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Jane Nead

Languages and Literature, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

'You have beguiled me with a counterfeit': The Hallmark of Truth and the Exposure of Artifice in Shakespeare�s Work

I am taking an interdisciplinary approach to the examination of Shakespeare’s language of deception and disguise, expressed through imagery relating to metal, jewellery, coins, testing (assaying), hallmarking and counterfeiting, and demonstrated through material fabrication. 

As a maker – facilitated by the Birmingham School of Jewellery and supported by the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office – I will use my original practice-led investigations to demonstrate how, for example, the properties of a metal may provide clues to character traits, or why metal-working techniques are so frequently used to indicate temperament or parentage. 

As an academic, I will use close textual analysis to provide a new, material context for Shakespeare’s vocabulary from the point of view of the goldsmith or assayer, enriching academic scholarship in the field of early modern material culture.

Research Area

  • Languages and Literature


'The Acid Test: Touching Base with Timon of Athens', The British Graduate Shakespeare Conference, Stratford-Upon-Avon, 2019.

'Making Meaning in Shakespeare: What do William Shakespeare and Goldsmiths have in Common?', Inside//Out PhD Research Festival, PGR Studio, Birmingham City University, January 2021.