Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Arthur F. Kinney
Literature in English, British Isles
To Weigh the World Anew examines moments of rhetorical exchange in romances written by Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and Mary Wroth, arguing that these texts portray formal oratory as either unethical or inefficacious, while simultaneously depicting poetic or theatrical discourses as productively intervening between interlocutors of diverse social statuses. These exemplary episodes show fiction successfully mediating between different classes and genders, creating a demarcation between poetry and competing forms of eloquence and participating in the emergence of the poetical from the rhetorical. Ultimately, the repeated depiction of poesis as an efficacious form of mediation in self-reflexive romance shows that modern conceptions of poetics partially emerge as a response to a set of rapidly changing social formations.
Katz, David, "“TO WEIGH THE WORLD ANEW”: POETICS, RHETORIC, AND SOCIAL STRUGGLE, FROM SIDNEY’S ARCADIA TO SHAKESPEARE’S THEATER" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations. 1360.