Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

William McMahon, George McCelvey, James Flynn

Degree Program

Department of English

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The strongest and best-developed supporting characters in The Portrait of a Lady are the men in Isabel Archer's life: Ralph Touchett, Caspar Goodwood, Lord Warburton, and Gilbert Osmond. Because it is largely through the eyes of these men that the reader sees Isabel, a thorough understanding of their personalities is essential for a clear interpretation of Isabel.

James shows the four men in vivid detail--their physical appearance, cultural background, intellect, moral convictions, sense of humor--everything from a habit of keeping hallas in pockets to having a wardrobe which seems to have come from a single bolt of cloth. This study draws together the details James gives the reader about Ralph, Caspar, Warburton, and Osmond along with the critics' comments about them in an analysis which attempts to show how each personality contributes to the development of Isabel Archer.


Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Literature in English, North America