The tragic vision of John Ford
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The dissertation analyzes the changes in the tragic vision in four of John Ford's plays. The term "tragic vision" refers to a particular view of the nature of the universe and of man. Although a sensed moral order gives meaning to the events, the representation of radical and inevitable evil and the emphasis on suffering suggest a dark universe. Man's potentialities are centered in a sympathetic hero whose greatness enables him to face insoluble moral problems, to endure suffering, and to come to new knowledge. From these elements arise the emotions of pity, fear, and wonder. Preoccupation either with the alleged immorality or with the alleged determinism in Ford's tragedies has until recently prevented a full discussion of their tragic nature. Since the view now widely accepted holds both that the plays are moral and that the characters are not wholly determined, it becomes easier to study the plays as tragedy, but as yet no one has attempted to describe the development of Ford's tragic vision. This effort has not been made perhaps because the chronology of the plays is difficult to determine. On the basis of available evidence and in agreement with a number of critics, the following order of composition is tentatively supposed: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Love's Sacrifice, The Broken Heart, and Perkin Warbeck. A study of the tragic vision supports this chronology [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University.
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