Degree Year

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English

Advisor(s)

Natasha Tessone

Keywords

Seamus Heaney, Old English, North, Northern Ireland, Poetry

Abstract

As an Irish poet writing during the twentieth century, Seamus Heaney is constantly aware of the politics and problems of operating in the English language. My project locates Heaney in a context of writers and theorists who are similarly interested in the politics of language-ownership and the logistics of communication and expression in a major language. I argue that Heaney’s North presents a unique solution to these common language questions, and that the poet’s focus on etymologies and language history makes his escape into linguistic nonaffiliation more feasible than other, more abstract attempts at a borderless, liberated language.

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