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188 Brilliant Shakespeare Research Topics For Your Paper

shakespeare research topics

How does one write a great research paper? He or she needs to select a great research topic. Shakespeare is recognized as one of the greatest English writers of all time and is introduced and studied by millions each year. We know how hard it can be to choose Shakespeare research topics, so we have 188 Shakespeare research paper topics for your consideration:

Shakespeare Research Topics High School

Choosing an interesting research topic in any subject can be a challenge, especially in high school. Students need to consider writing on a topic that isn’t too broad or too narrow. We have put together this list of great Shakespeare research topics high school for you to consider:

  1. How does Shakespeare utilize the environment symbolically in his dramas?
  2. What are some of the recurring themes in Shakespeare’s sonnets?
  3. How does Shakespeare use rhetorical devices in his dramas?
  4. What impact has “Hamlet” had on revenge novels in modern literature?
  5. What causes Hamlet to seek revenge?
  6. How have Shakespeare’s works influenced 21st-century writing?
  7. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Shakespeare’s writings?
  8. How does Shakespeare influence modern romantic works?
  9. Why has “Romeo and Juliet” been studied the most in schools?
  10. Did Shakespeare’s dramas represent his lifestyle?
  11. How has Shakespeare’s language impacted modern speech?
  12. Is it fair for Hamlet to have died in the end?
  13. What are some of the sexual problems in Shakespeare’s plays?
  14. Why do so many high schools insist on teaching Shakespeare?
  15. Were Shakespeare’s works written by one person?
  16. Should Shakespeare still be studied in high school?
  17. How does Shakespeare manipulate historical events in his plays?
  18. How have film adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays been interpreted?
  19. Why are the works of Shakespeare studied in non-English-speaking countries?
  20. Which plays do researchers believe were not written by Shakespeare?
  21. Why are Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays ignored in curricula?
  22. How would Shakespeare’s works impact today’s society if written in the 20th century?
  23. What lessons can be learned from Shakespeare’s long poems?
  24. In what ways did Shakespeare use abstract ideas in his writings?
  25. How do characters achieve their political goals?
  26. What are the major themes in Shakespeare’s sonnets?
  27. What role did Shakespeare’s dramas have on world literature?
  28. What is the educational value of Shakespeare’s oeuvre?
  29. Why does Hamlet reveal his feeling for Ophelia?
  30. How does Shakespeare use the revenge theme in his plays?
  31. What impact did Shakespeare play on gender discourse in English literature?
  32. How believable is the ghost in Hamlet?
  33. What role does the Moon play in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream?”
  34. What makes the characters in “Henry V” so interesting?
  35. What is the important role of the Fool in “King Lear”?
  36. What role does social status play in Shakespeare’s dramas?
  37. What makes the characters in “Romeo and Juliet” interesting?
  38. How does Shakespeare utilize symbolism in his sonnets?
  39. What role does the environment play in Shakespeare’s plays?
  40. What impact did Shakespeare’s works have on the English language?

William Shakespeare Sonnets Research Paper Topics

Shakespeare didn’t just write plays; he also wrote long poems and sonnets which are considered among his most important contributions to English literature. Here are Shakespeare paper topics focusing on his collection of sonnets:

  1. Why is Sonnet 18 considered Shakespeare’s best work of poetry?
  2. Is the treatment of nature in the Sonnets linked to a particular theme?
  3. What does Shakespeare do to imply that true beauty comes in writing?
  4. What role does the rival poet play in the sonnets?
  5. How does the first set of Sonnets differ from the second set in their treatment of love?
  6. How different is the poet’s love for the Dark Lady from his love for the Young Man?
  7. Do you agree with the division between the fair lord sonnets and the dark lady sonnets?
  8. What makes Sonnet 94 one of the most ambiguous of the collection?
  9. Do you think Shakespeare intended on writing two drafts of the same poem?
  10. What role do nature and the environment play in Shakespeare’s Sonnets?
  11. How does Shakespeare explore the theme of emotional pain in the Sonnets?
  12. Did Shakespeare try to explore morality in Sonnets 129 and 146?
  13. What does Shakespeare achieve by describing characters in terms of economic status?
  14. What impact did Shakespeare’s Sonnets have on English literature?
  15. What role does color, sound, smell, and feel play in Shakespeare’s poetry?
  16. How does Shakespeare use the Sonnets to indicate that time can be conquered?
  17. How does the poet’s attitude change toward the young man throughout the Sonnets?
  18. What does dividing the sonnets into groups mean for the modern scholarship?
  19. Are the Sonnets better than Shakespeare’s plays?
  20. What is the real-world identity of the Dark Lady?
  21. How does Shakespeare use color to characterize identities?
  22. How does Shakespeare explore the theme of immortality?
  23. What are the similarities and differences between Sonnets 153 and 154?
  24. What are the major sequence sonnet groups?
  25. How is beauty treated differently in Sonnets 1, 18, and 60?
  26. Why is the concept so important in Sonnet 1?
  27. What is the significance of the summer flower in Sonnet 94?
  28. In what ways is a young man’s beauty imagined in Sonnet 18?
  29. How is beauty represented in Sonnet 146?
  30. How does the speaker of Sonnet 18 use natural imagery?

Popular Shakespeare Research Topics

It’s never too early to start learning about and reading Shakespeare. Many middle schools start with his most popular plays but there are other lesser-known works that students can write about given the approval from teachers. The following are Shakespeare research paper 8th grade topics that you might want to consider writing about:

  1. What makes Shakespeare’s King Henry V a good leader that others respond to so positively?
  2. What types of love does Shakespeare explore in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”?
  3. Are the themes in “Hamlet” still present in today’s society or is it hard to relate to them?
  4. What are the differences in behavior between men and women in Shakespeare’s plays?
  5. Is Mercutio’s role in “Romeo and Juliet” only that of a supporting character?
  6. Who is the most interesting character in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  7. How does Shakespeare deal with themes of betrayal in “Julius Caesar”?
  8. What do we know about Antonio and Bassanio’s personalities based on their friendship?
  9. Are the levels of maturity the same for Romeo and Juliet?
  10. Is Shylock a sympathetic character in “The Merchant of Venice” or is he viewed as a villain?
  11. In what ways are men and women perceived differently in “Romeo and Juliet”?
  12. What are the major instances of racism and discrimination in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  13. Why are there questions about “Pericles” as a play attributed to Shakespeare?
  14. What is Shylock’s reason behind his quest for revenge on Antonio in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  15. How does Shakespeare use fate and destiny to move the plot in his plays?
  16. Why is Puck considered a protagonist in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”?
  17. How would we view the portrayal of Shylock today?
  18. What role does Mercutio play in “Romeo and Juliet”?
  19. Which character is most responsible for King Duncan’s murder in “Macbeth”?
  20. Are the themes in “Romeo and Juliet” still present in modern society?
  21. How much blame does Friar deserve for Rome and Juliet’s deaths?
  22. What role does symbolism in nature play in “Richard II”?
  23. What does an analysis of Lago’s character in “Othello” tell us about the play?
  24. Why does Shakespeare use “star-crossed lovers” to describe Romeo and Juliet?
  25. What are some of King Henry V’s soft skills that are important to his leadership abilities?
  26. How is tragic love portrayed differently in Shakespeare’s tragedies and comedies?
  27. How does Shakespeare deal with themes of betrayal in “Hamlet”?
  28. Does Shakespeare accurately capture themes of love in his writing?
  29. What devices does Shakespeare use to describe family loyalty in “Romeo and Juliet”?
  30. Should schools continue to teach Shakespeare?
  31. Would Shakespeare have written plays differently if he were contracted at a different venue?
  32. Why do academic institutions still insist on researching Shakespeare’s works?
  33. How does Shakespeare’s style of language influence today’s English?
  34. What do the themes of forgiveness and reconciliation tell us about Shakespeare’s later works?
  35. What impact has Shakespeare had on international literature?
  36. How did Shakespeare write his plays to align with the Globe Theater’s dimensions?
  37. Did Shakespeare’s acting career influence the way he wrote his plays?
  38. How do current political maneuverings reflect the concepts in “Julius Caesar”?
  39. How did Shakespeare utilize masks to appeal to diverse attitudes?
  40. What impact did Queen Elizabeth have on Shakespeare’s works?
  41. How do Shakespeare’s plays reflect everyday city life in London?
  42. What were Shakespeare’s most successful plays according to critics at the time?
  43. What impact did religion have on Shakespeare’s plays?

Research Topics on Shakespeare Women

Many questions can be discussed about the role of women in Shakespeare’s dramas. These are topics that explore these issues in a modern context:

  1. How does Shakespeare address women’s conflicts with culture?
  2. Does it make sense to study Shakespeare’s gender issues in today’s culture?
  3. What roles do secondary women characters play in Shakespeare’s plays?
  4. What role does Hero play in “Much Ado About Nothing”?
  5. What does an analysis of Olivia’s speeches in “Twelfth Night” show us?
  6. What impact did Shakespeare’s portrayal of women have on gender discourse?
  7. How does Shakespeare treat women’s “empty voices” in his plays?
  8. How does Shakespeare characterize women in “The Tempest”?
  9. How does Shakespeare characterize Bianca in “The Taming in the Shrew”?
  10. Is Jessica from “The Merchant of Venice” a sympathetic character?
  11. How do films present “fake feminist” views of Shakespeare’s plays?
  12. What are Othello’s thoughts on Desdemona and Emilia’s advice?
  13. In what ways does Shakespeare treat female characters in his plays?
  14. How does Juliet’s character develop throughout “Romeo and Juliet”?
  15. What role does the metatheatrical nature of Shakespeare’s work influence the way we view his plays?
  16. What impact does Shakespeare’s treatment of female characters have on today’s society?
  17. How did Renaissance period affect religious abstention in Shakespeare’s plays?
  18. Would Juliet be considered a feminist today?
  19. How does Shakespeare juxtapose the attitude of vengeance in Othello and Hamlet?
  20. How does Shakespeare treat parent-children relationships in his plays?
  21. What are the common themes in the poesy of Shakespeare?
  22. What did Shakespeare’s stake in The Lord Chamberlain’s Men do for the way he dealt with the company?
  23. What other jobs did Shakespeare do to supplement his writing?
  24. How did Shakespeare’s birthplace influence his writing?
  25. Is Portia from “The Merchant of Venice” considered a radical feminist?
  26. What made the Globe Theatre technology advanced for its time?
  27. How did Shakespeare’s parents develop his education?
  28. How do different Shakespeare Collections (e.g., Oxford, Arden, etc.) impact scholarly work?
  29. How does Shakespeare dramatize religious ideas and issues?
  30. What does an analysis of aristocrats in plays tell us about how Shakespeare viewed politics in society?
  31. What role do politics play in Shakespeare’s early, middle, and later dramas?
  32. How have film adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays embellished women’s characters?
  33. Did Shakespeare’s native town influence the way he wrote plays?
  34. What influence did Elizabethan London have on Shakespeare’s writing?
  35. What influence did Elizabethan society have on how Shakespeare dealt with marriage in his dramas?
  36. How is Portia characterized differently than other female characters?
  37. What role does radical feminism play in “The Merchant of Venice”?

Good Shakespeare Research Paper Topics

Finally, this last set of topics brings up some interesting questions about Shakespeare’s work as it applied to modern society. Students can apply contemporary works to make their argumentative cases. These issues are recognizable and will certainly attract the attention of most readers:

  1. Why does conflict have such an important role in Shakespeare’s play?
  2. What impact did the sending of Kent on a mission have on King Lear’s fate?
  3. What are “The Tempest” Prospero’s major character traits?
  4. What do the motifs of greed and ambition reflected in the characters’ speeches?
  5. What motivates Caliban’s thoughts and behavior in “The Tempest”?
  6. What similarities and differences are there between Caesar and Brutus?
  7. How did Shakespeare use natural imagery in “King Lear”?
  8. How does Gloucester describe his two sons when introducing Edmund to Kent?
  9. What are the differences in the way Caesar and Brutus feel how Rome should be governed?
  10. What role does the supernatural play in “Macbeth”?
  11. What are Titania’s biggest strengths and flaws?
  12. How accurate are Shakespeare’s historical plays according to scholars?
  13. What separates Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” from his other plays?
  14. How does Shakespeare use monologue in “Julius Caesar” to advance the plot?
  15. How does the supernatural influence the actions of Lady Macbeth?
  16. What purpose do mystical phenomena serve in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”?
  17. Was Shakespeare concerned about what the government thought of his messages?
  18. What is the importance of the use of rhetoric in Shakespeare’s plays?
  19. How does Shakespeare utilize myths about Robin Hood in “As You Like It”?
  20. Why did Shakespeare use internal and external conflicts in “Hamlet”?
  21. What are the most notable character traits of King Duncan in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”?
  22. What is Shakespeare trying to say about puritanical values in his plays?
  23. What does an analysis of Gloucester’s widow say about Shakespeare’s view of feminism in his plays?
  24. What influences from Shakespeare’s life might have affected his writing of “Twelfth Night?”
  25. Why is Puck from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” been drawn upon in literary allusion in other authors’ works?
  26. Which of the moral characters in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” transforms the most throughout the play?
  27. What are some of Titania’s character traits that make her likable?
  28. How does Shakespeare explore sexuality in the play “As You Like It”?
  29. Is Kate’s final speech in “Taming of the Shrew” ironic or straightforward?
  30. What does blood symbolize throughout “Macbeth”?
  31. Why are the witches important in “Macbeth”?
  32. Why have Shakespeare-inspired films been successful?
  33. How does Shakespeare define and portray homoerotic desire in his plays and poems?
  34. What are some of the problems that arise because of racism in “Othello”?
  35. How did the political environment surrounding Shakespeare influence his works?
  36. Why are there questions about when “Twelfth Night” was written and originally performed?
  37. How do the various relationships between King Lear, his daughters, and his siblings impact the plot in the play?
  38. What role does conflict have in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”?

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