We’ve already determined that The Tempest was all Shakespeare’s work, the writing of it–and the last one he did write solo. But what about where he pilfered the story? I mean, the Bard was also the Thief of Avon, as we’ve seen many, many times before.
So where’d he get this story?
Continue reading The Tempest: sources? We don’t need no stinking sources!
The title of this entry is mostly a misnomer. We’re not talking sources in regards to The Winter’s Tale, but source. Singular. There are a few elements that seem to have been influenced by other works, but they feel more like shouts-out or intertexts rather than stolen properties.
Continue reading The Winter’s Tale: sources
There’s a wonderful little theory or legend concerning Cymbeline, and more importantly his daughter.
Yeah, not a typo.
Continue reading Cymbeline: A daughter by any other name…
OK, there is a legendary King of the Britons that corresponds to our Cymbeline.
Continue reading History?
OK, Shakespeare stole. We know that. He stole repeatedly, sometimes a pick-pocketing, sometimes grand larceny. But what about for Cymbeline?
The question is clear; the answer somewhat muddled.
Continue reading Sources: stealing old and new
Coriolanus. Like two of his earlier Roman plays–Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra–(as well as one set in ancient Greece–Timon of Athens) it appears that Shakespeare used as his primary source…
Continue reading Coriolanus — sources: go North, ol’ man
As with many of the plays in this Project, it looks as if Shakespeare used more than a single source for the story and style in Pericles.
Continue reading Pericles – Sources: Gower influences Gower
So where did Shakespeare (and Middleton, if you believe the data behind the New Oxford Shakespeare series) get the idea for Timon of Athens?
Continue reading Timon of Athens: sources
When it comes to Antony and Cleopatra and the concept of sources, we can look back on what Shakespeare’s sources were for the predecessor (of sorts), Julius Caesar.
In other words, cue Plutarch, and his Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans. That work by the Greek historian had been translated into French by writer Jacques Amyot in the early 1560’s. Thomas North then translated it into English, with his first edition appearing in the late 1570’s. Shakespeare has dipped into North’s translations before…and he does it again here.
Continue reading Antony and Cleopatra: Sources
Remember a few days back when discussing the more witchy sources for Macbeth (this after discussing Holinshed’s contributions to the more human side of the story), and how I said there was one more text that might be considered an influence if not a source? And I said I’d discuss that later when I hit the Porter scene?
Well, today, I’m a-hittin’ it…
Continue reading Macbeth and equivocation
OK, folks, we all know how Shakespeare picks and chooses (a) from whom he steals, (b) how much he steals, and (c) how much he massages those stolen goods. And that’s in his fictional plays. In the histories, he’s been known to compress time, changes ages, and make wholesale changes to his sources. Macbeth, though a tragedy, is no different.
Now, having already taken a look at his borrowings from Holinshed for the human characters and Scot for the not-so-human, let’s take a look at the “real” history, shall we?
Continue reading Sources: history?
A couple of days back, we took a look at the major (historical) sources for Macbeth: Holinshed’s Chronicles, and two other Scottish histories, Hector Boece’s Scotorum Historiae and George Buchanan’s Rerum Scoticarum Historia. Those are fine for the human elements of the story, but what about the not-so-human elements?
Continue reading Sources: part two
Sometimes, things are just timely. Like us starting Macbeth and…
Continue reading OUP Blog: Witches!
The most widely cited historical sources for Shakespeare’s Macbeth are Holinshed’s Chronicles and two other Scottish histories, Hector Boece’s Scotorum Historiae and George Buchanan’s Rerum Scoticarum Historia.
Let’s take a look at Holinshed first…
Continue reading Sources: part one
As noted before, the two major sources for King Lear are Holinshed’s Chronicles and an anonymous play, The True Chronicle History of King Leir and his three daughters Gonerill, Ragan and Cordella.
However, there are a couple of other non-literary influences that may have played a part in Shakespeare’s creation of the play…
Continue reading King Lear: Sources, part three