Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Richelle Munkhoff

Second Advisor

Katherine Eggert

Third Advisor

Rebecca Laroche


My readings of Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale draw on the evolving historical narrative created by feminist scholars of the history of science, medicine, and ecology. Early modern male medical professionals and scientists greened themselves and their fields, I argue, by positioning themselves above feminized Nature. These men’s greenness, the way in which they locate themselves in relation to the natural world, represents the unspoken colonization of knowledge. By “Green Economies,” then I mean to read for what has been greened, by whom, in what way, and to what end. Yet Shakespeare also depicts female characters, such as Ophelia, Perdita, and Paulina, who have the capacity and knowledge to green their own economies to gain or maintain authority. Influenced by ecofeminist thinkers, the linchpin of my readings will look at how early modern men, women, and literary characters greened their political, social, and sexual economies for their own means.