Darren Freebury- Jones
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Authorship versus influence
in Shakespeare’s tutor
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Martin Mueller has created a database called Shakespeare His Contemporaries, which consists of over 500 plays dated between 1552 and 1662. Shakespeare His Contemporaries lists play pairs that share large numbers of dislegomena (phrases that occur within only two plays in Mueller’s corpus) consisting of four words or more, and therefore provides empirical data that can help researchers to explore the intertextual relationships among early modern texts. This chapter investigates the number and nature of these parallels, drawing upon the idea of Shakespeare’s aural, or ‘actor’s’, memory, explored by scholars such as Geoffrey Bullough, John Tobin, Charles R. Forker, and Ian Lancashire. The chapter also elaborates on the theory that Shakespeare had acted in plays attributable to Kyd for Pembroke’s Men, as presented by J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps, Arthur Freeman, and Terence Schoone-Jongen. Having explored phrasal repetitions according to the dramatic contexts in which they appear, the chapter concludes that in order to distinguish between authorship and influence in contested texts such as Arden of Faversham, more work needs to be done to ascertain the patterns of influence in Shakespeare’s plays. The chapter also deals with claims that Shakespeare had a hand in that play, and establishes that, on the basis of phraseology, prosody, and versification habits, there is no evidence for Arden of Faversham being a co-authored play or for Shakespeare’s hand in the verbal fabric of the text. The stylistic unity of Arden of Faversham points to a single author, and that author is Kyd.

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Shakespeare’s tutor

The influence of Thomas Kyd

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