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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Antony appears Appian audience banished Brutus Bullough Caesar Cassio Caxton character Chronicles Cinthio's Cleopatra Comedy Coriolanus Cressida Cymbeline Daniel death derived described Disdemona disguise doth Dover Wilson dramatic dramatist E. K. Chambers echoes Elizabethan f1nal f1nd f1re f1rst scene Falstaff Famous Victories father Greene's Hamlet hath haue Hector Henry Henry VI hero heroine Holinshed Holinshed's Honigmann ibid influenced Isabella John Juliet King Lear lago Latin lines loue lovers Lydgate Macbeth marriage marry Menaechmi mentioned Mirror for Magistrates Muir murder night Othello Pandosto parallels passage Pericles phrase plot Plutarch poem Prince Pyramus Pyramus and Thisbe refers revenge Richard Richard II Romeo Rosader Rosalind Shake Shakespeare had read Shakespeare's play signif1cant Silla sources speaks speare speech story suggested T. W. Baldwin tale tells thee thou tragedy translation Troilus Troublesome Raigne Twelfth Night Ur-Hamlet villain vnto vpon wife words