Shakespeare and Rome

Annotated Bib

April 9, 2019 | 4 Comments

Daalder, Joost. “The ‘Pre-History’ of Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing.” English Studies: A Journal of English Language and Literature 85.6 (2004): 520–27. EBSCOhost. 

Daalder presents information about the pre-history between Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. He suggests that prehistory is important and that the relationship might be overlooked because it is not understood. Although Daalder focuses on pre-history he shows the wider view by informing context through gender differences in the play. He says, “… by which I mean differences in conduct or psychology which can be imputed to the gender of a person rather than that person’s individual characteristics” (Daalder p. 2). The added element that focuses on the pre-history of two characters, gender differences helps to show that Shakespeare does not define characters by characters but through gender (Daalder p.2). Daalder also believes the difference that Shakespeare shows a variety of differences from gender to age in characters. This article will give me great information about Beatrice and Benedick and their actions throughout the play along with why Shakespeare portrayed them the way he did.


Frye, Roland M. “Characterization.” Shakespeare: The Art of the Dramatist. N.p.: Routledge, (2005): 227-46. Print.

In Shakespeare, the art of the dramatist, Roland Frye has a specific chapter called characterization that speaks about how Shakespeare defines his characters through creativity and influence. He mentioned information about why Shakespeare might have personified his characters the way he did, for example, Frye says, “some of these were based on social and psychological stereotypes, while others were merely names commonly assigned to standard roles in popular plays and stories” (Frye p. #). He also claims that the creation of his characters follows the theatrical developments during his time and the Elizabethan era. The characterization in Shakespeare’s work goes further than just characters reflecting each other, Frye explains that there are different levels, like the characters who come alive later in the play but serve as tools for transmitting information or discharging acts (Frye p.#) I believe this source will help me in getting many different perspectives from an author about how Shakespeare characterizes his characters.


Grazia, Margreta De, and Stanley W. Wells. “Gender and Sexuality in Shakespeare.” The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare. N.p.: Cambridge UP, (2009): 129-46. Print.

Margreta de Grazia and Stanley Wells have a chapter in their booked called Gender and Sexuality in Shakespeare. They mention how Shakespeare approaches characters by sex, gender, and sexuality to human identity and political power. Shakespeare achieves this by analyzing through sexuality and gender. The two authors explain that “What it means to be a woman or a man or to desire the same or the opposite sex, varies from culture to culture changes historically. Masculinity, for instance, is typically associated with sexual aggression in our own time, whereas during Shakespeare’s life, women were considered to be more lustful than men” (Grazia and Wells p. 129) Male and female roles in the play are shown through the time era in which they were written and also cultures. The patriarchal society is when gender roles and sexuality began to be understood throughout Shakespeare’s works. This source has much helpful information explaining the gender roles and sexuality of the characters; it will also help me analyze why certain characters are portrayed the way they are throughout the plays.

4 Comments so far

  1.    Marguerite Rippy on April 9, 2019 1:43 am      Reply

    You’re finding some good sources here, but you need to focus in on a specific scene that interests you in terms of gender and “love” (it looks like you’re leaning toward Much Ado, am I right?). You might, for example, look at a 2-3 scenes in Much Ado and analyze how these scenes show Benedick acting as a traditional, or not traditional, Petrarchan lover (the name for the traditional love poetry in the Italian Renaissance). Having a specific focus like this will let you move from sentences like “characters and the way Shakespeare portrayed them” to a more specific analysis, like “Benedick and how he represents Petrarchan love ideals.” There are many different characters and moments you could look at to define “love” as the Renaissance might see it in either Italy or London, so you have plenty to work with here.

  2.    Marguerite Rippy on April 9, 2019 8:10 pm      Reply

    I know you said you see this as a shift away from your original topic, but it seems to me that if you still want to look at Beatrice as a female character (both the way Shakespeare draws characters, and the way that women of the time were expected to be or not be), then this is just a logical narrowing of your topic based on the sources you are finding. If you still wanted to use Lopez with these sources, I think he might be useful once you apply these ideas to a specific scene with specific language in the play itself. It looks like your date format might be off according to MLA in your Daalder entry? This seems like a workable topic–let me know if you have questions.

  3.    Autumn Middlebrooks on April 12, 2019 2:48 am      Reply

    Hey Michaela,
    I really like all of your sources. I feel like all of them I really good and give great information based on what you said. I feel that your topic is really great. Overall, I feel that your sources are really good and can help you with your paper.

  4.    Giselle Camacho on April 12, 2019 4:21 pm      Reply

    Hi Michaela,
    Your sources are really interesting and seem to be full of a lot of great information for your paper. I wasn’t clear what your topic is but by looking at your sources it seems it will be great.

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