This thesis explores the existence of an identified author in relation to a text and how this identity and recognition thereof affects the way the work is perceived in the realm of literary criticism and by the law. The study covers how modern literary critics, such as Foucault and Barthes, viewed the author in relation to his work, and what role this bestowed on the reader/audience of the work. It also sheds light on theories about the identity of the "original" author of such monumental works as the Iliad and Odyssey, Shakespeare's plays, and T.S. Eliot's Wasteland. Lastly, the study delves into what steps laws of different nations have taken to define creation which can be identified as "original" and what works merit to be protected by copyright, and how such laws have affected the author and his/her work.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences


English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Ferial Ghazoul

Committee Member 1

Ferial Ghazoul

Committee Member 2

William Melaney

Committee Member 3

Gian Balsamo

Document Type



45 leaves

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Intellectual property.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Copying processes


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Call Number

Thesis 2005/78