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Title: Legal reforms and dystopian discourse between the ancient and modern world : a comparative study of political change, law, and rhetoric
Author: Schuppert, Victoria Alice
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 4011
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores the significance of political change, law, and rhetoric in imaginary cities that feature animals and women as ‘Others.’ It studies dramatic and philosophical texts, from Aeschylean tragedy, Aristophanic comedy, and Platonic dialogue in ancient Greece to modern works, including Thomas More’s Utopia in 16th-century England and the utopias and dystopias of the 20th-century, in order to offer a discourse between the ancient and modern world. I demonstrate that each of these texts can be compared on a rhetorical and jurisprudential level, which allows us to examine how different characters engage with different forms of power in a setting which at least begins by being democratic. This enables us to trace the development of this strand of Western political thought over the last two thousand years, and to confront intractable political problems that recur throughout time. This confrontation helps us understand patterns of legal reforms and rhetoric and demonstrates that the concerns of Aristophanes and Plato can also be found in modern paradigms. The recourse to the utopian and dystopian fantastic, the seemingly apolitical animal world, and the differently organised female sphere, offers new insight into the activities of law-making, city-planning, and rhetoric, both in antiquity and today.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JC Political theory ; PA Classical philology