CUP Undergraduate Research


Discerning Shakespeare Through the Succession Crisis

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences



Degree Name

English, BA

First Advisor

Dr. Daniel Wright


This thesis attempts to understand the works of William Shakespeare through the lens of succession, a crisis of uncertain government transition which is prominently featured as an underlying theme in several of Shakespeare’s poems and most recognized plays. This thesis also emphasizes the importance of understanding the context from which a work of art emerges as a prerequisite for analysis. As such, this thesis will use the life of the author as a key to comprehending embedded themes that lie within the work itself. This thesis also begins with the assumption that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, is the author behind the pseudonym of William Shakespeare, and does not attempt to prove it.

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