This book brings together ten chapters on the relations between Spenser and Shakespeare. There has been much noteworthy work on the linguistic borrowings of Shakespeare from Spenser, but the subject has never before been treated systematically, and the linguistic borrowings lead to broader-scale borrowings and influences, which are treated here. An additional feature of the book is that a large bibliography of previous work is offered, which will be of the greatest help to those who follow up the opportunities offered by this collection. The book presents new approaches, heralding a resurgence of interest in the relations between two of the greatest Renaissance English poets to a wider scholarly group and in a more systematic manner than before. This will be of interest to students and academics interested in Renaissance literature.
This introductory chapter discusses the influence Edmund Spenser had on William Shakespeare, showing how Shakespeare read Spenser and addressing the question of the relations between the them. It explores some distinctions between borrowing and allusion, and also clarifies the definition of the term ‘influence’, furthermore examining the poetry of Spenser and Christopher Marlowe, and identifying the differences between them. The chapter also looks at some of Marlowe's obvious and popular linguistic borrowings, as well as several of Shakespeare's more subtle ones, from Spenser's The Faerie Queene.