William Shakespeare's collaborations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Like most playwrights of his period, William Shakespeare did not always write alone and a number of his plays are collaborative, or were revised after their original composition, although the exact number is open to debate. Some of the following attributions, such as The Two Noble Kinsmen, have well-attested contemporary documentation; others, such as Titus Andronicus, remain more controversial, and are dependent on linguistic analysis by modern scholars; recent work on computer analysis of textual style (word use, word and phrase patterns) has given reason to believe that parts of some of the plays ascribed to Shakespeare are actually by other writers.

In some cases the identity of the collaborator is known; in other cases there is a scholarly consensus; in others it is unknown or disputed. These debates are the province of Shakespeare attribution studies. Most collaborations occurred at the very beginning and the very end of Shakespeare's career.

Elizabethan authorship[edit]

The Elizabethan theatre was nothing like the modern theatre, but rather more like the modern film industry. Scripts were often written quickly, older scripts were revised, and many were the product of collaboration. The unscrupulous nature of the Elizabethan book printing trade complicates the attribution of plays further; for example, William Jaggard, who published the First Folio, also published The Passionate Pilgrim by W. Shakespeare, which is mostly the work of other writers.

Shakespeare's collaborations[edit]

Early works[edit]

  • Edward III was published anonymously in 1596. It was first attributed to Shakespeare in a bookseller's catalogue published in 1656.[1] Various scholars have suggested Shakespeare's possible authorship, since a number of passages appear to bear his stamp, among other sections that are remarkably uninspired. In 1996, Yale University Press became the first major publisher to produce an edition of the play under Shakespeare's name. A consensus is emerging that the play was written by a team of dramatists including Shakespeare early in his career – but exactly who wrote what is still open to debate. The play is included in the Second Edition of the Complete Oxford Shakespeare (2005), where it is attributed to "William Shakespeare and Others", and in the Riverside Shakespeare. In 2009, Brian Vickers published the results of a computer analysis using a program designed to detect plagiarism, which suggests that 40% of the play was written by Shakespeare with the other scenes written by Thomas Kyd (1558–1594).[2]
  • Henry VI, Part 1: possibly the work of a team of playwrights, whose identities are unknown. Some scholars argue that Shakespeare wrote less than 20% of the text. Gary Taylor argues that the first act was the work of Thomas Nashe.[3] Paul J. Vincent concludes that, in light of recent research into the Elizabethan theatre, 1 Henry VI is Shakespeare's partial revision of a play by Nashe (Act 1) and an unknown playwright (Acts 2–5), the original of which was performed in early 1592. Shakespeare's work in the play, which was most likely composed in 1594, can be found in Act 2 (scene 4) and Act 4 (scenes 2–5 and the first 32 lines of scene 7).[4] Vincent's authorship findings, especially with regard to Nashe's authorship of Act 1, are supported overall by Brian Vickers, who agrees with the theory of co-authorship and differs only slightly over the extent of Shakespeare's contribution to the play.[5]
  • Titus Andronicus: may be a collaboration with, or revision of, George Peele. See Authorship of Titus Andronicus.[6]
  • Sir Thomas More: some pages of the manuscript of this play may be in Shakespeare's handwriting. If he did work on it, it was probably a collaboration with Anthony Munday and others.[7]

Collaboration with Wilkins[edit]

Collaborations with Middleton[edit]

Collaborations with Fletcher[edit]

  • Cardenio, a lost play; contemporary reports say that Shakespeare collaborated on it with John Fletcher.[12]
  • Henry VIII: generally considered a collaboration between Shakespeare and Fletcher.
  • The Two Noble Kinsmen, published in quarto in 1634 and attributed to John Fletcher and William Shakespeare on the title page;[13] each playwright appears to have written about half of the text. It is excluded from the first folio.[14][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ W. W. Greg, A List of Masques, Pageants, &c. Supplementary to "A List of English Plays", Appendix II, lxiv (1902)
  2. ^ Malvern, Jack (12 October 2009). "Computer program proves Shakespeare didn't work alone, researchers claim". Times of London. 
  3. ^ Taylor, Gary. "Shakespeare and Others: The Authorship of Henry the Sixth, Part One", Medieval and Renaissance Drama, 7 (1995), 145–205.
  4. ^ Vincent (2005: 377–402)
  5. ^ Vickers (2007: 311–352)
  6. ^ George Peele was once thought to be part-author
  7. ^ Bald, R.C., "The Booke of Sir Thomas More and Its Problems." Shakespeare Survey II (1949), pp. 44–65; Evans, G. Blakemore. Introduction to Sir Thomas More. The Riverside Shakespeare. Herschel Baker, Anne Barton, Frank Kermode, Harry Levin, Hallett Smith, and Marie Edel, eds. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1974, 1997, p. 1683; McMillin, Scott. The Elizabethan Theatre and "The Book of Sir Thomas More". Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University Press, 1987, pp. 82–3, 140–4, etc.
  8. ^ Collaborations
  9. ^ Hope, Jonathan. The Authorship of Shakespeare's Plays: A Socio-Linguistic Study (Cambridge, 1994); Jackson, MacDonald P. "The Authorship of Pericles: The Evidence of Infinitives", Note & Queries 238 (2993): pp. 197–200; Jackson 2003
  10. ^ Timon of Athens, with Middleton
  11. ^ ^ a b Maguire, Laurie (19 April 2012). "Many Hands – A New Shakespeare Collaboration?". The Times Literary Supplement. also at Centre for Early Modern Studies, University of Oxford accessed 22 April 2012: "The recent redating of All's Well from 1602–03 to 1606–07 (or later) has gone some way to resolving some of the play's stylistic anomalies" ... "[S]tylistically it is striking how many of the widely acknowledged textual and tonal problems of All's Well can be understood differently when we postulate dual authorship."
  12. ^ Don Quixote portal
  13. ^ Potter, Lois (ed.), Fletcher, John and Shakespeare, William "The Two Noble Kinsmen" The Arden Shakespeare: Third Series, Thomson Learning 1997, ISBN 1-904271-18-9.
  14. ^ Authorship of Two Noble Kinsmen
  15. ^ Two Noble Kinsmen – Qualifying the authorship