Date of Award

5-1989

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

English

First Advisor

David Arnett

Second Advisor

Bonnie Arnett

Abstract

Surprisingly, the importance of music in the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries has received little attention from modern scholars. Much has been written on the music which would have affected Shakespeare, but no one has focused his or her attention on Shakespeare's use of music as a dramatic device, i.e., as an aid to intensify and forward action, convey meaning, portray characters, and create atmosphere, such as a mood of mysticism or awe. In Henry IV, which I shall consider here, music as a dramatic device supports the Platonic concept of unity and the tripartite structure of both the individual psyche and the state. This paper will address music as a dramatic device, including the way it serves as a unifying force within the play.

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