Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Dr. Brett Wilson
Dr. Kim Wheatley
Dr. Adam Potkay
Dr. Mitchell Brown
Henry Fielding’s concept of the “comic Epic-Poem in Prose” helped to establish Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones as foundational texts in the history of the novel in English, but scholars have largely overlooked the influence of Fielding’s deep knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman comedy on the development of the genre of the novel in Britain. By comparing the plays of Aristophanes, Plautus, and Terence with Fielding’s novels, it becomes clear that these ancient playwrights contributed to the slapstick style of humor, sharp satirical wit, and emphasis on reconciliation present throughout Joseph Andrews andTom Jones, and this relationship necessitates further recognition in Fielding scholarship, establishing a more diverse pool of influences from which Fielding created his prose fiction.
Ryan, Stephen, ""This Great Theatre of Nature": Henry Fielding and the Ancient Comic Stage" (2019). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1335.
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