Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Humility and humiliation in the works of T.S. Eliot and Samuel Beckett
Author: De-Villiers, Albert Rick
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 489X
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines the proximity between humility and humiliation in the works of T.S. Eliot and Samuel Beckett. It develops a framework within which the works of the two authors are seen as complementary – though not necessarily compatible – performances of humility. This framework is literary-critical and emphasises the singularity of the work of art in nuancing the relation between humility and humiliation. Arguing both that humility impels humiliation and, conversely, that states of humiliation invite humility, this thesis traces the relation between the terms within three categories: the affective, the ethical, and the aesthetic. The authors’ respective oeuvres are also read in relation to a theological tradition within which humility and humiliation are interdependent aspects of the individual subject’s awareness of his/her fallibility. This view pits Eliot and Beckett against interpretations of humility that prize it as a social virtue, whether in the guise of modest behaviour or as a mode that drives communal endeavour. In drawing out these parallels and oppositions, the thesis asserts an understanding of humiliation as a self-reflexive and potentially positive ethical manoeuvre in bringing about humility. This study thus contributes a literary perspective to a small body of works which, in recent years, have proffered comparable conceptions of humiliation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available