Aemilia Lanyer used her collection of poetry, Salve Deus Rex Judæorum to redefine the way that women should look at themselves in the eyes of God. She began her collection with poems dedicated to women that she had deemed virtuous and worthy of individual attention. Her dedicatees were then presented to her readers as the true Disciples of Christ; an honor due to women because of their empathy for Christ's situation. Lanyer rewrote the biblical Passion story in order to include a feminized version of Christ, the rightful female Disciples of Christ and an additional trial presented to Pontius Pilate asking for the reexamination of women and the blame placed upon them by Eve. She gathered all of these women in a garden within her poetry in order to present them with vital information for their future. Lanyer presented herself as a prophetic poet in order to give herself the authority she required to deliver a prophecy of warning to her readers. This thesis examines the way that Lanyer used religious and nature imagery in order to deliver her prophetic warning of danger to her dedicatees. Using eco-feminist scholars, I explore Lanyer's connection of women's right to nature in her poetry. I also examine Lanyer's fashioning of herself as a prophetic poet in order to impress the urgency of the female situation on her readers. Finally, I discuss her rewrite of the Passion story and the ultimate message that Lanyer intended to send to her readers through her poetry.


Mary S. Johnston

Committee Member

Melissa Purdue

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Arts and Humanities

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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