WordPlay™ Shakespeare

Now, Half the Page is a Stage...

Contemporaries

Writing While Under the Influence...

George North Manuscript
Shakespeare did not write in a vacuum, and scholars today confirm that he was heavily influenced by Holinshed's Chronicles, and Plutarch's Lives (properly titled Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans.)

Now, an amateur and deeply capable scholar — Dennis McCarthy — has, in collaboration with Professor
June Schlueter, ferreted out what is likely to prove a powerful third influence on Shakespeare, the writing of one of Queen Elizabeth I's ambassadors to Sweden, George North. An obscure diplomat until now (his Wikipedia entry starts onFebruary 8, 2018 — 4 days ago!) he had an elegant turn of phrase that clearly caught Shakespeare's attention and imagination. The book that sparked Shakespeare's — and now our — interest, was A Brief Discourse of Rebellion & Rebels. Read the New York Times article here.

New Digitized Facsimile of 1623 First Folio Published by Bodmer Lab

Dedication
Geneva's Bodmer Lab has made available to the public a full high resolution digital copy of a 1623 First Folio. Pictured above is a part of the dedication of the volume by Heminges and Condell to their patrons, William, Earl of Pembroke, and his brother Philip, Earl of Montgomery. A tremendous asset to scholars, teachers, and students, but note, the text of the web site is in French.

Permission Granted

C82-1690 (78)
The original document used to announce King James I's granting of a royal warrant to Shakespeare's acting troupe, changing their name from The Lord Chamberlain's Men to The King's Men, and permitting them to perform "Comedies, Tragedies, Histories, Enterludes, Moralles, Pastoralles, Stageplayes". Read and see high quality digital scans of the warrant.

Shakespeare's Own Drama

Image of Shakespeare surrounded by swooning women
An excellent overview by Stanley Wells of the drama (broadly speaking) that William Shakespeare experienced in his own family affairs. More

Analogy Lovers, Start Your Engines!

Image of Leonard Cohen wearing a bolo tie
The Guardian proposes that Leonard Cohen is to Bob Dylan, as John Donne was to Shakespeare. Discuss...More.

Shakespeare's Co-Writers

Infographic showing a list of all Shakespeare's Contemporaries
Shakespeare did not work alone, but was profoundly influenced by those around him -- actors, directors, writers and other theater professionals. This delightful infographic from the Oxford University Press neatly captures the vibrant artistic environment in which he worked.

Henry VI, Part 1 By W. Shakespeare... and Christopher Marlowe.


1585 oil painting of Christopher Marlowe
From Wikipedia: A portrait, supposedly of Christopher Marlowe. There is in fact no evidence that the anonymous sitter is Marlowe, but the clues do point in that direction. Marlowe was 21 years old in 1585, when the painting was made. He was also the only 21-year old student at Corpus Christi, where the painting was later found.

New scholarship from the Oxford University Press suggests that Shakespeare had help from Christopher Marlowe when writing Henry VI, parts 1, 2 and 3. Corpus analysis helps solve the puzzle! More.