The elephant in the graveyard
in Shakespeare’s resources
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The traditional way of conceiving source study is to think of it as an elephants’ graveyard. This conclusion proposes that in what was considered a ‘graveyard’ there is a very live ‘elephant’ that enacts dynamically with what it encounters. The textual resources that Shakespeare deploys are not inert or skeletal; they are dynamic, and that dynamism is repeated in the ways in which subsequent generations of writers have appropriated, deployed, plagiarised Shakespearean texts and made of them literary artefacts.


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