Theatre Ph.D. Dissertations


Me and My Shadow: An Exploration of Doppelganger as Found in the Music and Text of Susan Glaspell's The Verge

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Theatre and Film

First Advisor

Jonathan Chambers, PhD (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

James Forse, PhD (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Ronald Shields, PhD (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Margaret McCubbin, MFA (Committee Member)


This study explores the use of, and reaction to, the music used in Susan Glaspell's The Verge. Through close textual and musical analysis, and by extension, historical investigation, the argument is made that Glaspell's The Verge is a virtual "shadow" play, or doppelganger, of Jacques Offenbach's opera The Tales of Hoffman, from which some of the music is taken. The exploration further contends that through the use of the hymn, Nearer, My God, To Thee, by Lowell Mason and Sarah Flower Adams, Glaspell also extends a vision of gender relations that reaches far beyond Hoffman's misogynistic, patriarchal space insofar as it creates a compellingly powerful religious viewpoint: an embodiment of the Christian Godhead, as a precursor to the late twentieth century social and existential feminist perspective.