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Shakespeare's Hand in The Spanish Tragedy 1602

Warren Stevenson
Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900
Vol. 8, No. 2, Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama (Spring, 1968), pp. 307-321
Published by: Rice University
DOI: 10.2307/449661
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/449661
Page Count: 15
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Shakespeare's Hand in The Spanish Tragedy 1602
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Abstract

This article reviews the evidence, internal and external, relating to the authorship of the Additions to The Spanish Tragedy of 1602, the high literary quality of which has long been recognized. In particular, it considers the respective "claims" of Johnson, Webster, and Shakespeare, each of whom has been mentioned at some time in connection with the Additions. Jonson and Webster are rejected because of the incongruity of their styles with that of the Additions, difficulties raised by the external evidence, and (in the instance of Webster) the difficulty of date. The entries in Henslowe's Diary, at one time seemingly conclusive, can no longer be so regarded. Because of the many stylistic parallels between his known work and the Additions, supported by several hints in the external evidence, Shakespeare is (as Coleridge first conjectured) by far the most likely candidate.

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