Thomas Middleton Named as Shakespeare's Collaborator
Via the BBC:
Researchers at Oxford University have named writer Thomas Middleton as a likely collaborator on at least one play attributed to William Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well.
Professor Laurie Maguire and other members of the English department have extensively studied the play’s grammar, rhyming, and vocabulary. Distinct stylistic differences and other inconsistencies point to at least one other person co-authoring the manuscript. According to Maguire, most plays written during Shakespeare’s era had more than one author, but the Bard’s iconic status has left academics reluctant to assign co-authors to any of his better-known works.
The researchers fingered Middleton as a likely culprit based on several factors, including the rhyming and rhythm of certain sections, phrasing, spelling, and specific words that all point to Middleton’s style more than Shakespeare’s. Though Middleton would go on to achieve great acclaim through his own works, The Changeling and Women Beware Women, Maguire says at the time that All’s Well That Ends Well was written, the writer likely served a more subordinate role to the wildly popular Shakespeare.
Professor Maguire went on to say that there is no reasonable evidence that Shakespeare did not write, at least in part, any of the plays commonly attributed to him.
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