Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. Kevin Marti

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Shenk

Third Advisor

Dr. Daniel Gonzalez


The Middle English lyric, “Sir John Doth Play,” narrated in the female voice clearly depicts rape by a male authority figure and the narrator’s distress over her unplanned pregnancy, yet has been repeatedly interpreted and introduced by critics as a love song portraying the interaction of a seductive village priest and a gullible maiden. As such, the lyric provides a unique perspective on the patriarchal nature of the twentieth century and the value of critically re-examining literature rather than canonizing accepted interpretations of literary work.


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