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Articles and Essays

This is a work-in-progress and we invite your contributions; send them here. Some of the chapters and articles have been reviewed by students at the University of California, Merced, others carry short descriptions adapted from their entry in the World Shakespeare Bibliography.

If you’re looking for eco-criticism on a specific play or plays, remember to also check the books page. Under the general essays, we have grouped articles on the following specific plays (these links take you right to them): As You Like It, Hamlet, King John, King Lear, Love's Labor's Lost, Macbeth, Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, Pericles, Tempest, Timon of Athens, Troilus and Cressida, and Winter's Tale.


Articles listed in chronological order, starting with first published.

Smith, Bruce (2004). “Hearing Green” in Paster, ed., Reading the Early Modern Passions: Essays in the Cultural History of Emotion, 147-68.

Taking cues from Two Noble Kinsmen and Thomas Wright's The Passions of the Mind in General which suggest the possibility to "hear green," explores what this would mean to a thinking subject whose ability to understand depends upon sense perception. Applying phonetic linguistics to a range of early modern texts (including Shakespeare), argues that the "green potential" of early modern writing--a reader's "allowing rhyme, alliteration, and assonance to divert the sense of hearing from its rational work"--brings into question the Cartesian dichotomy of mind and body and thereby deconstruction, which is grounded upon the Cartesian dichotomy.

Frederick O. Waage (2005). "Shakespeare Unearth'd". Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 12, no. 2 (2005): 139-64.

Explores "the physical earth or soil present or alluded to Shakespeare's plays" to reexamine his achievements from an ecological perspective. Based upon ecological concerns (such as the enclosure movement, "human modification of the earth," and "husbandry") elaborated in the plays, suggests that Shakespeare "implicitly takes what we would call today an ecocentric view of the human condition." Adds, in closing, that Timon of Athens is the Shakespeare protagonist who reaches closest to "earth consciousness" in an attempt to reconcile "the self-centered cultural behavior of humans with the generosity of non-human nature."

O'Dair, Sharon (2008). “The state of the green: A review essay on Shakespearean ecocriticism.” Shakespeare, 4(4), 459–477.

Summation of eco-critical Shakespeare scholarship before 2008.

Markley, Robert (2008). "Summer's Lease: Shakespeare in the Little Ice Age" in Hallock, ed., Early Modern Ecostudies: From the Florentine Codex to Shakespeare, 131-42.

Seeks "to use Shakespeare as an entry point to raise questions about the ways in which we perceive 'ecocriticism' or 'ecostudies' in relation to the early modern world--questions that have as much to do with recent work in climatological history, historical ecology, and science studies as they do with literary interpretation, although all of these analytical discourses" may be understood as "irrevocably intertwined." Asserts that Shakespeare "depicts a natural world that embodies climactic conditions during the Little Ice Age," the period of cooling over Western Europe from around 1300 to 1850 that "affected agricultural productivity, food security, and, more generally, the very understanding of 'Nature' itself."

Estok, Simon C. (2009). "The Muddy Shakespearean Green: Theorizing Shakespearean Ecocriticism". Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism 11, no. 1 (2009): 83-92.

Argues for the usefulness of an ecocritical approach to Shakespeare studies that is more centered on activism, highlighting some of the changes that need to occur to make such an activist approach possible.

O’Dair, Sharon (2011). “Is it Ecocriticism if it isn’t Presentist?” Ecocritical Shakespeare. Ed. Lynne Bruckner and Daniel Brayton. Ashgate, 2011. 71-85.

Sharon O’Dair introduces the term of presentism in the context of Shakespeare’s literature and indicates its expansiveness and presence throughout Shakespearean criticism. Throughout the chapter, O’Dair asks the question to define both presentism and historicism for the reader to have a clear understanding of both terms. “Presentism,” according to O’Dair, aids in “interpreting Shakespeare by connecting the plays to ‘particular present occasions’,” making it “a valuable approach to criticism and the study of Shakespeare” (81), and can be seem as both "a...form...that shifts “historical interest toward the contemporary period and away from the more distant past,”" as well as a "form that insists on a methodology by which we “interpret ... the past in terms of present concerns,” including race, gender, sexuality, imperialism, the environment, economic development," among other modern issues (71-72). O’Dair notes that historicism in Shakespearean criticism has been seen as hegemonic, which is “inappropriate because historicism or, alternatively, “research,” implies a narrow and thus inaccurate description of the field,” and Shakespearean critics actually utilize “presentist engagement, even if just in terms of the performance one saw last week or of an homage—a nod—to the political opinions most literary critics hold today” (78). These critics use presentism “driven by “the perceived correlation (or its lack) between the plays and contemporary pre-occupations”” (78).

Shakespeare’s influence on modern literature and perception of literature is expansive. His works and plays have been used as gold mines for analysis, "Shakespeare has provided and continues to provide "enormous creative writers and other artists all over the world."" (73-74). Shakespeare’s worth is infinitely valuable for expressing complicated human relationships with emotion, interrelationships between people, and our environment. His plays are still relatable even through years of change in literature history. However, O’Dair also describes how contemporary connections to actors make the audience’s connection to Shakespeare significantly easier, “what draws them are Patrick Stweart, Ethan Hawke, Juilia Stiles, Leonardo Di Caprio, Clare Danes, Baz Luhrmann, Julie Taymor, and even Kenneth Branagh” (73). The connection between audience and actor, actor and Shakespeare, and Shakespeare and audience is a cycle. Plays that may be separated from our modern world through time, but connected through human experience.

In the closing paragraphs of the chapter, O’Dair uses anecdotal evidence of Hurricane Katrina to help the reader connect the theoretical topics to reality. O’Dair’s article would be useful in a thesis or research paper that looks into presentist or historicist Shakespearean criticism and how both have its own flaws, perhaps conversing with it to agree or disagree with the points that O’Dair brings up. —(Abstracted by UC Merced students, group-written)

Nardizzi, Vin (2011). "Shakespeare's Globe and England's Woods". Shakespeare Studies 39 (2011): 54-63.

Considers how "Shakespeare routinely conscripted the woodenness of the playhouse to perform the role of tree, woods, forest, orchard, and park" in arguing that the Globe Theatre and other playhouses "worked to erase their footprint in an ecological crisis--an unprecedented shortage of wood and timber--that was feared to result in ecosystemic collapse." (Abstracted by Grace Tiffany, Shakespeare Newsletter 62, no. 2 (2012): 44)

O’Dair, Sharon (2011). “‘To Fright the Animals and to Kill Them up’: Shakespeare and Ecology.” Shakespeare Studies (0582-9399), vol. 39, Jan. 2011, pp. 74–83. 

This essay is an incredible trove of connections between Shakespeare and Nature. Each instance that is presented has incredibly thorough and clear analysis as well as a real-world example of the ideas in play. These real-world connections are very interesting and full of supporting information, which will be helpful in further research. That being said, it provides tons of direct data, such as numbers and statistics, that will be helpful to me when communicating the profound impact that humas have, as well as potential may have, on the environment. (Abstracted by Andrew Hardy, UC Merced)

Martin, Randall and Evelyn O'Malley (2018). "Eco-Shakespeare in Performance: Introduction." Shakespeare Bulletin, vol. 36 no. 3, 2018, p. 377-390. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/shb.2018.0036.

In this article, the discussion focuses around the effects of performing Shakespeare in environmental spaces. In learning the function of music in Shakespearean works, it’s important to consider whether or not Shakespeare should be performed in eco-spaces in order for the environmental messages to be broadcast. In pop music, it is easier to get a message across, especially in the new age of technology where a person doesn’t have to be in nature to understand the consequences of climate change. This article discusses this argument and describes how the performance of music has been modified to expand on the themes of Shakespeare’s works. This article will help in writing my thesis because it acts as a catalyst of the discussion of the roles of music, ecology, and Shakespeare together. (Abstract by Esther Quintilla, UC Merced)

Steve Mentz (2018). "Green Comedy: Shakespeare and Ecology." The Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Comedy: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Mentz’s article examines the imperativity of evolving Northrop Frye’s literary model of “green comedy”-- in which one moves from the real world to an alternate space to solve issues before returning to the former-- to accommodate the post-human and post-natural. The article calls for reexamination of green spaces as pastoral and advocates for further recognition of the disorderly blue ocean’s duality as a space of danger and desire. Finally, Mentz expresses the need to retreat from human-centered interpretations and acknowledge species interdependence to survive the ecological chaos of today. (Abstract by Ying-Wei Zhang, UC Merced)

Borlik, Todd Andrew (2018). “Iron Age as Renaissance Anthropocene: Periodization and the Ecology of War in Shakespearean History”. Early Modern Culture 13 (2018): 115-26.  

Offers background information on numerous mentions of iron and ore in Shakespeare, suggesting that these occurrences demonstrate early modern awareness of ecological debates.

Mentz, Steven (2019). "Shakespeare and the Blue Humanities." Studies in English Literature 59, no. 2: 383-92.

By exploring Shakespeare's maritime vocabulary across the full expanse of his career, this article engages with the multiple kinds of metaphorical and physical meanings the sea created for the playwright. Shakespeare's poetics of the sea connect to recent developments in the blue or oceanic humanities. The further distinction that Shakespeare makes between salt and fresh waters helps unpack the ecological and experiential question of environmental hostility and the dangers that water poses for terrestrial mammals. A final section briefly takes up a poetics of immersion through images of swimming in and beyond Shakespeare.

Solomon, Deborah (2019). "'All in a Garden Green': Shakespeare's Staging of Garden Imagery". Ben Jonson Journal 26, no. 2: 227-52.

Reconsiders linguistic markers for garden scenes in early modern drama to suggest that gardens were more frequently staged than previously thought. Examines gardens as liminal spaces between public and private spheres in Shakespeare's plays.

Brokaw, Katherine Steele and Paul Prescott (2019). “Applied Shakespeare in Yosemite National Park.” With Paul Prescott. Critical Survey. Volume 31, Issue 4 (Winter 2019): 15–28.

Details the creation of Shakespeare in Yosemite and the inaugural production, a mash-up of scenes from Shakespeare and passages from naturalist John Muir.

Chiari, Sophie (2020). "Henry V's Ecosphere. From 'Fertility' to 'Savagery'" in Henry V, ed. François Laroque, Paris, Ellipses, 2020, pp.119-136.


Schultz, Ray and Jess Larson (2014). "Staging Sustainable Shakespeare: 'Greening' the Bard while Advancing Institutional Mission" in Besel, ed., Performance on Behalf of the Environment, 211-34.

Uses R. Schultz's production of As You Like It (University of Minnesota--Morris, 2010) to investigate "theatrical environmental performance" with an emphasis on "the practical materials out of which performances emerge."

Brokaw, Katherine Steele. “Text-Based Performance / Conceptual Performance.” In Shakespeare / Text: Arden Critical Intersections. Edited by Claire Bourne. Arden Bloomsbury: 2021.

Details several 2019 As You Like Its, including the Shakespeare in Yosemite production that highlighted the role trees play in mitigating climate change, and staged a climate protest as the final "dance."


Laroche, Rebecca (2011). “Ophelia’s Plants and the Death of Violets” in Bruckner and Brayton, eds., Ecocritical Shakespeare, Taylor & Francis Group, pp. 211-221. 

Specifically addressing directorial decisions in Hamlet’s Act IV Scene V, in which Ophelia enters with a variety of medicinal plants, Laroche points out that the absence or presence of the real plants-- as opposed to figments of Ophelia’s imagination or alternative props, both choices seeming to be canonical in our present--decides the socio-political and ecological leaning of the adaptation. Furthermore, Laroche introduces historical context regarding women and knowledge of medicinal herbs to promote a new, Ophelia-centered interpretation as opposed to a male-centered and male-driven interpretation.

Salazar, Rebecca (2018). "A Rogue and Pleasant Stage: Performing Ecology in Outdoor Shakespeares". Shakespeare Bulletin 36, no. 3 (2018): 449-66.

Uses Bard in the Barrack's 2014 outdoor production of Hamlet as case study to "analyze how open-air performances provide opportunities to think ecologically." Suggests that outdoor performance makes productions more memorable and forces audiences to think about environment and their place in it.


Martin, Randall (2018). "Evolutionary Naturalism and Embodied Ecology in Shakespearean Performance (with a Scene from King John)". Shakespeare Survey 71 (2018): 147-63.

Discusses how Darwin thought about and referenced Shakespeare in his work. Focuses on how in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals Darwin quotes “Shakespeare’s plays fifteen times to illustrate and imaginatively extend his analysis of human facial and bodily gestures related to a ‘community of certain expressions' inherited by ‘descent from a common progenitor.’”


Pye, Christopher (2017). "Green World / No World: King Lear, Ecocriticism, and the Politics of Finitude". Shakespeare Jahrbuch 153 (2017): 11-30.

Taking an ecocritical approach, contrasts As You Like It's "extreme pastoral" and Green World to King Lear's bleaker "consuming world." 

Conkie, Rob (2018). "Nature's Above Art (An Illustrated Guide)." Shakespeare Bulletin, vol. 36 no. 3, 2018, p. 391-408. Project MUSE, .

Conkie uses his piece titled, “Nature Above Art,” to both describe and critique his production of King Lear at La Trobe University. Conkie leads the reader through a literary field trip (with some pictures included) in which the reader is invited to join audience members, turned temporary actors, as they experience the play in an outdoor setting. Conkie’s King Lear focuses the audience’s attention on the natural elements that the characters are fighting against - the audience has to face the cold weather outside, but they also see the trees and rocks that are more than just backdrop, they are often the subjects of the play. The fact that the play is outdoors and includes all including audience members furthers one of the points Conkie is attempting to make, “all the world’s a stage,” (395) and we must care for it as such. Conkie pays particular attention to all of the impacts that his production is making upon the environment, from moving the soil in one scene to littering in another, each impact creates a new point of contemplation for Conkie. This article would work great for research geared towards the productions of Shakespeare plays and the environments that “play” a role in said production. (Abstract by UC Merced students, group written)

Mentz, Steve (2010). "Strange weather in King Lear', Shakespeare 6, no. 2, 139—152.

This article argues that King Lear can help re-shape the emerging discourse of eco-criticism. The play’s focus on human dis-harmony with the non-human environment resonates with recent developments in ecological science like the ‘‘post-equilibrium shift’’. Shakespeare’s representations of dis-equilibrium in the storm scenes can correct eco-criticism’s reliance on pastoral and Romantic visions of harmony. The play’s emphasis on the way natural systems, especially the weather, disrupt humanity’s meaning-making capacities generates an alternative to dualistic notions of the selfnature relationship. By representing ecological instability and pluralized selfhood, King Lear reminds ‘‘green’’ readers how difficult and disorderly living in a mutable eco-system can be.

Mentz, Steve (2011). "Tongues in the Storm" in Ecocritical Shakespeare (ed. Bruckner and Brayton). Routledge.

Ecological crisis is fracturing familiar narratives about the relationship between humanity and the natural world. Many of these narratives, from the Garden of Eden to the promise of the New World to Walden Pond, posit an at least potentially harmonious relationship between human beings and their environment. These stories are not dead by any means, but they do not seem to be up to the task of helping conceptualize a global ecology in crisis. Catastrophic narratives may come to rival visions of harmony as the planet’s ecology changes, and one challenge of literary ecocriticism is finding productive ways to interpret and employ these alternate structures.


Miller, Justin (2012). “The Labor of Greening Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Readings in Performance and Ecology, edited by Theresa J. May, Palgrave Macmillan, pp . 191-200. 

Miller’s article is a case study of his graduate work in “greening” a production of Love’s Labour’s Lost. His case study provides an accurate and useful account of successes, challenges, and inspiration for future productions. He encourages environmentally friendly methods; to name a few: emphasizing on reduce and reuse over recycling, favoring local businesses and connections over shipping, eradicating misconceptions about green theater, and creativity in reuse of scenic elements and costumes. (Abstract by Ying-Wei Zhang, UC Merced)

Kammer, Miriam (2018). "Breaking the Bounds of Domesticity: Ecofeminism and Nature Space in Love's Labour's Lost." Shakespeare Bulletin, vol. 36 no. 3, 2018, p. 467-483. 

As well as touching on scenography and linguistics, Kammer’s article discusses Love’s Labours Lost through an ecofeminist lense and exhibits the breaking down of culture/nature dualism. Though some feminists scorn any connection between womanhood and nature, Kammer proposes social-material ecofeminism as an alternative route for exploring said relationship. By showing that the divide asserted by patriarchy can be crossed, Kammer asserts that said divides can be crossed as demonstrated by the non-human’s “invasion” of the human world. In addition, the author also argues that by placing the female characters in the non-human, natural realm of the garden (which has been twice domesticated by patriarchy), role reversal occurs as power is granted to the female characters who take advantage of their situation. (Abstract by Ying-Wei Zhang, UC Merced)


Mentz, Steven (2011). "Shakespeare's Beach House, or, the Green and Blue in Macbeth." Shakespeare Studies 39, 84-93.

The author explores the theme and symbolism of the ocean and oceanic ecology. Topics discussed include human violence intruding on pastoral ecology, curing with water, navigation of oceanic disorder, and representations of swimming.

Mentz, Steven (2013). "Making the green one red: Dynamic Ecologies in Macbeth, Edward Barlow’s Journal, and Robinson Crusoe." Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 13, no. 3, 66-83.

We need a more colorful eco-palette. As ecological interpretations have become increasingly central to twenty-first-century literary studies, calls have emerged to move “beyond the green” toward a more variegated spectrum of environmental alternatives. What Jeffrey Jerome Cohen calls “ecology’s rainbow” refers to a current goal of the environmental humanities—to pluralize thinking about the relationship between human beings and nonhuman nature. My work in this area has flowed out of oceanic or “blue” ecologies, but the logic of dynamic ecological thinking cannot stop at the water’s edge. The need to multiply ecocritical models responds to an increasing recognition, which began in the ecological sciences and has emerged in the humanities and social sciences more recently, that natural systems are more dynamic and less stable than once believed. The logic that moves from stasis and sustainability to dynamic “post-equilibrium” models requires that we match the constant innovations of natural systems with flexible interpretive practices. With this pressure toward dynamism in mind, this essay reconsiders green—but not the old green. Remembering that green is an oceanic as well as terrestrial color, and using a famously opaque phrase from Macbeth as a linguistic cue to re-introduce complexity into our literary models of natural systems, this essay offers immersion in hostile waters as a structure within which to think about the human encounter with nonhuman nature. In this model, it is no longer a question of “being green,” but of enduring, with effort and difficulty, inside the “green one.” By analyzing a key line from Macbeth, an episode of near-shipwreck in a seventeenth-century sailor’s diary, and the moment when the hero washes ashore in Robinson Crusoe, this article discovers the myriad meanings of oceanic green.

Smith, Philip (2017). "‘Upon this Blasted Heath’ Macbeth Before and After the Hurricane." International Journal of Bahamian Studies 23.

During the 20th and 21st centuries, writers and performers in the Caribbean have used Shakespeare as a means to give language and form to their experience. One such example is the 2016 Shakespeare in Paradise performance of Macbeth, which both represented the destruction of Hurricane Joaquin and seemed to anticipate the destruction of Hurricane Matthew. The staging of these two hurricanes and their aftermath, I argue, is rooted in both the actual and mythological history of the play. In the Shakespeare in Paradise performance, the advent of natural disaster appeared as images of destruction, the staging of trauma, as well as geographical and material allusions.


Smith, Bruce (2011). "Shakespeare @ the Limits". Shakespeare Studies 39 (2011): 104-13.

Uses Midsummer Night's Dream to consider four models of thinking about Shakespeare and ecology.

Downing, Cless (2012). "Ecodirecting Canonical Plays" in Arons, ed., Readings in Performance and Ecology, 159-168.

Asks whether nature can have its own agency. Explores how nature's agency is prevalent throughout Midsummer Night's Dream even if it has been interfered by ecohubristic characters that exploit nature.

Schmidt, Swetlana Nasrawi (2020). “Deep Ecology and Self-Realization in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.” ScholarWorks, May 3, 2020. 

Schmidt focuses on presenting an ecological reading of A Midsummer Nights Dream that bridges allegorical interpretations with the principles of deep ecology. The allegorical interpretations focus on Jack Bottom and Puck, the two characters she describes as “intermediaries between nature and social order”. 

Brokaw, Katherine Steele and Paul Prescott. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Adapting A Midsummer Night's Dream for the Environment.” For The Arden Research Companion to Shakespeare and Adaptation. Edited by Diana Henderson and Stephen O’Neill. Forthcoming: 2022.

Details the collaborative adaptation, rehearsal, design, and performance practices involved in the 2018 Shakesepare in Yosemite production of Dream, which highlighted the dangers of human overconsumption and its effects on wildlife.


Strickler, Breyan (2005). Sex in the City: An Ecocritical Perspective on the Place of Gender and Race in Othello, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Volume 12, Issue 2, Summer 2005, Pages 119–122.

In this ecocritical discussion of environment as it relates to gender, Breyan Strickler sets the foundation of observation as follows: the emphasis on bodies and the natural world in Othello creates three basic ideas; 1) the basic understanding that ecocriticism recognizes effects of colonization and the almost inseparable racism that comes with it, 2) an acknowledgement that the natural world has impact on one’s social environment, and 3) a redefined construction of masculinity and femininity shaped by tensions between the wild and the urban. In order to understand Othello overall, we need to apply idea number one to it. By doing this we are applying a postcolonial lens to an ecocritical discussion, allowing us to better understand how the Venetians constantly battled with other countries, disease, and the natural world that surrounded them. The advantage to this method is a more holistic image of how “the evolution of our relationships with nature (how we observe, define, infiltrate, conquer, reclaim, and are defeated by nature) impacts all of our social relationships” (Strickler, 121). According to Strickler and Estok, Iago seems to read Othello through this postcolonial perspective, especially in the way he describes Othello. The most famous line uttered by Iago that directly connects to his general comes when he tells Desdemona’s father that “an old black ram is tupping [his] white ewe” (1.1.123). This isn’t the first time women have been directly related to animals, and this was a common method of metaphorizing gender during this period. However, since we know that Desdemona, albeit a woman, arguably has higher status than Othello simply based on her race and ancestry - to equate Desdemona to the wild is a mistake. Although there is not a forest of transformation like in As You Like It or A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there is a figure that is representative of the wild. That figure is Othello, and Desdemona flees to him and throws herself into their marriage rather than disappearing into the wilderness. This further emphasizes that Othello’s characterization is that of a beastly nature that is built upon ignorance and racism. Strickler references Jeanne Roberts; a scholar who concluded that the Shakespearean wild is necessary for the males to exert power over more determined, erotically-tempting women. In most plays this is true. We see it with Ophelia and Hamlet, Hamlet and his mother, and even with Julius Caesar and his wife. This is really only possible in a society or environment where the man is part of the majority. In this case, Othello is not just a minority, but he is also not accepted culturally, socially, or even as a human being by those surrounding him. This is why this typical model of “man over woman” is not possible or present for Othello. Desdemona would likely be the one attempting to annex her husband into Venetian culture to help him avoid the terrifying confrontation with the white males present. (Abstract by Serena Johnson, UC Merced)


Kammer, Mimi. “Shakespeare as Ecodrama: Ecofeminism and Nonduality in Pericles, Prince of Tyre.” The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, 32.1 (2017) 29-48.

Much like his better-known tragicomedy The Tempest, Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre displays many characteristics of ecodrama, a type of theatre that highlights the connections between the human and natural world. Although the play's title hints at a tale of individualism, ecocritical and ecofeminist analyses reveal Pericles to be a complex story of interconnectivity among people and place. This paper draws on performance histories of Pericles as well as several critical concepts, including theories of embodiment, affect, and nonduality—a concept predicated upon holism and ecological entanglement—to highlight avenues of engagement with the natural world.


O’Dair, Sharon (2010), editor, Shakespeareans in the Tempest: Lives and Afterlives of Katrina, special edition of Borrowers and Lenders on Hurricane Katrina and The Tempest, Volume V, Number 2 (Fall/Winter 2010).

Love, G. A. (2010). “Shakespeare's origin of species and Darwin's Tempest.” Configurations, 18, 121–141.

Borlik, T. A. (2013). “Caliban and the fen demons of Lincolnshire: The Englishness of Shakespeare's Tempest.” Shakespeare, 9, 21–51.

DiPietro, Cary (2013). "Performing Place in The Tempest" in DiPietro, Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now: Criticism and Theory in the 21st Century, 83-102.

Considers the ecology, or the relationship between humans and the environment in which they dwell, of Tempest, specifically concentrating on how negative and positive attachments to place are evoked through theatrical performance.

Kelley, Shannon (2014). "The King's Coral Body: A Natural History of Coral and the Post-Tragic Ecology of The Tempest". Journal For Early Modern Cultural Studies 14, no. 1 (2014): 115-42.

In order to contextualize Ariel's second song where King Alonso's bones are described as coral, presents a taxonomy and history of coral and analyzes its appearance in a variety of Renaissance texts and images. Ultimately argues that King Alonso's bond with coral allows for his metaphorical survival in the text. 

McKenna, R. (2017). "Surviving The Tempest: Ecologies of salvage on the early modern stage". Shakespeare, 13 (3), 271–281.

Gray, David (2020), ‘“Command these elements to silence’: Ecocriticism and The Tempest”. Literature Compass. 2020.


Gretchen E. Minton (2021). ‘Ecological Adaptation in Montana: Timon of Athens to Timon of Anaconda’, New Theatre Quarterly 37 (1), 20-37.


Buschnell, Rebecca (2016). "Shakespeare and Nature." In Shakespeare in Our Time, ed. Callaghan and Gossett. Bloomsbury, 327-333.

Mentz, Steve (2016). "Shakespeare without Nature." In Shakespeare in Our Time, ed. Callaghan and Gossett. Bloomsbury, 334-337.

Raber, Karen (2016). "The Chicken and the Egg." In Shakespeare in Our Time, ed. Callaghan and Gossett. Bloomsbury, 338-42.

This trio of short essays is a rare dive into eco-criticism of this fascinating and under-studied and under-performed play.


Estok, Simon C. (2003). "Teaching the Environment of The Winter's Tale: Ecocritical Theory and Pedagogy for Shakespeare" in Davis, ed., Shakespeare Matters: History, Teaching, Performance, 177-90.

Noting the lack of studies of early modern representations of the natural environment, argues that an ecocritical approach to Winter's Tale can expose students to the literary traditions at work in the play, to the interconnectedness between nonliterary texts and assumptions and the exploration of nature in the play, to "ways that the division between men and women in the play might be viewed as part of larger dynamic . . . through which difference is designated," and to how the play might inform our relationship with the natural world. Briefly reads Twelfth Night from an ecocritical perspective, illustrating the play's phobia about the natural environment as well as its concerns over pollution and cross-breeding. Ends by suggesting avenues of inquiry through which to develop this ecocritical reading.