Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Comparative Literature


James Miller


Western authors have traditionally represented disease as a disorder of the body, but a disorderthatironicallyprovokesamoralexaminationofhumanbehaviourunderstress. The urgency of tropological and anagogic responses to illness intensifies in the case of epidemic diseases. Whether rapidly contagious like bubonic plague, or furtively infectious like leprosy, epidemic diseases tend to trigger profound teleological anxiety. Such epidemics figure in literature not only as the effects of divine wrath but also as the causes of immoral or antisocial behaviour at the human level. An inextricable connection between economics and disease is formed and allegorized, with particular emphasis on the anagogic possibilities such a connection proposes.



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