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
Master of Arts
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Division of School Library Studies
1 PDF file (vi, 88 pages)
©2002 Kathy S. Grout
Grout, Kathy S., "To Be or Not To Be: A Portrayal of William Shakespeare in Children's Literature" (2002). Graduate Research Papers. 2901.