Shakespeare's Imitations examines, in four plays by Shakespeare, scenes and other elements (characters, speeches, incidental actions) that strongly resemble other materials within these same plays and to some extent outside them. The book represents these scenes as models and their imitations, images and their reflections, originals and copies, the things that are imitated and the things that imitate them, and it does so within the context of classical and Renaissance theories of imitation. It argues that an imitation does not merely repeat its model, it completes and deciphers it: the model, that is, can begin to be understood fully only after its imitation is apprehended as an interpretation of it. But the connection is entirely reciprocal, for the original also imitates and interprets its copy.
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