Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

George McCelvey, Kenneth Clarke, Willson Wood

Degree Program

Department of English

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Lewis repeatedly revealed himself to be concerned with effect: in his statement that he desired to increase effect by heightening the color of The Monk and in his statements concerning his goal in The Castle Spectre there is the recurrent theme of desire to horrify. This desire has been shown to grow out of the aesthetic ideal of sublimity which was developed in years preceding The Monk. The implicit defect in this concept is that it may be used to justify sensational works which lack lasting merit, as was largely the case with The Castle Spectre, not to mention the mass of chapbook romances and inferior plays which were produced at the tie. As has been shown, however, there have been many misconceptions which have grown up around Lewis, prejudicing his biography, and blocking a clear assessment of his literary worth. As has been shown also, Lewis displayed throughout his productions a versatility and occasional brilliance which cannot be attributed to temporary popular appeal.


Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Literature in English, British Isles