Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in English



First Committee Member

Richard Harp, Chair

Second Committee Member

Darlene Unrue

Third Committee Member

Joseph McCullough

Graduate Faculty Representative

George Urioste

Number of Pages



Henry James's most sustained commentary on Shakespeare comes in the form of an introduction to an edition of The Tempest that was published in 1907. In it, he remarks that the play is a reflection of Shakespeare "consciously tasting of the first and rarest of his gifts, that of imaged creative show him as unresistingly aware" (1207). This praise ties unerringly back to James's praise of the artist as one who views the world through open eyes and can capture the nuance of experience. James himself worked at the craft of fiction, and writes extensively in his notebooks and the New York Edition Prefaces of the origins of many of his stories and novels. That James admired Shakespeare is undeniable. James knew Shakespeare's plays intimately, as a reader of the plays, a playgoer, and a reviewer. A close study of "The Aspern Papers," "The Birthplace," The Portrait of a Lady, The Wings of the Dove, The Golden Bowl, and The American reveals the influence of Shakespeare's plays on the shaping of characters and thematic elements of plot found in James's works.


American literature; British literature; James; Henry; --1843-1916; Shakespeare; William; --1564-1616


American Literature | Comparative Literature | Literature in English, British Isles | Literature in English, North America

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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