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"A Lover's Complaint, Cymbeline", and the Shakespeare Canon: Interpreting Shared Vocabulary

MacDonald P. Jackson
The Modern Language Review
Vol. 103, No. 3 (Jul., 2008), pp. 621-638
DOI: 10.2307/20467901
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20467901
Page Count: 18
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"A Lover's Complaint, Cymbeline", and the Shakespeare Canon: Interpreting Shared Vocabulary
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Abstract

A Lover's "Complaint" was published in the 1609 Quarto of Shakespeare's "Sonnets" and was given its own ascription to 'William Shakespeare', but in recent years several specialists in attribution have questioned its authenticity. Brian Vickers has argued that the true author is John Davies of Hereford. However, the "Complaint" and "Cymbeline" use certain rare words in similar contexts, and the links between the two works can best be explained as due to common authorship. Shakespeare's responsibility for the "Complaint" is further demonstrated by striking vocabulary links between the poem and other Shakespeare plays. 'Literature Online' researches reveal the strength of this association.

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