College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts in History - Thesis (MA)
Christopher J Smith
American History, American Revolution, Early American Literature, Mythology, Typology
Cultural History | History | History of Religion | Other History | Social History | United States History
Stone, Nathan, "Silver Breathed Upon the Stage: the American Revolution as Drama and Mythology" (2017). Masters Theses. 451.
At the time of the American Revolution, several different intellectual influences were present within the American colonies: the classical tradition, taken from ancient Greece and Rome; Christianity, taken from the Bible and the Reformed, Calvinist tradition; and, Whig theory. The question that must be asked is: Were these different intellectual traditions brought together at the time of the American Revolution and, if so, by what means? By analyzing how the different traditions were present in the colonies as well as how the past was utilized through the eighteenth century understanding of time and history—particularly through the use of pseudonyms and typology—it is contended that the answer to the question can be found in mythology. By analyzing the nature and purposes of mythology, especially in the thought of G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis, it is argued that mythology was the method by which the revolutionaries unified the different traditions in order to create a new narrative for the new country.