Chronology of Shakespeare's plays

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This article presents a possible chronological listing of the composition of the plays of William Shakespeare.

in 1778, Edmond Malone was the first scholar to construct a tentative chronology of Shakespeare's plays in the second edition of Samuel Johnson and George Steevens' 10-volume collected works of Shakespeare. Malone also introduced the spelling of the name as "Shakspeare", which became the scholarly norm for several decades.

Shakespearean scholars, beginning with Edmond Malone in 1778, have attempted to reconstruct the relative chronology by various means, primarily using external evidence (references by contemporary commentators and in private documents, allusions in other plays, entries in the Stationers' Register, and records of performance and publication), and internal evidence (allusions to contemporary events, composition and publication dates of sources used by Shakespeare, the development of his style and diction over time, and the plays' context in the contemporary theatrical and literary milieu).[1] Most modern chronologies are based on the work of E.K. Chambers in 1930.

Contents

Difficulty of creating a precise chronology[edit]

While most Shakespearean scholars agree within a few years for the composition of most plays,[citation needed] there is no definitive or precise chronology of the plays because of the fragmentary nature of the surviving evidence. This is especially pronounced in relation to the earlier plays; most chronologies tend to agree on the order of plays written after c.1600,[citation needed] but there are many different versions of the pre-1600 chronology.

Dates of performance are often of limited use, as often it is impossible to determine whether a given performance is the first performance; the first presumed performances of only two plays—Henry VIII and Henry VI, Part 1—can be identified, and even in this, there is ambiguity about both titles.[2] Malone argued that the reference to the newness of Henry VIII, for example, derived from the fact that it had been expanded with a new prologue and epilogue, perhaps written by Ben Jonson,[3] while Halliwell-Phillipps took the view that the Henry VIII performed in 1613 was an altogether different work.[4]

Similarly, dates of first publication are relatively useless in determining a chronology, as about half of the plays were not published until the First Folio in 1623 (seven years after Shakespeare's death). Performance dates and publication dates are also problematic insofar as many of the plays were performed several years before they were published (for example, Titus Andronicus was performed in 1592, but not published until 1594; Henry VI, Part 3 was performed in 1592 but not published until 1595). Both performance and publication dates can thus be used only to determine terminal dates of composition, with the initial dates much more speculative.[5]

In addition, some scholars radically dissent from the conventional dating system. E.A.J. Honigmann for example, attempts to push back the beginning of Shakespeare's career four or five years with his "early start theory", beginning with the composition of Titus Andronicus in 1586 instead of following Chambers.[6][7] Most scholars, however, adhere to a more orthodox chronology.[8] Several scholars, including Gary Taylor and Sidney Thomas, have pointed out that the "early start theory" causes more problems than it solves.[9]

Chronology[edit]

There are five major scholarly editions of the Complete Works of Shakespeare: The Riverside Shakespeare (G. Blakemore Evans, 1974; 2nd edn., 1996), The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Stanley Wells, Gary Taylor, John Jowett and William Montgomery, 1986; 2nd edn., 2005), The Norton Shakespeare: Based on the Oxford Edition (Stephen Greenblatt, Walter Cohen, Jean E. Howard and Katharine Eisaman Haus, 1997; 2nd edn., 2008), The Arden Shakespeare: Complete Works (Richard Proudfoot, Ann Thompson and David Scott Kastan, 1998; 2nd edn. 2002) and The RSC Shakespeare: William Shakespeare, Complete Works (Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, 2007).[a]

Arden presents the plays alphabetically without any attempt to construct an overall chronology. Oxford, Riverside, Norton and RSC all present chronologies which differ from one another. Accordingly, dates in the following lists are approximate means. This list adopts the Oxford Shakespeare chronology, although none of the major chronologies has any real authority over any of the others.

Plays by Shakespeare[edit]

The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1589–1591)[edit]

First official record: Francis Meres' Palladis Tamia (1598); referred to as "Gentlemen of Verona"
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: adaptation by Benjamin Victor performed at David Garrick's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1762.[10] Earliest known performance of straight Shakespearean text at Royal Opera House in 1784, although because of the reference to the play in Palladis Tamia, we know it was definitely performed in Shakespeare's day.[11]
Evidence: The play contains passages which seem to borrow from John Lyly's Midas (1589), meaning it could not have been written prior to 1589.[12] Additionally, Stanley Wells argues that the scenes involving more than four characters, "betray an uncertainty of technique suggestive of inexperience."[13] As such, the play is considered to be one of the first Shakespeare composed upon arriving in London (Roger Warren, following E.A.J. Honigmann, suggests he may have written it prior to his arrival) and, as such, he lacked theatrical experience. This places the date of composition as most likely somewhere between 1589 and 1591, by which time it is known he was working on the Henry VI plays.[14]

The Taming of the Shrew (1590–1594)[edit]

First official record: possible version of play entered into Stationers' Register on 2 May 1594 as "a booke intituled A plesant Conceyted historie called the Tayminge of a Shrowe". First record of play as it exists today found in the First Folio (1623)
First published: possible version of play published in quarto in 1594 as A Pleasant Conceited Historie, called The taming of a Shrew (republished in 1596 and 1607). Play as it exists today first published in the First Folio (1623) as The Taming of the Shrew.
First recorded performance: According to Philip Henslowe's diary, a play called The Tamynge of A Shrowe was performed at Newington Butts Theatre on 13 June 1594. This could have been either the 1594 A Shrew or the Shakespearean The Shrew, but as the Admiral's Men and the Lord Chamberlain's Men were sharing the theatre at the time, and as such Shakespeare himself would have been there, scholars tend to assume that it was The Shrew.[15] The Shakespearean version was definitely performed at court before King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria on 26 November 1633, where it was described as being "liked".[16]
Evidence: Kier Elam posits a date of 1591 as a terminus post quem for the composition of The Shrew, based on Shakespeare's probable use of two sources published that year; Abraham Ortelius's map of Italy in the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (4th ed.) and John Florio's Second Fruits.[17] However, scholars continue to debate the relationship between the 1594 A Shrew and the 1623 The Shrew. Some theorise that A Shrew is a reported text, meaning The Shrew must have been written prior to 2 May 1594;[18] others, that A Shrew is an early draft, meaning The Shrew must have been completed sometime after 2 May 1594.[19] There are also arguments that A Shrew may have been a source for The Shrew,[20] that they could be two completely unrelated plays based on the same (now lost) source (the "Ur-Shrew" theory),[21] or A Shrew could be an adaptation of The Shrew.[22] Critics remain divided on this issue, and as such, dating the play is extremely difficult.[23][24][25]

Henry VI, Part 2 (1590–1591)[edit]

1594 quarto of The First part of the Contention
First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 12 March 1594 as "a booke intituled, the firste parte of the Contention of the twoo famous houses of york and Lancaster".
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1594 as The First part of the Contention betwixt the two famous Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, with the death of the good Duke Humphrey: And the banishment and death of the Duke of Suffolke, and the Tragicall end of the proud Cardinal of Winchester, with the notable Rebellion of Jack Cade: and the Duke of Yorke's first claim unto the Crowne (republished in 1600 and 1619). The Folio text appears under the title The second Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Good Duke Humfrey.
First recorded performance: although it is known that the play was definitely performed in Shakespeare's day, the first recorded performance was not until 23 April 1864 at the Surrey Theatre, directed by James Anderson.[26]
Evidence: It is known that 3 Henry VI was on stage by June 1592, and it is also known that 3 Henry VI was definitely a sequel to 2 Henry VI, meaning 2 Henry VI must also have been on stage by early 1592. This places the likely date of composition as 1590–1591.

Henry VI, Part 3 (1591)[edit]

First official record: version of the play published in octavo in 1595. 3 Henry VI was never entered into the Stationers' Register.[27]
First published: version of the play published in octavo in 1595 as The True Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, and the death of good King Henrie the Sixt, with the Whole Contention betweene the two Houses Lancaster and Yorke (republished in quarto in 1600 and 1619). The Folio text appears under the title The third Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Duke of Yorke.
First recorded performance: although it is known that the play was definitely performed in Shakespeare's day, the first recorded performance was not until 1906, when F.R. Benson directed a production at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.[28]
Evidence: It is known that the play was definitely on stage by early 1592 as in A Groatsworth of Wit, Bought with a Million of Repentance, Robert Greene mocked Shakespeare by parodying a line from 3 Henry VI. Groatsworth was registered in the Stationers' Register in September 1592, meaning True Tragedy/3 Henry VI must have been on stage prior to 23 June 1592 as that was when the government shut the London theatres due to an outbreak of plague. To have been on stage by June 1592, the play was most likely written some time in 1591.

Henry VI, Part 1 (1591)[edit]

First official record: possibly in Philip Henslowe's diary. On 3 March 1592, Henslowe reports seeing a new play entitled Harey Vj (i.e. Henry VI) which could be a reference to 1 Henry VI. An entry is found in the Stationers' Register in September 1598 which refers to "The first and Second parte of Henry VJ". Most critics, however, feel this probably refers to what we today call 2 Henry VI and 3 Henry VI, not 1 Henry VI.[29] The first definite record of the play was not until the First Folio in 1623.
First published: First Folio (1623), as The first Part of Henry the Sixt
First recorded performance: possibly on 3 March 1592 at The Rose in Southwark, as seen by Philip Henslowe; earliest definite performance was on 13 March 1738 at Covent Garden in what seems to have been a stand-alone performance.[30]
Evidence: On 3 March 1592, Philip Henslowe saw a new play entitled Harey Vj, but gives no further information. In August, Thomas Nashe published Piers Penniless his Supplication to the Devil, in which he refers to a play he had recently seen featuring a rousing depiction of Lord Talbot, a major character in 1 Henry VI. Most critics take Nashe's reference to Talbot as proof that the play Henslowe saw was 1 Henry VI. As such, to have been a new play in March 1592, it was most likely written some time in 1591.[31] Furthermore, many critics consider 1 Henry VI to have been written as a prequel to the successful two-part play, The Contention and True Tragedy.[32] Possibly co-written with Thomas Nashe and/or other unidentified dramatists.[33]

Titus Andronicus (1591–1592)[edit]

1594 quarto of The Most Lamentable Romaine Tragedy of Titus Andronicus
First official record: Philip Henslowe's diary, 24 January 1594.[34] On 6 February 1594, the play was entered into the Stationers' Register as "a booke intitled a Noble Roman Historye of Tytus Andronicus".
First published: version of the play published in quarto in February 1594 as The Most Lamentable Romaine Tragedy of Titus Andronicus (first known printing of a Shakespeare play). The play was republished in quarto in 1600 and 1611. There are only minor differences between the 1594 quarto text and the later 1623 First Folio text (i.e. the 1594 text is not considered a bad quarto or a reported text).[35] The Folio text appears under the title The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus.
First recorded performance: on 24 January 1594 at the Rose Theatre in Southwark, as recorded in Henslowe's diary.[36]
Evidence: According to the title page of the 1594 quarto, the play had been performed by Pembroke's Men, a company which ceased performing in September 1593. As such, the play must have been composed some time prior to September. Additionally, it is unlikely to have been written later than June 1592, as that was when the London theatres were closed due to an outbreak of plague. The theatres would remain shut for the better part of two years, not fully reopening until March 1594 and Shakespeare concentrated most of his energies during this period on poetry. As such, the play was most likely composed sometime between late-1591 and early 1592.[37] Possibly co-written with George Peele[38]

Richard III (1592)[edit]

First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 20 October 1597 as "a booke intituled, The tragedie of kinge Richard the Third wth the death of the duke of Clarence".
First published: version of the play published in quarto in December 1597 as The tragedy of King Richard the third. Containing, his treacherous plots against his brother Clarence: the pittiefull murther of his innocent nephewes: his tyrannicall usurpation: with the whole course of his detested life, and most deserved death. The Folio text appears under the title The Tragedy of Richard the Third, with the Landing of Earle Richmond, and the Battell at Bosworth Field.
First recorded performance: The play was performed extensively in Shakespeare's lifetime; it is mentioned in Palladis Tamia in 1598 (as "Richard the 3."), and by the time of the First Folio in 1623, had been published in quarto six times (1597, 1598, 1603, 1605, 1612 and 1622), and referenced by multiple writers of the day. Regarding specific performances however, there is little solid evidence. In 1602, John Manningham mentions seeing Richard Burbage playing the role of Richard III, but he offers no further information.[39] The earliest definite performance was at St James's Palace on 16 or 17 November 1633 by the King's Men.[40]
Evidence: It is known that Richard III was definitely a sequel to 3 Henry VI, which was on-stage by 23 June 1592, hence Richard III must have been written later than early 1592. Additionally, it has been argued that the play contains evidence suggesting it was originally written for Strange's Men, but then rewritten for Pembroke's Men, a company which formed in mid-1592.[41] Also, with the closure of the theatres due to an outbreak of plague in June 1592, the play was unlikely to have been written any later than that, all of which suggests a date of composition as sometime in early-1592.

Edward III[b] (1592–1593)[edit]

1596 quarto of The Raigne Of King Edvvard the third
First official record: entered into the Stationers' Register on 1 December 1595 as "a booke intituled Edward the Third and the blacke prince their warres wth kinge Iohn of Fraunce".
First published: published in quarto in 1596 as The Raigne Of King Edvvard the third (republished in 1599)
First recorded performance: although it is known from the 1596 quarto title page that the play was performed in the 1590s, the earliest recorded performance was not until 6 March 1911 at the Little Theatre in London, directed by Gertrude Kingston and William Poel. However, this production presented only the first half of the play (dealing with the King's infatuation with the Countess of Salisbury). Performed under the title, The King and the Countess, it was presented in a single matinée performance with the anonymous sixteenth century liturgical drama, Jacob and Esau.[42] The first known performance of the complete text took place in June 1987, at the Theatr Clwyd, directed by Toby Robertson.[43]
Evidence: Obviously, the play was written by December 1595. According to the title page of the quarto, it had been performed recently in London, but no company information is provided. This could mean that the company that performed the play had disbanded during the closure of the theatres from June 1592 to March 1594. Furthermore, internal evidence suggests that the play may have been specifically written for Pembroke's Men, who ceased performing in September 1593. This places the date of composition as most likely somewhere between early 1592 and September 1593.[44]

The Comedy of Errors (1594)[edit]

First official record: Francis Meres' Palladis Tamia (1598); referred to as "Errors"
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: probably on Innocents Day, 28 December 1594 at Gray's Inn (one of the four London Inns of Court). The only known evidence for this performance is the Gesta Grayorum, a 1688 text printed for William Canning based on a manuscript apparently handed down from the 1590s, detailing the "Prince of Purpoole" festival from December 1594 to February 1595.[c] According to the text, after a disastrous attempt to stage "some notable performance [...] it was thought good not to offer any thing of Account, saving Dancing and Revelling with Gentlewomen; and after such Sports, a Comedy of Errors (like to Plautus his Menaechmus) was played by the Players. So that Night was begun, and continued to the end, in nothing but Confusion and Errors; whereupon, it was ever afterwards called, The Night of Errors." As Comedy of Errors is indeed based on Menaechmus, this is almost universally accepted as a reference to an otherwise unrecorded performance of the play, probably by Shakespeare's own company, the newly formed Lord Chamberlain's Men.[45]
Evidence: traditionally, the play has been dated quite early (Ros King, for example, dates it 1586–1589), and has often been seen as Shakespeare's first comedy, perhaps his first play. However, stylistic and linguistic analysis (proportion of verse to prose, amount of rhyme, use of colloquialism in verse, and a rare word test) has placed it closer to the composition of Richard II and Romeo and Juliet, both of which were written in 1594 or 1595.[46] More specifically, the limited setting (it is one of only two Shakespeare plays to observe the Classical unities) and the brevity of the play (Shakespeare's shortest at 1777 lines), along with the great abundance of legal terminology, suggests to some critics the probability of it being written especially for the Gray's Inn performance, which would place its composition in the latter half of 1594.[47] If it was written for Gray's Inn, it most likely represents the first play by Shakespeare which was specifically commissioned. In this case, that commission could have come from Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, a member of the Inns of Court, and Shakespeare's patron.[48]

Love's Labour's Lost (1594–1595)[edit]

1598 quarto of Loves labors lost
First official record: a version of the play was published in quarto in 1598, although the exact date is unknown as it was never entered into the Stationers' Register.[49] Also in 1598, Robert Tofte mentioned the play in his sonnet sequence Alba. The months minde of a melancholy lover; "Love's Labour Lost, I once did see, a play/Y'cleped so, so called to my pain." The date of publication of Alba is unknown as it also was not entered into the Register. Additionally, the play is mentioned in Meres' Palladis Tamia (registered on 7 September, with a dedication dated 10 October). It is unknown exactly which one of these three constitutes the first official record of the play.
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1598 as A Pleasant Conceited Comedie called Loves labors lost (the first known printing of a Shakespearean play to include his name on the title page). The Folio text appears under the title Love's Labour's lost.
First recorded performance: according to the quarto title page, the play was performed at court for Queen Elizabeth sometime over Christmas 1597, however, no further information is provided. The earliest definite performance took place some time between 8 and 15 January 1605, for Anne of Denmark, at either Henry Wriothesley or Robert Cecil's house.[50]
Evidence: Obviously, the play was written by Christmas 1597, but narrowing the date further has proved difficult, with most efforts focusing upon stylistic evidence. Traditionally, it was seen as one of Shakespeare's earliest plays (Charles Gildon wrote in 1710; "since it is one of the worst of Shakespeare's Plays, nay I think I may say the very worst, I cannot but think it is his first."[51]) For much of the eighteenth century, it tended to be dated 1590, until Malone's newly constructed chronology in 1778, which dated it 1594.[52] In his 1930 chronology, E.K. Chambers found the play to be more sophisticated than Malone had allowed for, and dated it 1595.[53] Today most scholars tend to concur with a date of 1594–1595, and the play is often grouped with the 'lyrical plays'; Richard II, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, because of its prolific use of rhyming. These four plays are argued to represent a phase of Shakespeare's career where he was experimenting with rhyming iambic pentameter as an alternative form to standard blank verse; Richard II has more rhymed verse than any other history play (19.1%), Romeo and Juliet more than any other tragedy (16.6%) and Love's Labour's and Midsummer Night more than any other comedy (43.1% and 45.5% respectively). All four tend to be dated to 1594/1595.[54] In support of this, Ants Oras' pause test places the play after Richard III, which is usually dated 1592. Furthermore, Taylor finds possible allusions to the Gray's Inn revels of December 1594 (specifically the Muscovite masque in Act 5, Scene 2), and also finds plausible Geoffrey Bullough's argument that the satire of the King of Navarre (loosely based on Henry of Navarre, who was associated with oath breaking after abjuring Protestantism in 1593) favours a date after December 1594, when Henry survived an assassination attempt.[55]

Love's Labour's Won (1595–1596)[edit]

First official record: Francis Meres' Palladis Tamia (1598); referred to as "Love labours wonne"
First published: published in quarto some time prior to 1603
First recorded performance: there are no recorded performances of the play
Christopher Hunt's list of plays; the bottom entry reads "Loves labor won"
Evidence: There are only two known references to this play. One is in Meres' Palladis Tamia, the other is on a list by Christopher Hunt, dated August 1603, which gives a list of published plays sold by an Exeter bookseller. Up until 1953, only Meres' reference was known, until Hunt's two pages of handwriting were discovered in the backing of a copy of Thomas Gataker's Certaine Sermones.[56] The discovery was handed over to T.W. Baldwin, who published his findings in 1957 as Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Won. The title suggests the play was written as a sequel to Love's Labour's Lost, which is partially supported by the unusually open-ended nature of that play. However, whether the play ever existed has been debated, with some critics speculating that it is simply another name for one of Shakespeare's known plays, a situation similar to Henry VIII, which was originally performed with the title All is True. As Meres refers to The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Comedy of Errors and The Merchant of Venice, prior to the discovery of the Hunt reference, a common suggestion was The Taming of the Shrew, but as Hunt mentions this play, it could not be Love's Labour's Won. Although Much Ado About Nothing, All's Well That Ends Well and Troilus and Cressida have also been cited as possibilities, these plays tend to be dated later than 1598 (much later in the case of Troilus, although the argument is that Love's Labour's Won is an early draft), and as there are no other pre-1598 Shakespearean comedies with which to equate it, it seems certain that the play did exist, that it was performed and published, but that it has since been lost.[57]

Richard II (1595)[edit]

First official record: entered into the Stationers' Register on 29 August 1597 as "the Tragedye of Richard the Second".
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1597 as The Tragedie of King Richard the second (republished in 1598 (twice), 1608 and 1615). The Folio text appears under the title The life and death of King Richard the Second
First recorded performance: possible performance on 9 December 1595 at Sir Edward Hoby's house. Hoby's wife, the daughter of Baron Hunsdon (chief patron of the Lord Chamberlain's Men), wrote a letter to Sir Robert Cecil inviting him to supper and to see "K. Richard present him self to your vewe." Many scholars see this as a reference to Richard II, especially because of the Hunsdon connection with Shakespeare's company. However, some scholars argue that the reference could be to a painting, not a play, whilst others argue there is no evidence that "K. Richard" necessarily refers to Richard II, suggesting it could refer to Richard III or to another play entirely. There is no complete consensus on this issue, although most scholars do tend to favour the Richard II theory.[58] The earliest definite performance was at the Globe Theatre on 7 February 1601, organised by the Earl of Essex in a performance probably intended to inspire his supporters on the eve of his armed rebellion against Queen Elizabeth. According to testimony given by actor Augustine Phillips at Essex' trial for treason, he paid the Lord Chamberlain's Men forty shillings more than the standard rate to stage the play.[59]
Evidence: Richard II is usually seen as one of the 'lyrical plays', along with Love's Labour's Lost, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream; four plays in which Shakespeare used rhymed iambic pentameter more than anywhere else in his career. The four plays also include elaborate punning, rhetorical patterning, a general avoidance of colloquialisms and a high volume of metrical regularity. All four of these plays tend to be dated to 1594–1595. Also important in dating the play is Samuel Daniel's The First Four Books of the Civil Wars, which was entered into the Stationers' Register on 11 October 1594, and published in early 1595. Although some scholars have suggested that Daniel used Shakespeare as a source, which would mean the play was written somewhat earlier than 1594, most agree that Shakespeare used Daniel, especially in some of the later scenes, meaning the play could not have been written earlier than 1595.[60]

Romeo and Juliet (1595)[edit]

First official record: version of the play published in 1597 (this play was never entered into the Stationers' Register)
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1597 as An excellent conceited tragedie of Romeo and Juliet
First recorded performance: 1 March 1662 at Lincoln's Inn Fields, directed by William Davenant.[61]
Evidence:

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595)[edit]

First official record: Francis Meres' Palladis Tamia (1598); referred to as "Midsummers night dreame"
First published: in quarto in November or December 1600
First recorded performance:
Evidence:

The Life and Death of King John (1596)[edit]

First official record: Francis Meres' Palladis Tamia (1598); referred to as "King Iohn"
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: although there are several references to the play having been performed during the seventeenth century, none of them offer any specific details, and the first documented performance was on 26 February 1737 at Covent Garden.[62]
Evidence:

The Merchant of Venice (1596)[edit]

First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 22 July 1598
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1600 as The most excellent historie of the merchant of Venice. With the extreame crueltie of Shylocke the Jewe towards the sayd merchant, in cutting a just pound of his flesh: and the obtayning of Portia by the choyse of three chests
First recorded performance: the play was performed at court for King James on 10 February 1605.[63]
Evidence: The play was obviously in existence by 1598, however, other evidence places its date of composition as earlier, probably 1596. Shakespeare's source for the casket subplot is believed to have been Richard Robinson's translation of the Gesta romanorum, which wasn't published until late 1595. In addition, Salarino's reference to "my wealthy Andrew docked in sand" is thought to refer to the San Andréas, a Spanish merchant vessel that ran aground in Essex in June 1596. It is also thought by scholars that the play was written to capitalise on the enormous success of Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta.[64]

Henry IV, Part 1 (1596–1597)[edit]

First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 25 February 1598
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1598 as The History of Henrie the Fourth, with the battell at Shrewsburie between the King and Lord Henry Percy, surnamed Hotspur of the North, with the humorous conceits of Sir John Falstaffe 1623 Folio text appeared under the title The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry Sirnamed Hot-spurre
First recorded performance: the play was probably performed at court for an Ambassador from Burgundy on 6 March 1600.
Evidence:

The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597–1598)[edit]

First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 18 January 1602
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1602 as A most pleasaunt and excellent conceited comedie, of Sir John Falstaffe, and the merrie wives of Windsor. Entermixed with sundrie variable and pleasing humours, of Sir Hugh the Welch knight, Justice Shallow, and his wise cousin M. Slender. With the swaggering vaine of Auncient Pistoll, and Corporall Nym
First recorded performance: 4 November 1604 at Whitehall Palace.
Evidence: Textual evidence and certain topical allusions suggest the play was composed as a specially commissioned piece for a Garter Feast (an annual meeting of the Order of the Garter), possibly the Feast on 23 April 1597. It is theorised that Shakespeare interrupted his composition of 2 Henry IV somewhere around Act 3-Act 4, so as to concentrate on writing Merry Wives.[65]

Henry IV, Part 2 (1596–1597)[edit]

First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 23 August 1600
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1600 as The second part of Henrie the fourth, continuing to his death, and coronation of Henrie the fift. With the humours of Sir John Falstaffe, and swaggering Pistoll 1623 Folio text appeared under the title The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Containing his Death and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift
First recorded performance: a play entitled Sir John Falstaffe was performed at Whitehall over the Christmas period of 1612 which is believed to be 2 Henry IV.[66]
Evidence: The play could not have been written any earlier than January 1596, as it contains an allusion to the Sultanate of Mehmed III, who didn't become sultan until that date.

Much Ado About Nothing (1598–1599)[edit]

First official record: version of the play published in 1600 (this play was never entered into the Stationers' Register)
First published: Much adoe about Nothing was published in quarto in 1600
First recorded performance: 14 February 1613, performed at court as part of the festivities to celebrate the marriage of Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia and Frederick V, Elector Palatine
Evidence: The play was not included in Francis Meres' Palladis Tamia, which was registered on 7 September 1598, suggesting it hadn't been performed prior to that date. Furthermore, evidence in the quarto text suggests that Shakespeare originally wrote the role of Dogberry for William Kempe, however, records indicate that Kempe left the Lord Chamberlain's Men sometime in late 1598, so the play must have been written before then. As such, it was most likely composed sometime in the latter half of 1598 and was certainly completed before the new year.[67]

Henry V (1599)[edit]

First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 14 August 1600
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1600 as The cronicle history of Henry the fift, with his battell fought at Agin Court in France. Togither with Auntient Pistoll. 1623 Folio text appeared under the title The Life of Henry the Fift
First recorded performance: 7 January 1605 at the Globe Theatre, performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men.[68]
Evidence: Of all Shakespeare's plays, Henry V is one of the easiest to date. A reference by the Chorus to the Earl of Essex's Irish expedition of 1599 means the play was most likely written sometime between March 1599 (when Essex left for Ireland) and September 1599 (when he returned).[69]

Julius Caesar (1599)[edit]

First official record: Thomas Platter the Younger's Diary, 21 September 1599
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Tragedie of Julius Caesar
First recorded performance: 21 September 1599 at the newly opened Globe Theatre[70]
Evidence: Obviously, the play was completed by September 1599, and may have been composed specifically as the opening play for the new theatre. In addition, because the play is not mentioned in Meres' Palladis Tamia, registered in September 1598, it was unlikely to have been performed prior to then. This places the date of composition as somewhere between September 1598 and September 1599. Additionally, textual analysis has connected the play to Henry V, which was almost certainly written in 1599, suggesting so too was Julius Caesar.[71]

As You Like It (1599–1600)[edit]

First official record: on 4 August 1600 a staying order was entered in the Stationers' Register for As yo like yt
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: possibly on 2 December 1603 at Wilton House in Wiltshire, where a play was performed for James I;[72] earliest definite performance on 20 December 1740, at Drury Lane.[73]
Evidence:

Hamlet (1599–1601)[edit]

First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 26 July 1602. Folio text appeared under the title The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1603 as The tragicall historie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke
First recorded performance: the entry in the Stationers' Register in July 1602 states that the play was "latelie Acted by the Lo: Chamberleyne his servantes". The title page of the first quarto states that it had been performed in London, at the two universities of Cambridge and Oxford, "and else-where", presumably on tour in the provinces. The first definite dated performance took place on a ship anchored off the coast of Africa in September 1607, the Red Dragon. The play was performed by the crew.[74]
Evidence: Because the versions of Hamlet which appeared in 1603, in 1604 (again in quarto) and in the First Folio of 1623 differ so much from one another, dating the play is exceptionally difficult. There is also the problem of the Ur-Hamlet, a possible source used by Shakespeare, now lost. Others however, feel that Ur-Hamlet (if it ever existed) was most likely an early draft. Hamlet was written sometime between September 1598 (as it was not included in Meres' Palladis Tamia) and July 1602 (when it was registered in the Stationers Register). Furthermore, internal references to Julius Caesar would indicate the play could not have been written any earlier than September 1599. Additionally, in his 1598 copy of an edition of Geoffrey Chaucer's works, Gabriel Harvey has written that Shakespeare's "Lucrece & his tragedie of Hamlet, prince of Denmarke, have it in them, to please the wiser sort". Harvey also mentions the Earl of Essex as still alive, which would suggest he wrote the note prior to 25 February 1601, when Essex was executed. This would seem to narrow the date of composition to between September 1599 and February 1601; however, not all scholars accept the veracity of Harvey's note. Internal evidence in the play has also been cited, usually as illustrative of a date of composition of 1600 or 1601.[75] As such, many scholars interpret the available evidence as suggestive of a date of initial composition sometime in 1600, with subsequent revisions. This dating, however, is far from universally accepted.[76]

Twelfth Night (1601)[edit]

First official record: John Manningham mentions in his Diary having seen the play performed in February 1602
First published: First Folio (1623) as Twelfe Night, Or what you will
First recorded performance: John Manningham saw the play performed at the Middle Temple on Candlemas 1602, which fell on 2 February.[77]
Evidence:

Troilus and Cressida (1602)[edit]

First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 7 February 1603
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1609 as The historie of Troylus and Cresseida. 1623 Folio text appeared under the title The Tragedie of Troilus and Cressida
First recorded performance: an adaptation of the play by John Dryden was staged in 1679.[78]
Evidence:

Measure for Measure (1603–1604)[edit]

First official record: revels accounts for Christmas 1604–1605 state the play was performed over the holidays
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: Revels accounts for Christmas 1604–1605 indicate the play was performed at Whitehall on St. Stephen's Day 1604.
Evidence: This play is notoriously difficult to date specifically partly due to a lack of solid evidence and partly due to the theory that the text which appeared in the First Folio was not Shakespeare's original text. Obviously the play was written (in some form) prior to December 1604. The only other evidence are possible topical references within the play itself which would seem to indicate a date most likely in 1602,[79] but this is not universally accepted by all scholars. Furthermore, there is a theory that Thomas Middleton rewrote the play after Shakespeare's death, possibly in 1621, which throws further doubt on the exact date of initial composition.[80]

Othello (1603–1604)[edit]

First official record: revels accounts refer to the play having been performed in November 1604
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1622 as The Tragedy of Othello, the Moore of Venice
First recorded performance: revels accounts indicate the play was performed at Whitehall on 1 November 1604.
Evidence:

King Lear (1605–1606)[edit]

Title page of A Declaration of egregious Popish Impostures (1603), a source used by Shakespeare to write King Lear
First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 26 November 1607 as A booke called. Mr William Shakespeare his historye of Kinge Lear
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1608 as The true chronicle historie of the life and death of King Lear and his three daughters. With the unfortunate life of Edgar, sonne and heire to the Earle of Gloster, and his sullen and assumed humor of Tom of Bedlam
First recorded performance: according to the Stationers' Register, the play was performed at Whitehall on 26 December 1606
Evidence: the play must have been written by late 1606. Additionally, scholars generally agree that the play is indebted to Samuel Harsnett's Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures (entered into the Stationers' Register on 16 March 1603) and John Florio's 1603 translation of Montaigne's Essays.,[81] placing the date of composition as somewhere between March 1603 and December 1606. A further possible source for the play has evoked some disagreement however. Whilst many scholars feel that Shakespeare used the anonymous play The True Chronicle History of King Leir (entered into the Stationers' Register on 8 May 1605), and hence must have been written between May 1605 and December 1606, others argue that the relationship between the two plays has been inverted, and The True Chronicle History of King Leir was actually written to capitalise on the success of Shakespeare's play, which was probably written in 1603 or 1604. No real critical consensus has been reached regarding this disagreement.[82]

Timon of Athens (1605–1606)[edit]

First official record: entered into the Stationers' Register on 8 May 1623
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Life of Timon of Athens
First recorded performance: in 1674, Thomas Shadwell wrote an adaptation of the play under the title Timon of Athens: Or, The Man-hater
Evidence: This play is another which is extremely difficult to date precisely, not the least cause of which is the claim that Shakespeare may only have written part of it, with the play being subsequently revised by Thomas Middleton. There is no reference to the play whatsoever prior to 1623, and as such, evidence for its date of composition must come from within the play itself. Taylor concludes that Middleton and Shakespeare were jointly responsible for the play and assigns the composition date to 1605 on the basis of previous analyses of colloquialism-in-verse and rare vocabulary.[83]

Macbeth (1606)[edit]

First official record: possibly by Simon Forman, who records seeing the play in April 1611. However, there is considerable debate amongst scholars as to whether Forman's account is genuine
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Tragedie of Macbeth
First recorded performance: possibly in April 1611, recorded by Simon Forman
Evidence: Scholars place the date of composition as somewhere between 1603 and 1607, but efforts to narrow that date have proved inconclusive. Several possible topical references to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 have been proposed and debated among scholars, but these references have not been universally accepted. In 1790, Edward Malone dated the play to 1606, and the vast majority of critics agree with this date even while acknowledging that little conclusive evidence exists, though the date seems correct in the context of Shakespeare's other work of the period.[84] One suggested allusion supporting a date in late 1606 is the first witch's dialogue about a sailor's wife: "'Aroint thee, witch!' the rump-fed ronyon cries./Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger" (1.6–7). This has been thought to allude to the Tiger, a ship that returned to England 27 June 1606 after a disastrous voyage in which many of the crew were killed by pirates. A few lines later the witch speaks of the sailor, "He shall live a man forbid:/Weary se'nnights nine times nine" (1.21-2). The real ship was at sea 567 days, the product of 7x9x9, which has been taken as a confirmation of the allusion, which if correct, confirms that the play could not have been written any earlier than July 1606.[85] A. R. Braunmuller, however, in the New Cambridge edition, finds the 1605–6 arguments inconclusive, and argues only for an earliest date of 1603.[86] Further complicating the dating of Macbeth is the fact that the play shows evidence of later revisions by Middleton, particularly in the witch scenes.

Antony and Cleopatra (1606)[edit]

First official record: entered into the Stationers' Register on 20 May 1608
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Tragedie of Antony and Cleopatra
First recorded performance: according to the 1669 records for the Lord Chamberlain's Men, the play had recently been performed at Blackfriars, but no further information is given; earliest definite performance in 1759 when it was staged by David Garrick.
Evidence:

All's Well That Ends Well (1606–1607)[edit]

First official record: First Folio (1623)
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: 1741 at Goodman's Fields Theatre, directed by Henry Giffard.[87]
Evidence:

Pericles, Prince of Tyre (1607)[edit]

First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 20 May 1608
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1609 as The Late and much admired Play Called Pericles, Prince of Tyre, with the true Relation of the whole History, adventures, and fortunes of the sayd Prince: As also, the no lesse strange, and worthy accidents, in the Birth and Life, of his Daughter Mariana
First recorded performance: April 1607, seen by the Venetian ambassador to England, Zorzi Giustinian.[88]
Evidence: Because the play was not included in the First Folio, there has always been doubt as to whether or not Shakespeare actually wrote it at all. It first appears together with Shakespeare's other plays in the second issue of the Third Folio of 1664. In a contested field, the most widely accepted theory today is that Shakespeare collaborated on the play with another playwright, probably his younger colleague, George Wilkins. There is no complete agreement what the motives or mechanism of this collaboration were. In 1608, Wilkins published a prose narrative of Pericles purporting to be a narrative version of the play and which contains numerous phrases that seem to recall specific lines in the play, suggesting that work on the play preceded his composition of the prose version. Textual analysis of the play has suggested it be placed as in some close relation with All's Well That Ends Well and Coriolanus, which would confirm a date of 1607–1608.[89]

Coriolanus (1608)[edit]

First official record: entered into the Stationers' Register on 8 November 1623
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Tragedy of Coriolanus
First recorded performance: an adaptation of the play by Nahum Tate was performed at Drury Lane in 1681, under the title The Ingratitude of a Common-Wealth
Evidence: Stylistic tests place the composition of the play after Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra,[90] and the form of the verse and imagery fit well with Timon, Antony, and Pericles.[91] Shakespeare's treatment of the grain riots is strikingly reminiscent of the Midlands corn riots of 1607.[90] Though Menenius' fable of the belly was used in other contemporary works, the wording of Menenius's speech about the body politic is derived from William Camden's Remaines (1605).[92] Two possible echoes of George Chapman's Iliad (registered 14 November 1608) support a date of 1608–9. A reference to "the coal of fire upon ice" (1.1.170) is a possible allusion to the winter of 1607–08, when the frost was so severe that vendors set up booths on the frozen Thames river and pans of coals were placed on the ice so that pedestrians could warm themselves.[93] An allusion to the complaints about Hugh Myddelton's project to bring water to London has also been detected in Martius' warning to the patricians (3.1.98-9).[93] Taylor says that the cumulative internal evidence all points to a composition date of no earlier than spring of 1608,[94] while others favour late 1608 to early 1609.[95]
Several allusions in other works establish a terminal date of composition: Ben Jonson's Epicœne, or The silent woman, composed in late 1609, mocks a peculiar phrase in the play, and Phantasma (registered 6 February 1609), written by Robert Armin, a member of the King's Men from 1599 to 1610, contains a close literary parallel.[94] Critics also suggest that the regular act intervals indicate that it could have been written for the indoor Blackfriars Theatre, which Shakespeare's company acquired in 1608.[94]

The Winter's Tale (1609–1610)[edit]

First official record: Simon Forman saw the play at the Globe on 15 May 1611; it was performed at Court 11 November 1611
First published: First Folio (1623)
Evidence: The dance of twelve satyrs is similar to the dance of satyrs in Ben Jonson's masque Oberon performed at Court on 1 January 1611, but Taylor believes it is a later interpolation. It shares some of the same source material as Cymbeline, and stylistically it is in Shakespeare's late period. Most critics agree that it should be paired with Cymbeline.[96]

Cymbeline (1610–1611)[edit]

First official record: Simon Forman saw it performed at the Globe in 1611
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Tragedie of Cymbeline
First recorded performance: In an undated entry, Simon Forman saw the play performed at the Globe in 1611
Evidence:

The Tempest (1610–1611)[edit]

First official record: revels accounts refer to the play having been performed in November 1611
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: 1 November 1611, at Whitehall for James I, performed by the King's Men.
Evidence:

Cardenio (1612–1613)[edit]

First official record: entered into the Stationers' Register in 1653, attributed to William Shakespeare and John Fletcher
First published: an adaptation was published in 1727 by Lewis Theobald entitled Double Falshood; or, the Distrest Lovers
First recorded performance: 1613, performed at the Globe by the King's Company
Evidence: A lost play, published only in an adaptation by Lewis Theobald entitled Double Falshood (1728).

Henry VIII, or All is True (1613)[edit]

First official record:
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight
First recorded performance: 29 June 1613, the night the Globe burnt down.
Evidence: Probably written in collaboration with John Fletcher

The Two Noble Kinsmen (1613)[edit]

First official record: entered into the Stationer' Register on 8 April 1634
First published: published in quarto in 1634
First recorded performance:
Evidence: Not included in the First Folio; written in collaboration with John Fletcher.

Apocrypha[edit]

Sir John Oldcastle (1600)[edit]

First official record:
First published: 1600 (Q1), printed by Valentine Simmes for the bookseller Thomas Pavier.
First recorded performance:
Attribution to Shakespeare: 1619 (Q2), part of William Jaggard's so-called False Folio, carried an attribution to William Shakespeare. In 1664, the play was one of seven dramas added to the second impression of the Shakespeare Third Folio by publisher Philip Chetwinde.
Evidence: Philip Henslowe's diary records it was actually written by Anthony Munday, Michael Drayton, Richard Hathwaye and Robert Wilson in collaboration. (An entry in Henslowe's Diary records a later payment to Drayton for a second part to the play,which has not survived; because of this fact, the extant play has sometimes been called Sir John Oldcastle, Part I or 1 Sir John Oldcastle.)

Sir Thomas More (Shakespeare's involvement: 1603–1604)[edit]

First official record: 1728, MS owned by John Murray
First published: 1844 by the Shakespeare Society
First recorded performance: at the Nottingham Playhouse in 1964, starring Ian McKellen.[97]
First attribution to Shakespeare: 1871-2, Shakespearean appearance of ms. additions to the play first noted by Richard Simpson, a prominent Shakespeare scholar, and by James Spedding, editor of the works of Sir Francis Bacon. 1916, paleographer Sir Edward Maunde Thompson judged the addition in Hand D to be in Shakespeare's handwriting. 1923, publication of Shakespeare's Hand in the Play of Sir Thomas More by a quintet of major scholars analysed the play from multiple perspectives, all of which supported the Shakespearean attribution.
Evidence: The original play is believed to have been written in 1591–1592 by Anthony Munday and Henry Chettle. Due to censorship issues and problems staging the play because of an unusually large number of speaking parts, the play was substantially revised by Thomas Heywood, Thomas Dekker and (possibly) William Shakespeare. When the revision took place is difficult to determine, as evidence places it at some time between 1593 and 1604, although the majority of critics seem to favour a later date of 1603–1604.[98] Whether or not Shakespeare was involved with the writing of the play is still open to debate. The argument is that three pages of the MS are in his handwriting, but this is not universally accepted. Of the various editions of the complete works, only the Oxford 2nd edition of 2005 includes the play. However, Oxford have never issued a stand-alone scholarly edition of the play, neither have Cambridge, Norton or Penguin. A scholarly edition is available under the Revels Plays banner and in the Arden Shakespeare however.

The London Prodigal (1604)[edit]

First official record:
First published: 1605 by the stationer Nathaniel Butter, and printed by Thomas Cotes.
First recorded performance:
First attribution to Shakespeare: 1605, on the title page of the first edition.
Evidence: Acted by Shakespeare's company and published under his name, but the style is not his. Individual scholars have attributed the play to Ben Jonson, Thomas Dekker, John Marston, and Michael Drayton;[99] others have suggested Thomas Heywood and George Wilkins.[100] None of these attributions has been accepted by a significant proportion of the critical community.

A Yorkshire Tragedy (1605)[edit]

First official record: 2 May 1608, entered into the Stationers' Register.
First published: 1608, in a quarto issued by bookseller Thomas Pavier.
First recorded performance:
First attribution to Shakespeare: 2 May 1608, in the Stationers' Register entry; the attribution is repeated in the 1608 quarto, the 1619 reprint (part of William Jaggard's False Folio, and the 1664 inclusion among the seven plays Philip Chetwinde added to the second impression of the Third Folio.
Evidence: Acted by Shakespeare's company and published under his name, but the style is not his. While some early critics allowed the possibility of Shakespeare's authorship, most in the past two centuries, have doubted the attribution. The modern critical consensus favours Thomas Middleton as the author, citing internal evidence from the text of the play. Cases for the authorship of Thomas Heywood or George Wilkins have been made, but have convinced few commentators.[101]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Likewise, the New Cambridge Shakespeare, the New Penguin Shakespeare, the Pelican Shakespeare, Signet Classic Shakespeare, the Dover Wilson Shakespeare, the Shakespeare Folios and the Folger Shakespeare Library all publish scholarly editions of the plays, but none of them have issued a complete works volume.
  2. ^ Although the question of Shakespeare's authorship of this play is still in doubt, most scholars do now agree that he was involved in some way with writing it, and as such, it deserves a place in the official Shakespearean canon. Specifically, the argument is often made that if 1 Henry VI can be attributed to Shakespeare so too can Edward III, as some scholars argue that Shakespeare only wrote about 20% of 1 Henry VI, whereas estimates for Edward III tend to range from 40% to all of it. In 1998, the New Cambridge Shakespeare was the first scholarly edition of the play published under Shakespeare's name, although the play had been included in the 2nd edition of the Riverside Shakespeare in 1996. It was also included in the 2nd edition of The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works in 2005 and in the 2nd edition of the Norton Shakespeare in 2008. As of early 2013, Oxford, Arden and Penguin are all working on scholarly editions of the play under their Shakespeare banner.
  3. ^ The complete Gesta was reprinted by Liverpool University Press in 1968, edited and annotated by Desmond Bland.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chambers, E.K., "The Problem of Chronology" in William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems, Volume I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1930), 243–274
  2. ^ Taylor, Gary. "The Canon and Chronology of Shakespeare's Plays", in Wells, Stanley and Taylor, Gary, with Jowett, John and Montgomery, William. William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, (1987; 2nd ed., 1997), 89
  3. ^ Malone, Edmond. The Plays of William Shakspeare, Vol. II (1790), 150ff.
  4. ^ Halliwell-Phillipps, James. The Works of William Shakespeare (London: Collier, 1912), 167
  5. ^ Chambers, E.K. "The Problem of Chronology" in William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems, Volume I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1930), 245
  6. ^ Thomas, Sidney. "On the Dating of Shakespeare's Early Plays", Shakespeare Quarterly 39:2 (Summer, 1988) 187–94; 187
  7. ^ Honigmann, E.A.J. Shakespeare's Impact on his Contemporaries (London: Macmillan, 1987)
  8. ^ Schoone-Jongen, Terence G. Shakespeare's Companies: William Shakespeare's Early Career and the Acting Companies, 1577–1594. (Surrey: Ashgate, 2008), 168.
  9. ^ Taylor (1987; 1997), 97; Thomas, Sidney. "On the Dating of Shakespeare's Early Plays", Shakespeare Quarterly 39:2 (Summer, 1988), 187–94
  10. ^ Warren, Roger (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 1
  11. ^ Schlueter, Kurt (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 22
  12. ^ Warren, Roger (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 26–27
  13. ^ Wells, Stanley, Taylor, Gary, Jowett, John and Montgomery, William (eds.) The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986; 2nd edn., 2005), 1
  14. ^ See, for example, the various modern editions of the play, such as Schlueter, Kurt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); Rose, Mary Beth (London: Pelican, 2000); Carroll, William C. (London: Arden, 2004); Jackson, Russell (London: Penguin, 2005); Barnet, Sylvan (New York: Signet, 2007); and Warren, Roger (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)
  15. ^ Oliver, H.J. (ed.) The Taming of the Shrew (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), 32
  16. ^ Bawcutt, N.S. (ed.) The Control and Censorship of Caroline Drama: The Records of Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels, 1623–73 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 185
  17. ^ Elam, Kier. "'At the cubiculo': Shakespeare's Problems with Italian Language and Culture", in Marrapodi, Michele (ed.), Italian Culture in the Drama of Shakespeare & his Contemporaries: Rewriting, Remaking, Refashioning (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), 99–110
  18. ^ See Hickson, Samuel. "The Taming of the Shrew", Notes & Queries, 22:2, (Summer, 1850), 345–347 (republished in its entirety in Morris, Brian (ed.) The Taming of the Shrew (London: Arden, 1981) 299–303); Alexander, Peter. "The Taming of the Shrew", The Times Literary Supplement, 16 September 1926; and Alexander, Peter. "The Original Ending of The Taming of the Shrew", Shakespeare Quarterly, 20:1 (Spring 1969), 111–116
  19. ^ See Oliver, H.J. (ed.) The Taming of the Shrew (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), 28–34
  20. ^ See Shroeder, J.W. "The Taming of a Shrew and The Taming of the Shrew: A Case Reopened", Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 57:4 (October 1958), 424–442
  21. ^ See Houk, R.A. "The Evolution of The Taming of the Shrew", PMLA, 57:4 (Winter, 1942), 1009–1038; and Duthie, G.I. "The Taming of a Shrew and The Taming of the Shrew", Review of English Studies, 19 (1943), 337–356
  22. ^ See Miller, Stephen Roy (ed.) The Taming of a Shrew: The 1594 Quarto (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 1–58
  23. ^ Oliver, H.J. (ed.) The Taming of the Shrew (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), 31-33
  24. ^ Thompson, Ann (ed.) The Taming of the Shrew (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984; 2nd edn. 2003), 4-9
  25. ^ Miller, Stephen Roy (ed.) The Taming of a Shrew: The 1594 Quarto (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 31–34
  26. ^ Warren, Roger. Henry VI, Part Two (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 7
  27. ^ Cox, John D. and Rasmussen, Eric (eds.) King Henry VI, Part 3 (London: Arden, 2001), 150–151
  28. ^ Cox, John D. and Rasmussen, Eric (eds.) King Henry VI, Part 3 (London: Arden, 2001), 16
  29. ^ For more information, see Martin, Randall (ed.) Henry VI, Part Three (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 104n1
  30. ^ Hattaway, Michael (ed.) The First Part of King Henry VI (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 43
  31. ^ See Taylor, Gary. "Shakespeare and Others: The Authorship of Henry the Sixth, Part One", Medieval and Renaissance Drama, 7 (1995), 145–205
  32. ^ For more information on the prequel theory, see McKerrow, R.B. "A Note on Henry VI, Part 2 and The Contention of York and Lancaster", Review of English Studies, 9 (1933), 157–169; Slater, Eliot. The Problem of The Reign of King Edward III: A Statistical Approach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988); and Taylor, Gary. "Shakespeare and Others: The Authorship of Henry the Sixth, Part One", Medieval and Renaissance Drama, 7 (1995), 145–205
  33. ^ See Vincent, Paul J. "Structuring and Revision in 1 Henry VI", Philological Quarterly, 84:4 (Fall, 2005), 377–402; and Vickers, Brian. "Incomplete Shakespeare: Or, Denying Coauthorship in Henry the Sixth, Part 1", Shakespeare Quarterly, 58:3 (Fall, 2007), 311–352
  34. ^ Bate, Jonathan (ed.) Titus Andronicus (London: Arden, 1995), 69–70
  35. ^ See Adams, J.Q. (ed.) Titus Andronicus: The First Quarto, 1594 (London: Folger Shakespeare Library Press, 1936), 19–25
  36. ^ Waith, Eugene M. (ed.) Titus Andronicus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), 2
  37. ^ Taylor (1987; 1997), 69–144
  38. ^ See Tarlinskaja, Marina. Shakespeare's Verse: Iambic Pentameter and the Poet's Idiosyncrasies (New York: P. Lang, 1987); Jackson, Macdonald P. "Stage Directions and Speech Headings in Act 1 of Titus Andronicus Q (1594): Shakespeare or Peele?", Studies in Bibliography, 49 (1996), 134–148; Jackson, Macdonald P. "Shakespeare's Brothers and Peele's Brethren Titus Andronicus again", Notes and Queries, 44:4 (November 1997), 494–495; and Vickers, Brian. Shakespeare, Co-Author: A Historical Study of Five Collaborative Plays (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)
  39. ^ Chambers, E.K. William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems; Volume II (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1930), 212
  40. ^ Jowett, John (ed.) Richard III (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 81
  41. ^ Jowett, John (ed.) Richard III (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 5–7
  42. ^ Melchiori, Giorgio (ed.) King Edward III (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 46
  43. ^ Melchiori, Giorgio (ed.) King Edward III (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 48
  44. ^ See Wentersdorf, Karl P. "The Date of Edward III", Shakespeare Quarterly, 16:3 (Fall, 1965), 227–231; Jackson, MacDonald P. "Edward III, Shakespeare and Pembroke's Men", Notes & Queries, 210 (1965), 329–331; Proudfoot, Richard. "The Reign of King Edward III and Shakespeare", Proceedings of the British Academy, 71 (1985), 169–185; Slater, Eliot. The Problem of 'The Reign of King Edward III': A Statistical Approach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988); Melchiori, Giorgio (ed.) King Edward III (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 3–9; Prior, Roger. "The Date of Edward III", Notes & Queries, 235 (1990), 178–180
  45. ^ King, Ros. "Introduction", in Dorsch, T.S. (ed.) The Comedy of Errors (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004; 2nd Edition), 28–38
  46. ^ Taylor (1987; 1997), 96–108; and Whitworth, Charles (ed.) The Comedy of Errors (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 1–10
  47. ^ Thomas, Sidney. "The Date of The Comedy of Errors", Shakespeare Quarterly, 7:4 (Autumn 1956), 377–84
  48. ^ See Honan, Park. Shakespeare: A Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 172–177
  49. ^ Hibbard, G.R. (ed.) Love's Labour's Lost (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), 67
  50. ^ Carroll, William C. (ed.) Love's Labour's Lost (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 37–38
  51. ^ Quoted in Furness, H.H. (ed.), A New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare, Vol. XIV (J.B. Lippincott: Philadelphia, 1904), 327
  52. ^ Hibbard, G.R. (ed.) Love's Labour's Lost (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), 43
  53. ^ Chambers, E.K. "The Problem of Chronology" in William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems, Volume I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1930), 335
  54. ^ See Harbage, Alfred (ed.) Love's Labour's Lost (London: Penguin, 1963; revised edition 1973), 31
  55. ^ Taylor (1987; 1997), 117. See also Woudhuysen, H.R. (ed.) Love's Labour's Lost (London: Arden, 1998), 59–61; and Carroll, William C. (ed.) Love's Labour's Lost (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 23–29
  56. ^ Carroll, William C. (ed.) Love's Labour's Lost (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 39–40
  57. ^ Woudhuysen, H.R. (ed.) Love's Labour's Lost (London: Arden, 1998), 80–81
  58. ^ Dawson, Anthony B. and Yachnin, Paul (eds.) Richard II (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 78–79
  59. ^ See Bate, Jonathan. Soul of the Age (London: Penguin, 2008), 256–286; Dawson, Anthony B. and Yachnin, Paul (eds.) Richard II (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 2–9
  60. ^ Forker, Charles R. (ed.) King Richard II (London: Arden, 2002), 111–116; Gurr, Andrew (ed.) King Richard II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984; 2nd edition 2003), 1–4
  61. ^ Levenson, Jill M. (ed.) Romeo and Juliet (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 70
  62. ^ Braunmiller, A.R. (ed.) King John (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 88
  63. ^ Halio, Jay L. (ed.) The Merchant of Venice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 59
  64. ^ Halio, Jay L. (ed.) The Merchant of Venice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 27–29
  65. ^ Craik, T.W. (ed.) The Merry Wives of Windsor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), 1–13. See also Oliver, H.J. (ed.) The Merry Wives of Windsor (London: Arden, 1972), lv; and Hotson, Leslie. Shakespeare versus Shallow (London: Kessinger, 2003), 111–122
  66. ^ Weis, René (ed.) Henry IV, Part Two (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 42
  67. ^ Zitner, Sheldon P. (ed.) Much Ado About Nothing (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 5–6
  68. ^ Taylor, Gary (ed.) Henry V (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), 9
  69. ^ Taylor, Gary (ed.) Henry V (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), 4–6; Craik, T.W. (ed.) King Henry V (London: Arden, 2002), 1–6
  70. ^ Recorded in Thomas Platter the Younger's Diary
  71. ^ Humphries, Arthur (ed.) Julius Caesar (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), 1–3
  72. ^ Dusinberre, Juliet (ed.) As You Like It (London: Arden, 2006), 43–44
  73. ^ Brissenden, Alan (ed.) As You Like It (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 50
  74. ^ Thompson, Ann and Taylor, Neil (eds.) Hamlet: The Texts of 1603 and 1623 (London: Arden, 2006), 53–55
  75. ^ Thompson, Ann and Taylor, Neil (eds.) Hamlet: The Texts of 1603 and 1623 (London: Arden, 2006), 49–53
  76. ^ See Hibbard, G.R. (ed.) Hamlet (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), 1–3 and 67–89; Thompson, Ann and Taylor, Neil (eds.) Hamlet: The Texts of 1603 and 1623 (London: Arden, 2006); and Irace, Kathleen O. The First Quarto of Hamlet (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998)
  77. ^ Warren, Roger and Wells, Stanley (eds.) Twelfth Night, Or What You Will (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 1
  78. ^ Muir, Kenneth (ed.) Troilus and Cressida (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), 9
  79. ^ Bawcutt, N.W. (ed.) Measure for Measure (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), 1–6
  80. ^ See Taylor, Gary and Jowett, John. Shakespeare Reshaped: 1606–1623 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993)
  81. ^ Wells, Stanley (ed.) The History of King Lear (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 10
  82. ^ See Wells, Stanley (ed.) The History of King Lear (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 9–14; and Foakes, R.A. (ed.) King Lear (London: Arden, 1997), 89–110
  83. ^ Taylor (1987; 1997), 127
  84. ^ Brooke, Nicholas (ed.) Macbeth (Oxford: Oxford University Press: 2008), 59–64
  85. ^ Loomis, E.A. "The Master of the Tiger", Shakespeare Quarterly, 7:4 (Winter, 1956); Brooke, Nicholas (ed.) The Tragedy of Macbeth (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), 59–64
  86. ^ Braunmuller, A.R. (ed.), Macbeth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 5–8
  87. ^ Fraser, Russell (ed.) All's Well That Ends Well (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 14
  88. ^ Gossett, Suzanne (ed.) Pericles (London: Arden, 2004), 3
  89. ^ Warren, Roger (ed.) A Reconstructed Text of Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 60–71
  90. ^ a b Taylor (1987; 1997), 131
  91. ^ Parker, R.B. (ed.) Coriolanus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 2
  92. ^ Parker, R.B. (ed.) Coriolanus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 17–21
  93. ^ a b Parker, R.B. (ed.) Coriolanus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 5
  94. ^ a b c Taylor (1987; 1997), 121
  95. ^ Bliss, Lee (ed.) Coriolanus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 7; Parker, R.B. (ed.) Coriolanus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 2 and 7
  96. ^ Taylor (1987; 1997), 131 and 601
  97. ^ Boyce, Charles. Shakespeare A to Z (London: Dell Publishing, 1990)
  98. ^ See Wells et al, The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 813–843; McMillin, Scott. The Elizabethan Theatre and The Book of Sir Thomas More (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987); and Gabrieli, Vittorio and Melchiori, Giorgio (eds.) Sir Thomas More (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990)
  99. ^ Logan, Terence P. and Smith, Denzell S. (eds.) The New Intellectuals: A Survey and Bibliography of Recent Studies in English Renaissance Drama (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1977), 92
  100. ^ Logan, Terence P. and Smith, Denzell S. (eds.) The Popular School: A Survey and Bibliography of Recent Studies in English Renaissance Drama (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1975), 221
  101. ^ Logan, Terence P. and Smith, Denzell S. (eds.) The Popular School: A Survey and Bibliography of Recent Studies in English Renaissance Drama (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1975), 231–232

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