The Backgrounds of Shakespeare's Plays

By Karl J. Holzknecht | Go to book overview

for the king's evil (IV, iii) may have been suggested by Holinshed's account of Edward the Confessor.

Antony and Cleopatra:

The source, closely followed, is Plutarch Life of Marcus Antonius, as translated by North.

Timon of Athens:

A brief story of Timon the man-hater appears incidentally in Plutarch Life of Marcus Antonius, from which a free rendering in Painter Palace of Pleasure is derived. There is reason to believe that certain details of the play, such as the faithful steward and the mock-banquet of warm water, came to Shakespeare from some intermediary source, possibly derived from Lucian Misanthropos. The contrasting parallel plot is based upon Plutarch's Life of Alcibiades, which also refers to Timon.

Coriolanus:

The direct source is Plutarch Life of Coriolanus in North's translation.

SUGGESTED REFERENCES
ANDERS H. R. D. Shakespeare's Books: A Dissertation on Shakespeare's Reading and the Immediate Sources of His Works. Berlin, Georg Reimer, 1904.
BOSWELL-STONE W. G. Shakespeare's Holinshed: The Chronicle and Historical Plays Compared. London, Chatto and Windus, 1896; revised edition, 1907. A reprint of only those passages used by Shakespeare.
COLLIER J. PAYNEand HAZLITT W. CAREW (eds.). Shakespeare's Library: A Collection of the Plays, Romances, Novels, Poems, and Histories Employed by Shakespeare in the Composition of His Works ( 2nd edition, 6 vols.). London, Reeves and Turner, 1875.
HAZLITT W. CAREW (ed.). Fairy Tales, Legends, and Romances Illustrating Shakespeare and Other Early English Writers. London, Reeves and Turner, 1875.
LATHAM MINOR WHITE. The Elizabethan Fairies: The Fairies of Folklore and the Fairies of Shakespeare. New York, Columbia University Press, 1930.
NICOLL ALLARDYCEand JOSEPHINE (eds.). Holinshed's Chronicle as Used in Shakesepare's Plays. Everyman Library. London, Dent, 1927. A convenient volume based upon the text of Boswell-Stone, but without his notes.
NOBLE RICHMOND. Shakespeare's Biblical Knowledge, and Use of the Book of Common Prayer, as Exemplified in the Plays of the First Folio. London S.P.C.K., 1935.

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The Backgrounds of Shakespeare's Plays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Illustrations vii
  • 1 - Shakespeare's Life in Fact and Tradition 1
  • Suggested References 32
  • 2 - Shakespeare's England 33
  • Suggested References 61
  • 3 - The Drama Before Shakespeare 63
  • Suggested References 89
  • 4 - Elizabethan Theatrical Companies 92
  • Suggested References 114
  • 5 - The Elizabethan Public Playhouse 115
  • Suggested References 144
  • 6 - The Influence of Theatrical Conditions on Shakespeare 146
  • Suggested References 166
  • 7 - Shakespeare's Audience 167
  • Suggested References 185
  • 8 - Shakespeare's English 186
  • Suggested References 219
  • 9 - The Sources of Shakespeare's Play 220
  • Suggested References 245
  • 10 - Some General Aspects Of Shakespeare's Dramatic Art 247
  • Suggested References 265
  • 11 - Shakespearean Comedy 268
  • Suggested References 291
  • 12 - Shakespeare's History Plays 293
  • Suggested References 320
  • 13 - Shakespearean Tragedy 322
  • Suggested References 341
  • 14 - Shakespeare in Print 343
  • Suggested References 371
  • 15 - Shakespeare's Reputation 374
  • Suggested References 404
  • 16 - Shakespeare on the Stage 407
  • Suggested References 437
  • 17 - Shakespearean Scenes and Characters 439
  • Index 471
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