorious Revolution and the Drama in the Reign of William III, 1688-1702

Hsu, Y; (2013) The Rhetoric of the Glorious Revolution and the Drama in the Reign of William III, 1688-1702. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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This study examines the ways in which drama in the reign of William III interacted with the rhetorical and cultural conditions and contentions of the Glorious Revolution in England. By viewing the Revolution more as a cultural instead of a political event, I argue that the vocabulary, theory, and ideology formulated by the polemics of the Revolution in forms such as speeches, pamphlets, broadsides, glassware, and paintings provided a rhetorical repertoire for post-revolutionary drama and enabled multiple opportunities for interpretation in texts. Furthermore, the rhetoric and discourse formed by those polemics testified to the socio-economic changes that were not only identified but also debated and shaped by plays. In this light, I suggest that while we can read drama in relation to its historical and cultural contexts, we should not assign it a secondary and passive role. Instead, drama actively shaped and commented on the literary and social cultures in post-Revolution times by participating in the Revolution’s debates relevant to the everyday life of the 1690s. The thesis is divided into three parts. Part I examines the transmission of Revolution rhetoric from the above-named polemics to the literary arena and their levels of usage. Part II focuses on two interrelated linguistic cultures created by the supporters of William III and James II: the languages of triumphalism and deliverance in Chapter II, and the languages of lamentation and hope in Chapter III. Part III examines gender and economy in a socio-economic perspective. Chapter IV examines the questions of gender and domestic authority in drama and post-revolutionary society raised by the Revolution’s invention, Dual Monarchism, in which William III (husband) and Mary II (wife) shared regal authority. Chapter V shows how drama reacted to the social and economic changes engendered by the Nine Years’ War, a major consequence of the Revolution.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The Rhetoric of the Glorious Revolution and the Drama in the Reign of William III, 1688-1702
Language: English
Additional information: Permission for digitisation not received.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1417082
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