Date of Award


Document Type

Distinction Paper

Degree Name

English Literary Studies-BA




Norman Chaney, PhD

First Committee Member

Margaret Koehler, PhD

Second Committee Member

Jim Bowling


William Shakespeare, linguistics, feminism

Subject Categories

Literature in English, British Isles | Other English Language and Literature


William Shakespeare is considered to the be the father of Modern English, but what most people do not realize is that he influenced much more in English than just the language. The number of phrases and words he created is over-exaggerated, he borrowed from many other languages, and he was one of the first people to document modern medical disorders. Not to mention Shakespeare was writing during one of the most lexically innovative time periods, so he helped aid in the transition from using “thee” to using “you” when addressing another person. Moving away from language specifically, Shakespeare’s writing has also had major influences on some very powerful people, one of them being Abraham Lincoln. This project focuses on the achievements of William Shakespeare that are not normally recognized in regular teaching of Shakespeare. I look at how Shakespeare popularized many words as well as how he dipped his pen into other aspects of life, changing the way we use language forever.