Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Comparative Literature

First Advisor

Andrew E Shifflett


Much overlooked as a serious work, John Dryden's The Conquest of Granada is frequently touted as a play of absurd bombast. However, in this work I will demonstrate how it is a play that Dryden did not take lightly, and can be interpreted as a piece of social theory. As such, the play responds to rising Hobbesian thought of the day. Hobbesian social theory is based on a society uniting around an overpowering Leviathan whose power is based on fear and domination. Dryden's play, however, demonstrates a society that does away with the need for domination and, in its place, founds itself on bonds of love, just as modern psychoanalytical theorist Jessica Benjamin suggests is necessary for society today.