Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


This study analyzed how accurately authors of historical fiction portray William Shakespeare, the man and events of his life. An attempt was made to locate 25 books that contained Shakespeare as a character or dealt with events from his life. Twenty-two books were chosen that were written for children, young adults and adults with recommendations for young adults. Each book was read, summarized, reread and examined by completing a content analysis checklist designed to evaluate the portrayal of William Shakespeare and events of his life. Four hypotheses relating to known facts about Shakespeare's life, the fictionalization of his character, the authorship debate and historical accuracy were developed. Two hypotheses were accepted and two were rejected. This study concluded that the portrayal of William Shakespeare in literature for young people is based on known facts, but authors fictionalize his character in order to develop their story. Authors develop realistic historical settings, but tend to include inaccurate information in terms of literacy and the roles of females. Readers need to be aware that facts are integrated with fiction.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of School Library Studies

First Advisor

Barbara Safford


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 88 pages)