Mask as metaphor: The function of personae in Aphra Behn's “The Rover”, part I and “Oroonoko”




Gregg, Gretchen Esely

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Aphra Behn's dramatic and literary works contain the recurring themes of hidden identity and masked personae. Since political and social events inform Behn's art and her construction of personae, a historical context frames the research. The thesis further examines Behn's use of masking as a narrative technique with which she creates both literal, physical space and rhetorical discursive space for social and political views in her work. The theory of discursive technique is applied to a demonstration of how Behn uses the mask as metaphor in two major works: her play The Rover, Part I and her novel Oroonoko. Finally, the thesis explores how Behn's use of masked personae provides a discursive link between her plays and her narrative fiction.



Language, literature and linguistics, British and Irish literature, Womens literature