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The Authorship of Shakespeare's Plays: A Socio-linguistic Study

Overview

This book introduces a new method for determining the authorship of Renaissance plays. Based on the rapid rate of change in English grammar in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, socio-historical linguistic evidence allows us to distinguish the hands of Renaissance playwrights within play texts. The present study focuses on Shakespeare: his collaborations with Fletcher and Middleton; and the apocryphal plays. Among the plays examined are Henry VIII, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Macbeth, Pericles, and ...
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Overview

This book introduces a new method for determining the authorship of Renaissance plays. Based on the rapid rate of change in English grammar in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, socio-historical linguistic evidence allows us to distinguish the hands of Renaissance playwrights within play texts. The present study focuses on Shakespeare: his collaborations with Fletcher and Middleton; and the apocryphal plays. Among the plays examined are Henry VIII, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Macbeth, Pericles, and Sir Thomas More. The findings of the book allow us to be more confident about the divisions of collaborative plays, and confirm the status of Edward III as a strong candidate for inclusion in the canon. Using graphs to present statistical data in a readily comprehensible form, the book also contains a wealth of information about the history of the English language during a period of far-reaching change. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of Shakespeare studies, English literature, the history of the language and linguistics.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The patience with which Hope has assembled and evaluated his data is matched by the tact with which he applies it." Times Literary Supplement

"...an interesting study..." Cryptologia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521033862
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Table of Contents

List of tables and graphs
Preface
Acknowledgements
List of abbreviations
1 Introduction 3
2 The auxiliary 'do' 11
3 Relative markers 27
4 'Thou' and 'you' 54
5 Shakespeare as collaborator 67
The Shakespeare-Fletcher collaborations 67
The Shakespeare-Middleton collaborations 100
6 The Shakespeare apocrypha 106
The 1664 folio plays 106
Other apocryphal plays 128
7 Summary of findings 149
Statistical appendix 156
Bibliography 177
Index 186
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