Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Committee or Advisor Chair

Not available.

Committee Members

F.S. Bromberger

Ralph E. Hone

William W. Main


literature and language, myths and legends, dramas, ancient Greek, French, existentialism


Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Classical Literature and Philology | French and Francophone Language and Literature | Language Interpretation and Translation | Modern Literature | Philosophy


It is not because the ancient Greeks and the modern French are notable wine-makers as well as play-makers that I choose a wine analogy for this comparative study of drama; nor is it because Dionysus is the patron god of both wine and drama, though to my mind both coincidences are certainly happy ones. The primary reason for taking that saw about old wine in new bottles and turning it around to read new wine in old bottles is that this formula presents what I believe to be the most appropriate controlling metaphor for my subject. In the usual use of the expression, the wine is of course the content, or theme, that is poured into the bottle, which is the form. It is a nice way of putting things, perhaps, but it only draws attention to that old distinction between content and form--a distinction which, in any genuine work of art, is largely artificial. In inverting the phrase, I choose to make an altogether different distinction, not between the theme of a work and the form of a work, but, to put it most simply, between the work itself--a drama in this case--and the legend on which it is based. Thus when I speak of new wine in old bottles, I have in mind not new themes in old forms--though this in some respects is close to what I mean--but new plays based on old legends.