Karley Misek

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

English Language and Literature

First Advisor

Elisabeth Dӓumer, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Craig Dionne, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Joseph Csicsila, Ph.D.


Mythology has been a popular field in literature for thousands of years due to its relatability and exploration of life, power, identity, gender, and society. 20th century poet Muriel Rukeyser implements Greek and Roman mythology in careful and elaborate forms of revision and complete rewriting. This thesis explores Rukeyser as a myth-maker through several of her poems via self insertion, criticism, and revision. Rukeyser claims her authority as a woman and poet using mythology, which adds a layer of tradition and innovation to her poet identity. Her use of myth explores classic stories in a feminist lens to speak to personal and public experiences. Rukeyser’s perspective on mythology relates to issues of feminism and revision today and speaks to what it means to be a woman, poet, and creator of myths. She revisions the role of creation in myths that typically depict men as all powerful figures, complicating these stories and the experience of women within, and response to, them.