Skip to Main Content

Shakespeare: Introduction

Search Infiniti (Wyvern Library OPAC)

Searching Shakespeare

Shakespeare is such an important writer that he has his own Dewey number. The works by Shakespeare can be found at 822.3. Critical analysis and writings about his work can be found at 822.33.


Bard: one of an ancient Celtic order of composers and reciters of poetry

The Bard: William Shakespeare

Hyperbole: obvious and intentional exaggeration

Iambic pentameter:  a type of metrical line used in traditional English poetry and verse

Metaphor: a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in 'All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players'

Oxymoron: a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in 'cruel kindness'

Pun: a play on words 

Rhyming couplet: two lines of the same length that rhyme and complete one thought 

Soliloquy: the act of talking while or as if alone, for example Hamlet's soliloquy that begins 'To be or not to be'

Verse: metrical composition; poetry especially as involving metrical form

Databases to Use


Shakespeare's Five Act Structure

When you read a Shakespearean play, you'll probably notice that it is divided into acts and scenes - and always has a five act structure. The number of scenes in each act may vary but there will always be five acts, no exceptions.

Shakespeare Quote Alert