An adornment of words precious gemstones and jewelry as part of relationships in William Shakespeare's comedies

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in English


Department of English


Advisor: R. Alan Kimbrough


William Shakespeare's works have been studied in multiple ways, but the focus of his use of gemstones and jewelry during the course of his comedies has been almost untouched by critical review. He uses these items to connect to his audience in many ways, often for the purpose of showing how they are used as part of relationships during the course of courtship and marriage. Shakespeare introduces gemstones and jewelry in his plays in three ways: gemstones and jewelry that would be seen onstage by the audience and the characters; directly mentioned gemstones and jewelry that are referred to by the characters, yet never appear onstage; and gemstones and jewelry that are used for comparison in similes and metaphors to confer specific characteristics or value on the items or persons that they refer to. This focus reveals a new perspective with which to view Shakespeare's comedies, both in the stories they present and the associations gemstones and jewelry carried with them in the eyes of members of Elizabethan culture.


Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Plays. Selections Criticism and interpretation, Precious stones In literature, Jewelry in literature

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2011, author