Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This work defines and analyzes the concepts of fake news and news anxiety in early modern England, arguing that fears about the dishonesty, abundance, and intrusiveness of cheap newsprint became key cultural concerns—concerns that find frequent expression in the literature of the time. Professional theater and commercial news came of age together in England, and the dramatic stage, itself a kind of news venue, proved a trenchant critic of printed news. Other academic works have examined connections between commercial news and professional theater, but mine is the first to examine the theater’s anxious preoccupation with fake news. This study focuses on the role of news, fake news, and news-related anxieties in the plays of Shakespeare.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.