Suffering and the early modern imagination, 1570-1671

  • Niall Kennedy

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Suffering and the early modern imagination, 1570-1671 is a study of the imaginative handling of suffering in Renaissance England literature. Beginning with the Reformed Protestant hermeneutics detailing the redemptive qualities of pain with John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs in 1570, the thesis goes on to trace how the poetry and drama of the ensuing century participate in expanding the availability of meanings for pain, culminating with a consideration of the critique of assigning any redemptive values to the pain of John Milton’s titular protagonist of his closet drama, Samson Agonistes, in 1671.

Thesis embargoed until 31 December 2024
Date of AwardDec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsAHRC Northern Bridge DTP
SupervisorMark Burnett (Supervisor) & Edel Lamb (Supervisor)


  • Suffering
  • imagination
  • early modern literature
  • poetry
  • drama
  • John Foxe
  • Christopher Marlowe
  • John Donne
  • Margaret Cavendish
  • John Milton

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