Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Welford D. Taylor

Second Advisor

Dr. Lynn Dickerson


Criticism extant on myth in Cabell's Jurgen has focused largely either on the presence of specific mythos in the text, or on the universal application of those myths to the modern world via the cultural-anthropological methods first described in Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough. The common thread in such criticism is that myth is always perceived as an authoritative structure for the transmission of the author's themes. This thesis proposes, however, that the satirical tone and self-conscious allegory of Jurgen systematically combine to strip myth of all authority, placing it in a role which conceals, rather than transmits, meaning. Additionally, Jurgen reveals an understanding of the myth-making process as inherently deceptive and at odds with the traditional Frazerian understanding.