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dc.contributor.advisorEllinghausen, Laurie, 1972-
dc.contributor.advisorBennett, Jeffrey S.
dc.contributor.authorSchulenberg, Lara Jennifer
dc.date.issued2023
dc.date.submitted2023 Fall
dc.descriptionTitle from PDF of title page, viewed January 10, 2023
dc.descriptionDissertation advisors: Laurie Ellinghausen and Jeffrey Bennett
dc.descriptionVita
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references (pages 247-270)
dc.descriptionDissertation (Ph.D.)--Department of English Language and Literature. Center for Religious Studies. University of Missouri--Kansas City, 2023
dc.description.abstractThough forcefully absent in its traditional practice by political and religious reformation, evidence of confession in early modern English drama remained and became representative of an exchange of power between dramatic characters on Shakespeare’s stage. By closely examining Shakespeare’s dramas Measure for Measure, The Winter’s Tale, The Tragedy of Richard the Second, and The Tragedy of Richard the Third, this dissertation argues that examples of confession are a symbolic and psychological acknowledgment of authority. The potency of this symbolic representation was made possible by generations of reinforcement of the two participatory sides of penance, the penitent and confessor, by emphasizing a power discrepancy between both roles. This dissertation will first present a thorough history and the development of the practice of confession–emphasizing the manner in which the role of confessor is imbued with religious and social authority, while the composition of the dynamic relationally exposes the penitent. To establish how this symbolic speech act arrives at the meaning it holds in the early modern period, the historical scope of this project will examine the practices and regard of confession in the early Catholic Church, along with critical theologians’ writings addressing the significance of the role of the priest or confessor in receiving confession, along with defining the behavior of the penitent. Furthermore, by establishing the approach to doctrinal piety in early Christian and medieval religious texts and examining the practices of popular piety in literary texts of the Middle Ages, a clear relationship tone is distinguished between penitent and confessor. This dissertation will move on to prove how this dramatic relationship signifies a symbolic power dynamic in early modern English drama. Though presented through subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, verbal cues and character juxtaposition, Shakespeare’s dramatic confessionary created on the early modern stage has an indelible impact on the recognition and reception of these symbolic exchanges of power.
dc.description.tableofcontentsIntroduction -- “Go show yourselves to the priest” the development of confession as a symbol of authority -- “To advise you, comfort you, and pray with you”: Duke Vincentio's purposeful and ignoble transformation to confessor in Measure for measure -- “It is requir'd / you do awake your faith”: Paulina as pastoral confessor in The winter's tale -- “Confess thee freely of thy sin": relinquishing power through forced confession in Richard the second -- “Plots I have laid”: the willing and calculating confessions of the Tragedy of Richard the third -- Conclusion
dc.format.extentxii, 272 pages
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10355/97801
dc.subject.lcshConfession in literature
dc.subject.lcshShakespeare, William, -- 1564-1616 -- Measure for measure
dc.subject.lcshShakespeare, William, -- 1564-1616 -- Winter's tale
dc.subject.lcshShakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- King Richard II
dc.subject.lcshShakespeare, William, -- 1564-1616 -- King Richard III
dc.subject.lcshConfession -- History
dc.subject.otherDissertation -- University of Missouri--Kansas City -- English
dc.subject.otherDissertation -- University of Missouri--Kansas City -- Religious Studies
dc.titleForgive Me, Father, For I Have Sinned: The Dramatic Potency of Confession on the Early Modern English Shakespearean Stage
MARC.362
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglish (UMKC)
thesis.degree.disciplineReligious Studies (UMKC)
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Missouri--Kansas City
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.namePh.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)


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