Shakspere's Debt to Montaigne

Shakspere's Debt to Montaigne

Shakspere's Debt to Montaigne

Shakspere's Debt to Montaigne

Excerpt

It has long been known to scholars that one passage in the Essays of Montaigne influenced Shakspere in his play, The Tempest. More than one writer has contended that the influence of Montaigne upon Shakspere extended beyond this single passage. Especially worthy of notice are the studies upon the subject of J. M. Robertson, Miss Elizabeth Robins Hooker, Miss Grace Norton and Madame Longworth-Chambrun, each of whom has gathered together valuable and interesting material. But in spite of all contributions to the subject, the theory of Montaigne's extensive influence upon Shakspere has not been generally conceded by the leading authorities on Shakspere. This little volume is written with the purpose of contributing additional citations from the Florio Montaigne, so numerous and so definitely similar in both thought and phrase to passages in Shakspere's plays, that the conclusion will be unescapable that Shakspere was very extensively affected by the Essays of Montaigne.

Incidentally, it is hoped that certain passages cited in these pages will throw additional light upon a few very obscure passages in the plays not hitherto satisfactorily explained.

My thanks are due to Professor G. L. Kittredge for his very valuable advice and assistance, to Professor John M.

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