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Date of Award

9-1990

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Supervisor

Mary Silcox

Language

English

Abstract

This thesis examines Michael Drayton's Endimion and Phoebe as a work that forces its reader to focus on its female subject: the Moon-goddess. Although critics have been fascinated with the experience of Endimion, Drayton's poem is actually constructed around Phoebe. The first chapter of the thesis explores the Neoplatonism in the poem, particularly as it leads to the paradox of Drayton's mutable goddess; Phoebe contains within her both unity and multiplicity. The second chapter discusses the further complexities of Phoebe by examining the unfolding of her character through the poem. When we consider the implications of moon mythology we will find the tension between Phoebe's passivity and her power of particular importance. Drayton's Moon-goddess, "the onely Mistres of the Night," is no mere accessory to Endimion and Phoebe but instead pervades the poem so thoroughly that we cannot dispute her status as the poem's nucleus.

McMaster University Library

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