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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: December ::
Lions and Tigers and Wagers...oh my...
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1990  Friday, 2 December 2005

From: 		John Briggs <
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Date: 		Thursday, 1 Dec 2005 19:51:35 -0000
Subject: 16.1974 Lions and Tigers and Wagers...oh my...
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1974 Lions and Tigers and Wagers...oh my...

Ward Elliott wrote:

 >My sense is that our Shakespeare ranges are pretty well validated back
 >to 1590, since you can find two early plays, 2H6 and R3, that fit them
 >pretty closely and no gold-standard Shakespeare play of any date that
 >doesn't.

And that is part of the problem.  As I understand it, the computer 
thinks that 2H6 is by Shakespeare, but that 3H6 isn't.  This is a 
surprising result, and as far as I am aware one that has never been 
seriously suggested.  (The 'Richard as villain' passages in 3H6 are 
clearly additions/revisions, presumably by Shakespeare himself.)  There 
doesn't seem to be any obvious reason why 2H6 and 3H6 should have 
different authors (or teams of authors) - there have been arguments over 
the quality of the two plays (or two parts of the same play), but not 
usually claiming one as 'better' or 'more Shakespearian' than the other. 
  (2H6 and 3H6 are stylistically identical - R3 is somewhat different.)

As I see it, these computer techniques are all very well until they come 
up with something totally implausible - wasn't there one group a few 
years back that came up with the suggestion that "Henry VIII" was all by 
Shakespeare?

John Briggs

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