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Inner mind as outer self: Addressing problems of proof relating to mens rea through the literary figure of the double in gothic fiction

Hughes-Moore, Barbara Elin 2020. Inner mind as outer self: Addressing problems of proof relating to mens rea through the literary figure of the double in gothic fiction. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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In formulating a test for determining the defendant’s state of mind at the time of an offence, criminal courts have struggled to maintain a coherent and consistent approach. Located in the context of Law and Literature, which uses literary tools in analysing, understanding and shaping legal thought and action, my research explores problems of proof in criminal law, and the law’s relationship with the internal mind, through the literary figure of the double. Specifically, I will be looking at doubles in Gothic fiction from the nineteenth century, a time which struggled to understand the guilty psyche and personified the internal mind as an external being. By utilising Gothic doubles as a new way of reading doctrinal and theoretical debates regarding mens rea, my thesis aims to prove that doubles in Gothic fiction, specifically in Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus and The Picture of Dorian Gray, can be read as external manifestations of the internal mind; as representations of the criminal law of the nineteenth century which was in the process of developing mens rea. Ultimately, my research aims to provide new and unique ways of engaging with concepts of gender, character and the divide between subjective and objective approaches in cases of recklessness.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mens rea Criminal law Character Recklessness Provocation Loss of control Gothic Doubles Law and literature Frankenstein Dorian Gray Jekyll and Hyde
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 June 2020
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2021 10:02

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