Persons, perception, and play : human Christological inscape in the work of Gerard Manley Hopkins.


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This thesis will argue that Hopkins presents a consistent dynamic of “human” inscape which explains a noticeable disparity expressed across his early, middle, and late periods regarding the felt presence of Christ. In the first chapter, I argue that a “tryptic” of poems I curate explains how a person is “cleaved” from their sinful past through cooperating grace. In the second chapter, I argue that Hopkins’s treatment of human faces reveals the ways in which other human persons can both be a means and obstacle to Christological inscape. In my final chapter, I argue that the concept of Christological “play” in creation and persons demonstrates more consistency than the disparities some read in Hopkins’s middle and late poems. Ultimately, the dynamic of human inscape in Hopkins’s poetry demonstrates how he can (and does) hold fast to the hope of a Christ who is always present in and playing through persons.



Gerard Manley Hopkins. Christology. Inscape. Poetics. Play. The body.