Saturday, November 12, 2016

Maddie's Annotated Bibliography (1)

Share it Please
Working Title: The Man Who Would be King: Solidification of Power in Shakespeare's Plays
Working Thesis Statement: Though Americans are more likely to celebrate the division of power, Shakespeare argues through his Roman plays Antony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar that more successful governments have power consolidated in one person, regardless of that individual's personal temperament and values.

Media Sources

  • Blixt, David. "Caesar & Brutus, Shakespeare & Shaw." David Blixt.2 December 2010, accessed 12 November 2016. <>

This post discusses the various ways that Caesar has been represented onstage, but concludes that in general he is shown as a great leader past his prime.
Caesar is one of the leaders I want to reference as I argue that no matter that Caesar was portrayed as past his prime, he was still (to Shakespeare) preferable to the triumvate that was created after his assassination, so this discussion of his characterization is helpful.

  • Morris, Sylvia. "Julius Caesar and Shakespeare's Power to Persuade." The Shakespeare Blog. 20 June 2012, accessed 12 November 2016. <>

This blog post talks about the difference between Caesar, Antony, and Brutus in the wake of Caesar's assassination.
This post discusses more of Caesar's legacy, which was an important part of his character, as it affects Octavius Caesar's later decisions; the post works more with why Caesar was so important to the Roman people, as portrayed in the play.

Scholarly Sources

  • Miles, Margaret M. Cleopatra: A Sphinx Revisited. University of California Press, 2011. 

This book seeks to explain the historic role of Cleopatra and why we still remember her today all over the world.
Cleopatra is another one of the leaders I intend to discuss, and this book seeks to characterize her and her reign as queen of Egypt.

  • Mcmanaway, James. "Shakespeare in the United States." PMLA, vol. 79, no. 5, 1964, pp. 513-518.

This article argues that Shakespeare had a profound influence not only on the Founding Fathers, but on the general population of America from before the Revolution up to the present day.
I still hope to tie in US history (specifically the Founding Fathers and the Antebellum South), so this was a useful source that argues that Shakespeare did, in fact, have an influence on our founders, and therefore the themes he put forth in his plays.

  • Herbert, Edward T. "Myth and Archetype in 'Julius Caesar.'" Psychoanalytic Review, vol. 57, no. 2, 1970, pp.303-309.

This article focuses on the legacy of Caesar and how profoundly it affects the rest of the characters throughout the rest of the play as they try to settle on a new governmental pattern.
This is again helpful first because it focuses on the characterization and legacy of Caesar, and secondly because it talks about the different kinds of government in the play Julius Caesar.

  • Leeds Barroll, J. "The Characterization of Octavius." Shakespeare Studies, vol. 6, 1970, pp. 231-289.

This article characterizes Octavius Caesar as a distant, removed leader who is mysterious in that we never see him give a soliloquy or have more than two or three lines alone; he is always surrounded by people, offering us little insight into his character.
Octavius Caesar is the third leader I will be referring to in my essay, so this article is helpful in characterizing him and helping me to further get to know his character and method of leadership.


  1. Your sources sound really interesting, but I am slightly perplexed by the one by Macmanaray. If your claim is that Shakespeare believed power is best when consolidated, how does it work that he influenced the Founding Fathers, who created a government in which power was distributed amongst hundreds of people? I'm sure that the article goes in to detail about it, but those are just my initial thoughts.

  2. Shelby makes a good point, but I think it's something you could address. I urge you to be sure to include the Renaissance political context: what was the attitude of the British in Shakespeare's day regarding types of government? It's great you want to apply this to the American point of view, but the differences between their types of government could certainly influence how these Roman plays were received or understood, whatever the period in question.

  3. You have a decent breadth of sources here from articles to books to blog posts. Where did you find the majority of your scholarly sources?

  4. I have to say that I really like your title. Will you be making any reference to the Rudyard Kipling story? I think the Macmanaray article will best serve as a counter-argument to your thesis but it Shelby and Dr. Burton make a good point. I think it can still be of use but doesn't necessarily support your current argument.