Date of Award

8-1-2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

English

First Advisor

Humphries, Michael

Abstract

Today, "Law and Literature" scholars take many divergent approaches in considering the relationship between law and literature, but, generally, these approaches focus on how literature informs the law. One approach, how law informs or contributes to literature by considering literature within its legal context, has been rejected as a difficult task, which requires far more effort than its rewards would encourage. However, approaching specific legal issues engaged by an author within a literary text can be accomplished successfully, and the research required to understand the legal context of literary texts provides an exciting opportunity both to unearth levels of meaning within a text and to discover the evolution of the law from points of view that differ from those included within standardized historical and legal texts.

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