The Tempest: sources? We don’t need no stinking sources!

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?

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The Winter’s Tale: 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.
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Cymbeline: A daughter by any other name…

There’s a wonderful little theory or legend concerning Cymbeline, and more importantly his daughter.

Innogen.

Yeah, not a typo.

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Sources: stealing old and new

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.

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Coriolanus — sources: go North, ol’ man

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…

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Pericles – Sources: Gower influences Gower

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.

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Timon of Athens: sources

So where did Shakespeare (and Middleton, if you believe the data behind the New Oxford Shakespeare series) get the idea for Timon of Athens?

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Antony and Cleopatra: 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.

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Macbeth and equivocation

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…

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