Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

English Language and Literature

Committee Member

Christine Neufeld, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Laura George, Ph.D.


This thesis proposes a new category for literary analysis called the literary trickster figure. Over the last few centuries, the trickster figure has been reduced from a cultural hero to a dubious character. If we trace the trickster’s western roots back to Hermes, Mercury, and Loki and take global trickster scholarship into consideration, criteria can be established and the role of the literary trickster can be assessed. The literary trickster’s role is to undermine the established order (social and political hierarchies), create disorder and bring awareness to systemic issues in order to bring about change. Once the literary trickster category is established, an analysis of two characters—Petyr Baelish from A Song of Ice and Fire and Pandarus from Troilus and Criseyde—will demonstrate how the literary trickster functions.