The Sources of Shakespeare's Plays

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Routledge, Apr 4, 2014 - Literary Criticism - 336 pages
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First published in 1977.

This book ascertains what sources Shakespeare used for the plots of his plays and discusses the use he made of them; and secondly illustrates how his general reading is woven into the texture of his work. Few Elizabethan dramatists took such pains as Shakespeare in the collection of source-material. Frequently the sources were apparently incompatible, but Shakespeare's ability to combine a chronicle play, one or two prose chronicles, two poems and a pastoral romance without any sense of incongruity, was masterly. The plays are examined in approximately chronological order and Shakespeare's developing skill becomes evident.

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List of Abbreviations I Introduction II Early Plays
The Comedy of Errors
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Taming of the Shrew
Titus Andronicus
Henry VI
Richard III
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Henry V
Much Ado about Nothing
Julius Caesar
As You Like
Twelfth Night
Troilus and Cressida
Tragic Period

Romeo and Juliet
Richard II
A MidsummerNights Dream
Loves Labours Lost
King John
Comedies and Histories
The Merchant of Venice
Henry IV
Alls Well that Ends Well
Measure for Measure
King Lear
Timon of Athens
Antony and Cleopatra

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