English Language and Literature ETDs


Gary L. Tate

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Gabriel Harvey moved through the English literary Renaissance like a pigmy among giants. In an era of large personalities and great talents there was little hope of lasting fame for a mediocre personality, no matter how much this fame might be desired. Harvey lacked the giant imagination of a Shakespeare, a Spenser, or a Marlowe; he lacked the aplomb and knowledge of the world of a Sidney; and he lacked the insight into the foibles and follies of men of a Jonson. His learning and ambition filled part of the gap left by these deficiencies, but neither of these attributes was sufficient to save him from ignominy in his own day and almost complete disregard in the twentieth century. He was overshadowed by the giants of his own day, and, in the Renaissance jungle of controversy and intellectual battles, he could do no more than aim pigmy-like blows at the larger figures and the larger issues. It is this small figure, moving relentlessly from controversy to controversy, that I shall attempt to evoke in this paper.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Thomas Matthews Pearce

Second Committee Member

Dane Farnsworth Smith

Third Committee Member

Katherine Gauss Simons



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