The Sources of Shakespeare's Plays
First published in 1977.
This book ascertains what sources Shakespeare used for the plots of his plays and discusses the use he made of them; and secondly illustrates how his general reading is woven into the texture of his work. Few Elizabethan dramatists took such pains as Shakespeare in the collection of source-material. Frequently the sources were apparently incompatible, but Shakespeare's ability to combine a chronicle play, one or two prose chronicles, two poems and a pastoral romance without any sense of incongruity, was masterly. The plays are examined in approximately chronological order and Shakespeare's developing skill becomes evident.
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Romeo and Juliet
A MidsummerNights Dream
Loves Labours Lost
Comedies and Histories
Measure for Measure
Timon of Athens
Antony and Cleopatra
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