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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Arts (D.A.)



First Advisor

M. R. McCullen

First Committee Member

Robert Knighton


While George Meredith's sixteen-line sonnet sequence Modern Love fits neatly into his philosophical, triadic system of Blood, Brain, and Spirit,1 the neatness of this correspondence should not cause us to ignore other complementary systems that inform and expand the poem. A careful reading of Modern: Love will expose a consistent allusion to the biblical myth of Adam and Eve, an allusion which adds a grand, universalized dimension to the poem's focused drama. Meredith has re-interpreted the myth to fit his own evaluation of love; moreover, the imagery of Modern Love, as it transforms the original myth, allows us to ascertain through those salient differences the sentiments behind Meredith's rewriting of the myth and to appreciate more fully Meredith's acute, almost brutal, reappraisal of the essential relationship between men and women.





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