Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Steven M. Vose

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Oren Stier

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Iqbal Akhtar

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Ethics in religion, Translation studies

Date of Defense



This thesis presents an analysis of virtue as it is illustrated in Jinaratna-Suri’s Līlāvatīsāra (Epitome of Queen Līlāvatī). By the deliberate use of simple yet remarkably clear and straightforward language, this text is able to prescribe the methods necessary for acting virtuously while solidifying spiritual archetypes that operate in a social context.

In this project, I argue that Virtue and the Western definition of goodness, work as parallel yet independent ideas. Intrinsic moral behavior as a sign of spiritual advancement can take on different natures depending on the underlying motivation of the characters. Thus, as far as it is represented in this text, virtuosity is intrinsically linked with the operative/active aspect of karmic residue, as well as with the works of fate and human agency.

My research also argues that the combination of these prior phenomena effectively illustrated through allegorical language leave very little opportunity for female agency to operate. Women’s virtuosity becomes one that portrays female characters as “the other” and marginalizes the roles they play accordingly. The text groups these characters into archetypes of a rather negative nature which hamper the development of their literary personas. Because the repetition of such method, these female characters become representatives of their whole group, solidifying their own spiritual boundaries in the process .





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