20 Unique Research Paper Writing Ideas About William Shakespeare

The study of Shakespeare and his works is one a hugely popular part of the English literature curriculum from around the world. There are seemingly endless topics to use for a research paper on anything having to do with Shakespeare. And we’ve set aside 20 unique ideas for you to consider:

  1. When it comes to studying his plays, there are some dramas that still hold an air of mystery in discussing authorship. Discuss these plays.

  2. There have been some arguments about Shakespeare’s true identity. Which are some of the most common beliefs?

  3. Provide a critical analysis of Shakespeare’s development as a playwright. Chose specific dramas to focus your criticism on.

  4. Which do you believe is Shakespeare’s greatest strength in genre – histories, tragedies, or comedies and how did he compare to other playwrights of the time?

  5. How would Shakespeare view his works among the literary canon today? Take note that he was also an actor and therefore wrote for the stage.

  6. Compare and contrast Shakespeare with his contemporary rivals. Are there specific instances in his works where he may have been critically attacking other playwrights?

  7. Provide an opinion supported by whatever evidence is available as to what Shakespeare’s lost plays might have been about?

  8. Do you think that Shakespeare is overrated or underrated? Provide critical evidence in support of your argument?

  9. Choose one or two major characters from Shakespeare’s tragedies and provide an argument on how it might represent his personal views on a topic.

  10. Provide a critical analysis for the ways Shakespeare treats women in his plays. Are they major figures or largely used to help the action surrounding male characters progress?

  11. Explain the ways in which Shakespeare has influence the ways stories are told in today’s literature. Does he have as much influence as once believed?

  12. Is Shakespeare worthy of study in high school? Or should students at this age be more concerned with learning the novel literary form?

  13. How does Shakespeare compare with other major literary playwrights through the century? His he truly comparable to others or is he in his own class?

  14. Evaluate and provide a listing of Shakespeare’s greatest poetic works. Consider his sonnets individually and his four major poetic works.

  15. How do current film adaptations of Shakespeare bridge the gaps between modern culture and the ideas contemporary to Elizabethan England.

  16. How does Shakespeare rank in terms of a political mind, who through his works tried to convey messages to the public?

  17. Compare and contrast Shakespeare’s most popular dramas and find common themes that have made them so successful.

  18. How do modern actors and actresses capture the nuances in which Shakespeare relied on so heavily?

  19. How did Shakespeare live and enjoy his daily life? What are the things very few know and understand about the way he carried himself in the community?

  20. What would Shakespeare have been had he not grown to become a playwright? Did he have other professional skills that would have made him unknown?

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