Leah E. Haydu

Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Mary Moore

Second Advisor

Timothy Burbery

Third Advisor

David Hatfield


In this paper, I use a primarily close-reading approach to examine the metatheatrical elements of William Shakespeare’s representation in Neil Gaiman’s comic book series The Sandman. This involves examinations of individual panels throughout three different issues of the series in order to uncover how Shakespeare is presented, as well as how he, in turn, affects the presentation of other characters, and how these both affect the view which the reader might form of not only Shakespeare, but of Gaiman himself. In doing so, I establish the existence of a new, related genre: metacomics. Similar to metatheatrics, this approach relates to the control Shakespeare and other characters within this comic exert on each other above and beyond that specifically dictated to them through Gaiman and his artists, and is carried out predominantly through the interplay between text and artwork which is the main focus of my discussion.


Gaiman, Neil. The Sandman.

Play within a play.

Shakespeare, William, 1565-1616 - Comic books, strips, etc.