Tag Archives: sources

Shakespeare’s Sources – Julius Caesar

Continuing the series on Shakespeare’s sources – I turn my attention to Julius Caesar. Mark Antony’s famous ‘Friends, Romans, Countrymen …’ speech existed in several versions and was famed in Shakespeare’s life as a great rhetorical speech. Shakespeare may even have had to study a version of this speech at school – noting the rhetorical flourishes for […]

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Shakespeare’s Sources – The Tempest

  Continuing my series on Shakespeare’s sources I turn my attention to one of my favorite plays The Tempest. The story of The Tempest was crafted by Shakespeare, but it is not without references to letters, documents and essays which were circulating at the time. In this way Shakespeare is being a bit like a […]

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Shakespeare’s Sources – Romeo and Juliet

Continuing my series on Shakespeare’s sources – this week we take a look at Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare ‘borrowed’ the plot of Romeo and Juliet from a story that was already traditional in many European countries and had recently been re-told in a long narrative poem by Arthur  Brooke. Although Brooke’s poem was very similar […]

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Shakespeare’s Sources – The Merchant of Venice

Continuing my series exploring Shakespeare’s sources this week I will take a look at The Merchant of Venice. There are many variants of the story in which a trusting Merchant makes a bond which includes a part of his body. Here I paraphrase just one of these stories found in some early 13th C versions […]

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Shakespeare’s Sources – The Winter’s Tale

Continuing my series exploring Shakespeare’s literary and poetic sources I am going to look at a late play The Winter’s Tale. For those of you not familiar with the story it is about a king Leontes who becomes suddenly convinced that his best friend has been sleeping with his wife. Determined to prove he has […]

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Shakespeare’s Sources – Hamlet

Last week I discussed Macbeth and the adaptations that Shakespeare made of his sources for the story. This week lets look at Hamlet. There are many versions of the Hamlet story and some scholars think that the most influential of them are now lost. For instance there was probably a dramatic version of Hamlet which […]

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Shakespeare’s sources – Macbeth

I would like to begin a new series of blogs looking at Shakespeare’s sources.  Many people will tell you that Shakespeare was not a very original writer and indeed it is true that most of his plays have some kind of antecedent. It is rare to find a play that appears to have sprung into […]

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The Tempest – Making Poetry

This is the first in a series of Blogs about Shakespeare’s play The Tempest which will be posted here and at http://findingshakespeare.co.uk/ Shakespeare’s play The Tempest was probably written in the autumn of 1610, 400 years ago. In writing The Tempest Shakespeare was tapping into contemporary interest in traveller’s tales which circulated in London and […]

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