Date of Award
Master of Arts
Because of Lady Mary Wroth's prominence as an early modern writer, literary scholars have devoted much attention to her The Countesse of Mountgomeries Urania (1621) and Pamphilia to Amphilanthus (1621). However, her pastoral tragicomedy Love's Victory (1620) has received little critical attention largely because it was not published until 1988. When scholars do examine Love's Victory, they focus on biographical connections, or emphasize the instances of female agency in the play.
In this thesis, I examine Love's Victory focusing instead on the literary representation of community and love. Female agency is only one of several key building blocks that work for a larger end: the establishment of an "erotopia" where hierarchies are revised to encourage reciprocal love and community. Mutuality and respect are also encouraged in the romantic relationships of the play to equalize the bond between man and woman. By portraying partnerships as her models of a successful relationship, Wroth seems to be responding to the 17th century movement towards more companionate marriages; thus, suggesting a larger social significance for examining this drama. I argue that the overall triumph of "Love's Victory" is the exchange of harmful power dynamics in romantic relationships, and in the community, for general reciprocity.
Miranda Dawn Munson
Munson, Miranda Dawn, ""Love's sweet pleasing paine:" the Erotopian Community in Lady Mary Wroth's Love's Victory" (2011). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 12132.