Essay about Shakespeare the Plagiarist

Essay about Shakespeare the Plagiarist

Length: 1265 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Shakespeare the Plagiarist

Shakespeare was a man of many accomplishments. Many were in his writings; others were in his great director and playwright skills. The play Hamlet is one of the most re-created and re-written books to date. Hamlet is still being performed in theaters around the world. Even though many people perceive Shakespeare as a literary genius, we can not give him sole credit for his plays and sonnets.

With a few exceptions, Shakespeare did not invent the plots of his plays. Sometimes he used old stories (Hamlet, Pericles). Sometimes he worked from the stories of comparatively recent Italian writers, such as Boccaccio - using both well-known stories (Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing) and little known ones (Othello). Shakespeare has been proven, by many authors, to have borrowed from the Arts, the Histories and the Sciences. (Britannica Online, http://www.eb.com:180/cgi-bin/g?DocF=macro/5005/75/12.html)
"The first collection of information about sources of Elizabethan plays was published in the 17th century. Gerard Langbaines account of the English Dramatic Poets (1691) briefly indicated where Shakespeare found materials for some plays."(Britannica Online)
It has been shown in this book that Shakespeare quoted his contemporary Christopher Marlowe in As You Like It. He casually refers to the Aethiopica ("Ethiopian history") of Heliodorus (which has been translated by Thomas Undertown in 1569) in Twelfth Night. Chapman's vigorous translation of Homer's Iliad impressed him, though he used some of the material rather sardonically in Troilus and Cressida. He derived the ironical account of an ideal republic in The Tempest from one of Montaigne's essays. He obviously read Samuel Harsnett's Declaration of Egregious Popish Imposters and remembered lively passages from it when he was writing King Lear. The beginning lines of sonnet 106 indicates that he had read Edmund Spencer's poem The Faerie Queene or comparable romantic literature.

"The source of Hamlet was an earlier play, now lost, known as The Source of Hamlet or, more fashionably Ur-Hamlet." ( Satin, 385) The favorite choice for authorship of Ur-Halmet is Thomas Kyd, author of the "Spanish Tragedy". (Britannica Online) "The Spanish Tragedy" is one of the most popular Elizabethan plays, which kept its place on the stage in spite of parody, resembles Hamlet so closely that it would...


... middle of paper ...


...fering that they have gone through to be where they are today. When we look at Shakespeare the legend it is hard for us to separate him from the man he was. We see him as a literary genius and not as a man who did as every other single writer in his time period did. Great poets and writers before him have borrowed their way to success. What makes Shakespeare any different? I think the main thing we have to remember when defining Shakespeare both as a Man and as a Playwright is that the two entities can not be separated, for he who is man has to abide by man's rules in order to survive.

Works Cited

1- Satin, Joseph , "Shakespeare and his Sources". Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston 1966, 381-396

2- "William Shakespeare : The Poet and the Dramatist. Shakespeare's Reading" Britannica Online. http://www.eb.com:180/cgi-bin/g?DocF=macro/5005/75/12.html

3- Muir, Kenneth, "Shakespeare's Sources". Methuen & Co. LTD, 1957 v.1 110-121

4- Olson, Donald W. et. Al., "The Stars of Hamlet", Sky and Telescope, Cambridge: Nov 1998, 96:5 68-73

5- "Shakespeare Critisism", C 1991 Gale Research inc., V.13 296-303

6- Robertson, John M. , Montaigne and Shakespeare , London Press. 1909, 254-256

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Whether Einstein Was a Plagiarist or Not Essay

- Whether Einstein Was a Plagiarist or Not Proponents of Einstein have acted in a way that appears to corrupt the historical record. Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Time Magazine's "Person of the Century", wrote a long treatise on special relativity theory (it was actually called "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies", 1905a), without listing any references. Many of the key ideas it presented were known to Lorentz (for example, the Lorentz transformation) and Poincaré before Einstein wrote the famous 1905 paper....   [tags: Plagiarism Albert Einstein Scientists Essays]

Free Essays
4409 words (12.6 pages)

Essay about Macbeth Written by William Shakepeare

- Macbeth, written between the years of 1603 and 1606, is one of the most well-known plays of William Shakespeare. This play is based on historical events Shakespeare modified from Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland. This drama portrays the rise of the ambition-powered Macbeth to the throne of Scotland. It depicts the numerous murders and malicious schemes Macbeth undertook to consolidate his power. Many of the accounts in Macbeth are historically accurate; however, some parts of the play were adapted and modified to fit the current times in which Shakespeare lived....   [tags: Play Analysis, Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
1614 words (4.6 pages)

Plagiarism and the Casual Plagiarist Essay

- Plagiarism and the Casual Plagiarist It is a random Thursday night on the first floor of Brewster Hall and the Campus of State University when a frazzled young girl wanders into the room of a fellow student inquiring about The Stranger by Albert Camus. She needs to have a three page paper completed by tomorrow and cannot find a kick start on the essay writing process. Since her peers are on the level of the common doormat concerning Camus, she was left without any further help. However, had she just typed “the stranger, camus” into Google, three of the first ten sites listed would have directed her to either free or paid essay sites....   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Strong Essays
1711 words (4.9 pages)

Shakespeare and Plagiarism Essays

- Shakespeare and Plagiarism William Shakespeare is one of the world’s greatest playwrights; however, some say that he does not fully deserve the credit for his work because he plagiarized the work of others. Shakespeare, who was born in Stratford upon Avon in 1564, is also known as the “Bard” and has written countless plays and poems which have given rise to several novels and movie plots (Chandy). It is said that he found most of his inspiration from nature, as he mentions birds in his works more than any other author (Mabillard)....   [tags: informative, ]

Strong Essays
635 words (1.8 pages)

Shakespears sounds Essay examples

- There are many benefits as to why plays are used to deliver entertainment rather than an author just writing their story on paper. A play pleases visual and auditory senses, while still delivering an entertaining storyline. Words on a page are simply no match for a play with the “extras” that come into the making of a play. Quoted to for his plays he wrote Ben Jonson said about William Shakespeare, “Soule of the Age. The applause. delight. The wonder of our stage!” William Shakespeare is one of the most influential playwrights to have ever existed....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
2016 words (5.8 pages)

The Role of Plagiarism in Shakespeare Essay

- Shakespeare and Plagiarism William Shakespeare is one of the world’s most prominent playwrights; however, some say that he does not fully deserve the credit for his work because he plagiarized the works of others. Shakespeare, who was born in Stratford upon Avon in 1564, is also known as the “Bard” and has written countless plays and poems which have given rise to countless novels and movie plots (Chandy). It is said that he found a great deal of his inspiration from nature, as he mentions birds in his works more than any other author (Mabillard)....   [tags: Playwrights]

Strong Essays
917 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about Plagiarism : Plagiarism And Plagiarism

- In the technological world we live in, where we’re only a click away from accessing the web, with billions and billions of searches to our question, plagiarizing has become easier than before. Plagiarism is the act of taking other people 's work and ideas without giving them credit. This can include any form of cheating. Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in the Digital Age, written by Trip Gabriel explores the misunderstanding of plagiarism by students. It also provide anecdotes and reasons given by different people to why students plagiarize without necessarily choosing a stand....   [tags: Education, High school, Teacher, Plagiarism]

Strong Essays
757 words (2.2 pages)

Shakespere on Management Essay

- Shakespeare on Management I never knew that Shakespeare had to do with management, but after reading this book it made me realize the true importance of being a manager, and the way that real managers act toward their employees. I used to think that Management was just about giving orders and keeping the business on track but after reading this book I recognized that there is a lot more to management than that. Shakespeare wrote plays that were full of contradiction and ambiguity. He chose many different dramatic ways of building ambiguity into his plays....   [tags: William Shakespeare Plays Essays]

Strong Essays
1814 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on Plagiarism

- I know plagiarism is something that isn't respected, condoned, or excepted in any part of the education process. Either is it tolerated in any type of assignment. Not only does it steal someone elses work, it robes yourself of the learning experience you can gain on the assignment. Plagiarism by definition is immoral and unethical. Plagiarism is: The submission of material authored by another person but represented as the students own work, whether that material is paraphrased or copied in verbatim or near-verbatim form....   [tags: Plagiarism Essays]

Free Essays
1909 words (5.5 pages)

Essay on Cyber-plagiarism

- Cyber-plagiarism It's two o'clock in the morning, you're just one page into a 10-page term paper that's due at eight o'clock. A few years ago, that would have been it: You would have submitted the paper late, if at all, and dealt with the consequences. But this is 2005, and so, in your most desperate hour, you try a desperate ploy. You log on to the Internet, enter "term papers" into an online search engine, and find your way to www.termpaper.com. There you find a paper that fits the assignment, enter your credit card number, and then wait until the file shows up in your e-mail account....   [tags: Internet Plagiarism]

Strong Essays
1467 words (4.2 pages)