Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (MA)

Degree Level





Keith Booker

Committee Member

Casey Kayser

Second Committee Member

Sean Teuton


Language, literature and linguistics, Philosophy, religion and theology, Communication and the arts, Cannibalism, Bryan Fuller, Hannibal, Morality, Popular culture, Television, Violence


Popular criticism insists that violence in the media perpetuates violence in the real world. This is an especially relevant argument today as we witness on a daily basis the violence that is occurring in the United States through mass shootings, police brutality, and countless other forms of aggressive actions. While studies do show a correlation between violent media and real-world violence, there is no absolute conclusion that proves such. My thesis addresses the moral lessons that can be learned through violence on television, particularly through the creative adaptation of Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter series as reimagined by Bryan Fuller in his three-season NBC television series Hannibal. I argue that the blood and gore we witness in Hannibal is not simply a form of mindless entertainment, but a modernized fairy tale replete with moral lessons. It asks us to look into ourselves, what we are capable of, and why we must be constantly aware of ourselves and our surroundings. Furthermore, it addresses the growing problem of Social and economic inequality in our world, and acts as a striking metaphor for the “haves” and the “have nots.”