Robert Raymond Shaffer (Boise State University)
Boise State University: Master of Arts in English, Rhetoric and Composition, These and Dissertations, Paper 367, May (2013)
This thesis explores an expanded definition of the words profile and profiling in order to demonstrate how a person or people construct images of themselves in order to join with, mold, and position themselves over other people or groups. For the purposes of this thesis, profiles are manifested in the form of physical events or tangible artifacts and are composed to represent, define, and impose the character of the person presenting the profile. Specifically, I focus on an actual medieval banquet in honor of King Richard II hosted in London on September 23, 1387.
I bring together semiotic theories common to literary criticism, rhetoric, linguistics, as well as social sciences such as anthropology and sociology to construct a lens through which I conduct my analysis. After providing historical context and a recreation of the banquet in question, I detail the analysis from the point of the observers who would have been present. The context of these differing evaluations explains the variety of accepted beliefs about Richard II and his noble character. Finally, I explain the relevancy of this lens and how it can be applied to various areas of study across nearly all disciplines. This explanation leads to an understanding of how individual profiling can be composed, observed, and interpreted by the composer as well as the observer across many times, places, and disciplines.