Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jeffrey Powers-Beck

Committee Members

Frederick O. Waage, Judith B. Slagle


While aspects of mysticism appear in the poetry of both George Herbert and Henry Vaughan, the general consensus among critics has acknowledged the mysticism of Vaughan while ignoring its roots in Herbert's writings. Among the leading authorities on the poetry of Herbert, there has been a general tendency to dismiss, ignore, or explain away mystical elements. A study of representative works by prominent critics to ascertain their positions on this issue reveals not only what can be known for certain about Herbert's theology, but also the interpretations that have been offered for his most famous poems. While these interpretations are useful, the discerning reader must look beyond them, both to the tradition of mysticism and to the Bible, to understand the intensely personal nature of Herbert's spiritual journey. Only then can the full extent of his influence on Vaughan be understood.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.