Big data reveals mixed authorship in Shakespeare plays

Source:AFP Published: 2016/10/25 19:58:39

A surviving copy of Shakespeare's First Folio Photo: IC

A surviving copy of Shakespeare's First Folio Photo: IC

Seventeen plays attributed to William Shakespeare were written in collaboration with other playwrights, according to an edition of his works coming out this month that uses "big data" to reveal the mixed authorship.

Shakespeare's reputed rival Christopher Marlowe is credited as co-writer in the Henry VI trilogy of plays while playwright Thomas Middleton is credited as an adaptor for All's Well That Ends Well.

The total number of 17 out of 44 Shakespeare plays is around double the eight in 39 plays identified in the last edition of the complete works by the Oxford University Press in 1986.

Work on the new edition began in January 2009 and 18 scholars in five countries tussled with the authorship issues.

Editors said the discoveries showed that rather than being rivals that influenced each other, Shakespeare and Marlowe actually worked with each other on the plays.

Posted in: THEATER

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