Research Papers on Shakespeare

Click on any of the research paper to read a brief synopsis of the paper. The essay synopsis includes the number of pages and sources cited in the paper.


Research Papers on Shakespeare

Click on any of the term papers to read a brief synopsis of the research paper. The essay synopsis includes the number of pages and sources cited in the paper.

  • Jealousy in Othello

    A 3 page essay that discusses jealousy in Shakespeare's Othello. Jealousy, both professional jealousy and sexual jealousy, plays is the primary motivational force portrayed by Shakespeare in Othello. While Shakespeare focuses primarily on Othello's sexual jealousy as his motivation for the murder of his wife, Desdemona, behind Othello's actions are the manipulations of Iago, which are motivated by professional jealousy. In other words, throughout the play, in general, Shakespeare warns his audience against the insidiously evil effect of jealousy. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

  • History Plays of William Shakespeare

    An 8 page research paper that discusses Shakespeare's ten history plays constitute a substantial portion of his canon. The main body of these plays cover the years 1398 to 1485, with two additional plays, King John and Henry VIII, forming, respectively, a prologue and an epilogue to this period (Sen Gupta 55). These eight plays offer a survey of English history that begins in the last years of the reign of Richard II and end with the death of Richard III. The following survey of Shakespeare's history plays looks at where they fit in the Shakespeare's conception of English history and their historical accuracy. Bibliography lists 6 sources.

  • Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night/On Film

    A 7 page research paper/essay that discusses 2 film adaptations. While there are numerous film adaptations of Shakespeare’s tragedies, the Bard’s comedies have proven to be notoriously difficult to translate successfully to the screen (Crowl 69). However, Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing (1993) and Trevor Nunn’s Twelfth Night (1996) successfully overcome the challenges inherent in a film adaptation of a Shakespearean comedy, as both films were artistically and commercially successful. First of all, these films overcome the problems of translating the plays from the restrictive confines of the stage to the visual options available in film. They also combine aspects of Hollywood storytelling and cinematic technique that are familiar to modern audiences with Shakespeare text and, thereby, imbue the classic plays with fresh energy and postmodern aesthetic. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

  • A Review of the 1965 Film The Greatest Othello?

    This 4 page report discusses Sir Laurence Olivier's 1965 film version of Shakespeare's "Othello." The film is something of a hybrid in that it is actually a filming of the stage production by the National Theatre of Great Britain. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

  • Stage and Screen Adaptations of Hamlet by William Shakespeare

    This 5 page report discusses Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and the statement made by Bert O. States that analogous techniques are at work in the art of the film director, for "Shakespearean cinematography makes use of the same device (as employed by film directors) for advancing character ambiguity by framing the character against the rhetorical sky of the play's world." Issues of location, whether expressionistic (as in Olivier's stage portrayal) or realistic (as in director Franco Zeffirelli's film version). Bibliography lists 5 sources.

  • 3 Films and Their Structures

    A 3 age paper which examines “Shakespeare in Love,” “As Good as it Gets,” and “Apollo 13” in relationship to their structure. No additional sources cited.

  • Rewriting History with William Shakespeare's 'Richard the Third'

    An 8 page paper which examines how Shakespeare’s Richard III rewrites history by portraying him as little more than a deformed and evil caricature despite his intelligence, cunning, and psychological astuteness. Bibliography lists 4 sources.

  • Literature, Film, Identity, and Travel

    An 8 page research paper that examines the connection between travel and identity construction. The writer looks specifically at Shakespeare's The Tempest, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and Coppola's Apocalypse Now. Bibliography lists 8 sources.

  • The Use of Critical Sources in Understanding Works of Shakespeare

    In this 5 page essay, the writer recounts how remarkably important critical sources (i.e., books, articles, etc;) were in helping them to understand various plays of Shakespeare and truly appreciate them. The writer presents what they "got" from plays like Macbeth, Othello, & King Lear on their own, and then to what subtle points other authors helped them open their eyes. Bibliography lists 6 sources.

  • The Element of Tragedy as Presented in Literature

    In 7 pages, the author presents an argumentative essay in which it is argued that of the two plays, Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman,' and William Shakespeare's 'The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice,' the one that is more tragic is 'Death of a Salesman.' Bibliography lists 6 sources.

  • Literature and Human Relationships

    This 5 page paper takes The Birds by Aristophanes, four Woody Allen films, and Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra and finds common ground. Human relationships are the focus of this paper that highlights the use of comedy. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

  • Literature and Analysis of Character, Theme, Symbols, and Setting

    This 11 page report discusses a number of well-known literary works that offer a broad range of styles and concepts relating to the 19th and 20th century literary experience. Authors considered are Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Joyce, William Faulkner, Henrik Ibsen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, poet Elizabeth Bishop and brief references to William Shakespeare’s “Othello” and Robert Burns’ “Red, Red Rose.” Bibliography lists 7 sources.

  • Oedipus Complex and Hamlet: 'Love Thy Mother

    In five pages this paper examines Acts I through III of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet within the context of Ernest Jones’ essay ‘Hamlet’s Oedipus Complex.’ Two sources are listed in the bibliography.

  • Tragic Flaws in Prince Hamlet's Personality

    A 5 page research paper that investigates the personality of the Shakespeare's Danish prince and the tragic flaws that lead him to his destiny. The writer explores Hamlet's cynicism, his relationship to Claudius and Gertrude and others. Bibliography lists 4 sources.

  • William Shakespeare's Hamlet and Deadly Character Flaws

    A 5 page paper which examines several characters from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and discusses how their personal flaws led them to death. The characters discussed are Hamlet, Polonius, and Ophelia. No additional sources cited.

  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare and the Influence of Seneca

    This 3 page paper describes Seneca's influence on Shakespeare's play "Hamlet," with particular regard to revenge, supernatural happenings, and suicide. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

  • Hamlet and the Attractive Prospect of Suicide

    In eight pages this paper analyzes Hamlet’s attraction to suicide as a solution to his problems and how death is presented in imagery and in some of Prince’s soliloquies in William Shakespeare’s tragic play. Two sources are listed in the bibliography

  • In Defense of Brutus

    A 3 page essay that is fashioned as if Brutus did not commit suicide, and the writer is offering a defense of his actions based on Shakespeare's play. No additional sources cited.

  • Suicide and the Symbolism in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

    This 5 page paper gives a brief synopsis of the play Hamlet by Shakespeare. Analyzed is the role of Ophelia and the symbolism of her character. Examples, citations and quotes offered. Bibliography lists 1 source.

  • Suicide or Murder of Ophelia in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

    A 4 page paper which examines the death of Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, discussing whether it was murder or suicide. Bibliography lists 4 additional sources.

  • Langston Hughes/Critical Response to 2 Poems

    A 9 page research paper that discusses 2 poems by Langston Hughes (1902-1967), who has been termed the “Shakespeare of Harlem,” as he is credited with some of the finest poetry to emerge from that “great flowering of African-American literature known as the Harlem Renaissance” (Sundquist 55). Two of his poems, “Harlem,” which is also known under the title “Dream Deferred,” and “I, Too, Sing America” exemplify the radical protest spirit that characterizes a great deal of Hughes’ verse. Bibliography lists 9 sources.

  • The Art of Indirection

    This 6 page paper compares Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 (“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”) to John Donne’s poem “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning,” and argues that they are examples of the poet using indirect methods to make his point. It also argues that neither poem could be considered a traditional romantic effort. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

  • The Art of Indirection

    This 6 page paper compares Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 (“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”) to John Donne’s poem “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning,” and argues that they are examples of the poet using indirect methods to make his point. It also argues that neither poem could be considered a traditional romantic effort. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

  • ''The Phoenix and the Turtle' by William Shakespeare

    A 3 page paper which examines Shakespeare's poem "The Phoenix and the Turtle." Bibliography lists 4 sources.

  • Comparative Analysis of Sonnet 23 and Sonnet 147 by William Shakespeare

    A 9 page essay that contrasts and compares Shakespeare's use of figuratively language in Sonnets 23 and 147. These sonnets focus on the dark side of love and the excruciating torment that it can bring when love is unrequited or undeserved. The writer also points out where the poems are different in context, as Sonnet 23 still holds out hope for the poet while Sonnet 147 contemplates the utter ruin of an affair. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

  • Shakespeare/My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun

    A 4 page essay that explicates this poem by discussing Shakespeare's satirical take on Petrarchan conventions. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

  • Poetry and Time

    This 5 page paper contemplates essential life and death issues but focuses on time as a concept. Many poems are discussed including some of Shakespeare's works, Poe's "The Raven," Sir Walter Ralegh's "The Author's Epitaph, Made By Himself," and Keats's "On first looking into Chapman's Homer." Bibliography lists 1 source.

  • Literary and Poetic Examples of True Love

    A 5 page paper which examines what true love is as described by literature and poetry. The paper discusses Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 116,” Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How Do I Love Thee?,” Bernard Malamud’s “The Magic Barrel,” Judith Viorst’s “True Love,” and Linda Pastan’s “Love Poem.” No additional sources cited.

  • Beloved Dismemberment in Poetry

    A 7 page paper which examines early modern poetry as possessing elements addressing a beloved that all but dismembers them. The poems discussed are Sir Philip Sidney’s “Astrophil and Stella #29,” Shakespeare’s Sonnet #98, and Christopher Marlowe’s “Hero and Leander.” No additional sources cited.

  • Hamlet: Sexuality, Anxiety, and Madness

    In three pages this paper discusses whether or not Hamlet was truly mad and also examines the sexuality and anxiety exhibited in Act I, Scene III of William Shakespeare' tragic play. Two sources are listed in the bibliography.

  • Sexuality and the Sonnets of William Shakespeare

    This 13 page paper discusses Shakespeare's sonnets, specifically numbers 18 and 130, with regard to the sexuality found therein. Bibliography lists 5 sources.

  • Literary Self Determination in Women and Sexuality

    A 9 page paper showing the connection between these two issues, as demonstrated in the works of Aristophanes, Plato, Dante, and Shakespeare (Lysistrata, The Apology, The Inferno, and The Tempest, respectively). The paper asserts that Western literature first mocked or dismissed the sexual expression of female self-determination, later turned it into a sin, and finally transformed it into a social gaffe, but until recently still continued to maintain that its suppression was not wrong. Bibliography lists five sources.

  • Musical Shakespeare

    A 5 page paper which examines the whether or not the musical works of Verdi's 'Macbeth' and 'Otello' ('Othello'), Mendelssohn's incidental music for 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' Tchaikovsky's fantasy overture and incidental music for 'Hamlet,' and Cole Porter's 1948 musical, 'Kiss Me, Kate' (based on 'The Taming of the Shrew') capture the quality and mood of the Shakespeare plays which inspired them, or merely echo their plots. Bibliography lists 7 sources.

  • 2 Questions on Great Literature and Its Practical Applications

    This 8 page paper answers two questions posed by a student. Within the answers, six pieces of literature are used: Sappho's The Moon, The Holy Bible, Shakespeare's As You Like It, Homer's Odyssey, Mahabharata and Gilgamesh. Bibliography lists 6 sources.

  • Revenge as a Theme in Literature

    This 6 page paper compares the way in which the revenge theme is handled by Shakespeare in Hamlet, Poe in "The Cask of Amontillado" and Robert Browning in "My Last Duchess." Bibliography lists 10 sources.

  • Shakespeare’s Influence in English Literature and Language

    This 10 page paper discusses Shakespeare’s influence on the English language and literature. Bibliography lists 5 sources.

  • Derrida, Literature and “Midsummer Night’s Dream”

    This 10 page paper examines Derrida’s theory of literature and whether or not it is useful in teaching the subject; it also touches on how it might be applied to Shakespeare’s wonderful comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Bibliography lists 5 sources.

  • Life's Big Questions

    An 8 page paper which examines different literature, theories, dramas, and perspectives concerning the nature of life itself in many different ways. The works of Shakespeare and Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” are among the literature discussed. No bibliography provided.

  • Renaissance Culture: Donatello, Michelangelo and Shakesepare

    A 5 page paper which examines what art and literature tells us about Renaissance culture. The works examined are Donatello’s St. George and David, Michelangelo’s David, and Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part One. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

  • If Shakespeare Wrote Science Fiction, Ariel Would Use a Transporter

    This 4 page paper discusses five short science fiction stories and what it is about each of them that classifies them as being in that genre. It also suggests ways in which Shakespeare could use science fiction techniques and themes to rewrite his play “The Tempest” as a screenplay for Spielberg to direct. Bibliography lists 5 sources.

  • Romantic Love Psychology and William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

    This 3 page paper discusses the psychology of love using the classic tale Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. Bibliography lists 1 source.

  • Homosexuality and Friendships in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

    In four pages this paper discusses the relationships in Shakespeare’s comedy as a way of determining whether or not a homosexual component exists. Four sources are cited in the bibliography.

  • Freudian Psychology in D.C. Thomas' The White Hotel and William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

    An 8 page research paper that discusses the aspects of Freudian psychology in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream and D.C. Thomas' The White Hotel. The writer argues that Freud's theories play a major role in both works. Bibliography lists 5 sources.

  • Comparing Laurence Olivier's 1948 Film 'Hamlet' with William Shakespeare's Play

    A 4 page paper which compares and contrasts the two versions by specifically discussing any additions or deletions made in the transference of the play to film and weighs their appropriateness and value, considers the quality of the acting, settings, costumes, background music and cinematography, and contains a reaction to these differing productions. Bibliography lists 6 sources.

  • Music During the Elizabethan Period of William Shakespeare

    This 6 page paper discusses music from the Elizabethan era. Specifically, music within Shakespearean plays is discussed in terms of insturments, how music compliments the acting, etc. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

  • Figurative Language in Shakespeare and Cavendish

    A 5 page paper which examines the use of figures of speech to develop the themes of death and nature, considering the different effects of this language, and how it contributes to the overall impact of each poem. Bibliography lists 5 sources.

  • "Hamlet" and Suicide as an Important Theme

    In three pages this paper examines how suicide is used in the moral, religious, and aesthetic thematic development of the play, presents an analysis of two crucial statements from Hamlet about suicide, and then considers why the protagonist ultimately believes that while humans are capable of suicide, they choose to live despite the cruelties, pain, and injustices of the world. Three sources are listed in the bibliography.

  • Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare and the Association Between Nature and Law

    This is a 5 page paper discussing the relationship between law and nature in Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure”. William Shakespeare’s play “Measure for Measure” examines the constantly shifting relationship between law and nature within the setting of Vienna. The law that no man must lay with a woman who is not his wife had long been established yet not enforced until Angelo the Lord Deputy decides to sentence Claudio, a young gentleman for impregnating his lover. Claudio shifts the relationships between nature and law, and natural law several times in his arguments to save his life. He sees man’s laws as flexible and man’s nature as virtuous. At the same time, Claudio views death and nature as lawless; which terrifies him. Angelo, on the other hand, has little sense of the natural lust and love which can occur in man and has little problem applying the law forbidding such encounters. After meeting Isabella however, Claudio’s virtuous sister, Angelo’s faith in the law alters as he readily breaks the law he is so willing to enforce on others. Isabella is virtuous and sees sinning as against natural law and devises ways in which she can save her virtue, condemn Angelo for his own lawlessness and sin while at the same time saving her brother. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

  • Othello by William Shakespeare and the Tragic Flaw of Love

    A 5 page paper which examines how Othello's excessive love for Desdemona led to his own downfall. No additional sources are used.

  • Theme of Sexuality in Works by Sophocles, William Shakespeare, and Toni Morrison

    A 10 page essay that contrasts and compares Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Shakespeare's Hamlet and Morrison's The Bluest Eye. The writer argues that while human society changes, human nature does not and that these works are remarkably consistent in the manner in which they present parental obligation and the hazards of coming of age. Examination of these works shows that each of these authors considers this period to be thwart with peril and that this is particularly true when parents abdicate their responsibility to oversee this process, which includes guiding and protecting their children. No additional sources cited.

  • Beowulf, Tempest, Don Quixote/Their Lasting Appeal

    A 7 page essay that examines 3 works of great literature. “Beowulf,” the Anglo-Saxon epic poem by an unknown poet; Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”; and “The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes illustrate the characteristics of a great work of literature that cause it to endure. Examination of these three great literary works demonstrates that each one continues to resonant with modern readers because they accurately reflect human nature. Additionally, each work demonstrates expert use of such features as characterization and plot construction. Also, each author’s use of language is lyrically beautiful and expertly executed. No additional sources cited.


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