William Shakespeare Essays

12th Grade

Henry VIII

This excerpt from Shakespeare’s Henry VIII describes Cardinal Wolsey’s reaction to his sudden dismissal from his position as advisor to the king. On a deeper level, this soliloquy displays Wolsey’s unfiltered and complex emotions as he thinks out...

12th Grade

Henry VIII

Upon his dismissal from King Henry’s court in Henry VIII by William Shakespeare, Cardinal Wolsey deeply contemplates the circumstances for his sudden downfall. Having been left alone by other characters, he proceeds to give a soliloquy whereby he...

12th Grade

Antony and Cleopatra

In his play Antony and Cleopatra, William Shakespeare develops a constant theme of clashing duty and desire that can be seen throughout the entirety of the work; this theme is most potently exemplified through the actions of the main characters,...

Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra is a play of conflicting values and paradoxical ideologies. Its central dynamic is the Roman/ Egyptian dichotomy, with each pole representing a web of associated values and attributes. Egypt is variously associated with "the...

Antony and Cleopatra

The value of loyalty is that it allows its recipient to feel secure in a world where almost nothing is absolute. Under this circumstance, loyalty has become a highly valued quality in today's society. Unfortunately true loyalty is a difficult...

Antony and Cleopatra

The title characters of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra are difficult to fully understand due to their seemingly illogical actions towards one another. At times, they seem to be in direct opposition to each other's causes, yet still fully and...

Antony and Cleopatra

Military prowess is a quality attributed to many of Shakespeare's male characters. Great military men such as Hotspur, Lear, Hal and Julius Caesar share a proclivity for the military arts with Othello and Marc Antony. As a superior dramatist,...

Antony and Cleopatra

How and why does Shakespeare create two distinct worlds of Rome and Egypt in the first two acts of the play?

Antony and Cleopatra is set predominantly in Egypt and Rome and Shakespeare organises the plot around the conflict between East and West....

Antony and Cleopatra

Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” offers a major piece of literary analysis with an eye towards the ever evolving role of the female author. During Woolf’s discussion of past and present writers, she repeatedly refers to the work of William...

12th Grade

Antony and Cleopatra

To its original audience, experiencing political change as the new rule of James led to the expansion of the British Empire, Antony and Cleopatra resonates with the “infinite variety” they were experiencing and the vast changeability of the modern...

12th Grade

Antony and Cleopatra

'Antony and Cleopatra' by William Shakespeare is a tragic play which centres around the renowned love affair of the eponymous characters and its political and personal repercussions. In Act One, Shakespeare uses both the distinction of time and...

12th Grade

Antony and Cleopatra

Of Shakespearean representations of women, it is perhaps the inexhaustible character of Cleopatra that is the most elusive of classification, which seems fitting given Antony and Cleopatra’s own defiance of dramatic genre with its tragic, comedic...

College

Antony and Cleopatra

In Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare uses grand evocative imagery for a variety of reasons such as juxtaposing Rome against Egypt, and to add different dimensions to the main characters. Moreover, there are a few overriding themes throughout the...