Date of Award

Spring 5-26-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Gavin Hollis

Second Advisor

Cristina Alfar

Academic Program Adviser

Janet Neary


"The Second Pen" evaluates the historical relevancy of prevalent monikers for William Shakespeare-- namely, "The Bard," "Swan of Avon," and "Upstart Crow." While Brennan finds the general concept of the moniker to encapsulate Shakespeare's current historical legacy, he equally finds the aforementioned monikers to misrepresent this. Brennan offers "The Second Pen" as a moniker for Shakespeare that redresses the distortions of the others. He concentrates his defense of its relevancy around a defense of William Shakespeare as the "second pen" which Ben Jonson's 1605 Sejanus quarto names as a collaborator in the writing of a preceding stage version of the drama.



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