Tag Archives: Shakespeare’s sources

A Rapper Explains Shakespeare’s Sonnets

By MC Lars The second episode of MC Lars’ venture into Shakespeare’s writing addresses the Sonnets, including their cultural and historical background, Shakespeare’s inspiration, and their relation to the blues genre in current music.     The views expressed in this post are the author’s own

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Shakespeare’s sources – Pericles

Continuing my series on Shakespeare’s sources I turn my attention to Pericles. This is a late play and almost certainly a collaboration, with either Thomas Heywood, George Wilkins, or John Day, though no one is certain. The main source for the play is John Gower’s, De Confessione Amantis (1554). Book 8 of this work seems […]

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Artist's impression of Timon

Shakespeare’s Sources – Timon of Athens

  Continuing my series on Shakespeare’s sources I turn today to Timon of Athens. This play is thought by many scholars to be a collaboration with Middleton. Working with other writers was not uncommon in the literary world Shakespeare knew, but the story of Timon is by no means original to either writer indeed the […]

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Diana Enamorada one of Shakespeare's main sources

Shakespeare’s Sources – The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Continuing my series on the sources for Shakespeare’s plays, I turn my attention to The Two Gentlemen of Verona. This is one of those plays were there is at least one very clear source, a Spanish pastoral romance called Diana Enamorada, written by Jorge de Montemayor and published in 1542. Shakespeare probably had access to […]

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A page from Chapman's Homer

Shakespeare’s Sources Troilus and Cressida

Continuing my series on Shakespeare’s sources (just five more to blog) I turn my attention to Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. This story, part Greek mythology, part medieval love story, revolves around the camp during the Trojan wars. It may seem a curious choice of subject matter, and certainly displays a curious combination of tragedy and […]

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Boccaccio - writer of the original source for All's Well That Ends Well

Shakespeare’s Sources – All’s Well That Ends Well

Continuing my series of blogs on Shakespeare’s sources today I turn my attention to All’s Well That Ends Well. Despite it’s title readers or audience members may well feel that the play does not end all that well, leaving us uncertain of the ‘happiness’ of the union between Helena and Bertram who is tricked into […]

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Shakespeare’s Sources As You Like It

Continuing my series of blogs on Shakespeare’s sources I turn my attention this week to As You Like It. Shakespeare’s main source for this play was a pastoral romance written by Thomas Lodge, published in 1590, called Rosalynde . Interestingly an introductory remark in Lodge’s text is “If you like it, so”, and this seems like […]

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Lavinia - How to stage the horrific

Shakespeare’s Sources – Titus Andronicus

Continuing my series on Shakespeare’s sources I turn my attention to one of Shakespeare’s most brutal plays – Titus Andronicus. Among the many killings that pepper this play there are some particularly nasty events, any one of a sensitive nature might wish to stop reading now… … Lavinia (Titus’ daughter) is brutally raped by Tamora’s […]

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Xanthippe, Socrates' nagging wife is one source for Kate

Shakespeare’s Sources – The Taming of the Shrew

Continuing my series on Shakespeare’s sources I take a look today at The Taming fo the Shrew. It might surprise you to know that this is one of my favourite plays. I say this because it can be produced and told in so many ways – from a touching romance to a very dark tale […]

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