Author Topic: Self-taught scholar-researcher uncovers “inspiration” for 11 Shakespeare plays  (Read 14052 times)

Joe Carillo

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Using modern techniques to marshal their evidence, including an open-source plagiarism software called WCopyfind, a self-taught Shakespeare scholar and his associate recently discovered an unpublished manuscript indicating that William Shakespeare had definitely consulted—the discoverers are emphatic in saying “not plagiarized”—in writing King Lear, Macbeth, Richard III, Henry V, and seven other plays.

The findings were made by Dennis McCarthy and June Schlueter, who describe them in a book, A Brief Discourse of Rebellion & Rebels by George North, to be published this mid-February of 2018 by the academic press D.S. Brewer and the British Library. The authors are categorical in concluding that Shakespeare did not plagiarize his plays from North’s heretofore unpublished manuscript; rather, that Shakespeare had read and was inspired by the manuscript that North had written in the late 1500s. North, who was a minor figure in the court of Queen Elizabeth, served as an ambassador to Sweden at that time.

“It’s a source that he keeps coming back to,” McCarthy said in an interview. "It affects the language, it shapes the scenes and it, to a certain extent, really even influences the philosophy of the plays.”

Read Michael Blanding’s “Plagiarism Software Unveils a New Source for 11 of Shakespeare’s Plays” in the February 7, 2018 issue of The New York Times now!

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