Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Emily Bloom

Second Advisor

Marie Sumner-Lott

Third Advisor

Mary Hocks


Alexandre Dumas fils' La Dame aux Camélias has existed in various media for more than 150 years, originating from life events that were mediated through the novel and remediated via theater, opera, and film. I examine in my thesis how this particular narrative has survived the centuries and how each depiction relates the social expectations, desires, and fears of the time period in which the revised story is generated. The relationship between Dumas and the famous courtesan Marie Duplessis and its fictional recreations in Dumas' novel La Dame aux Camélias, his play Camille, Giuseppe Verdi's opera La Traviata, and Baz Luhrmann's film Moulin Rouge! reflects a human compulsion to create narratives in order to grasp daily events and to potentially escape those events or comment upon those which do not fit concisely into their socially expected codes of understanding.