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TOPIC: Why is this play included?

Why is this play included? 10 years 3 months ago #44

  • William Shakespeare
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A message from Google groups:

However, I note that you consider Edward III to be Shakespeare's. What is the source for your text, and are you going to include an essay explaining why the play should be added to the Shakespeare canon?

Neil Brennen
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Why is this play included? 10 years 3 months ago #45

  • William Shakespeare
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Over the last decade or so, leading scholars have concurred that though it's unlikely he wrote the entire play, he was the chief author (probably drawing sources from Holinshed's Chronicles and Froissart's Chronicles of France). It is believed that due to it's political incorrectness, it was left out of the FF.

That being said, it was included in the site (along with a few other questionables) as a resource for those who are convinced it's Shakespeare's work and open discussion of authorship can ensue. The same goes for other questionable co-authoships. While the apocrypha debate will always continue no matter what, the site aims more to be a theatrical resource than a scholarly resource. We want to promote and help the process of bringing the plays to life. Does it help a director or actor to know that a particular scene in Shakespeare's canon wasn't written by him, rather co-authored? Probably not. Does it help them if they feel Edward III was authored by Shakespeare and it isn't on the site for reference? Definitely not.

The extent of the general public's knowledge of Shakespeare is almost entirely due to the performance of his plays, not reading and studying them. And only through performance will the plays continue to affect and be understood/experienced by the widest range of people possible.

Thanks for your question!
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Why is this play included? 9 years 6 months ago #968

  • Tue Sorensen
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shakespeare wrote:
The extent of the general public's knowledge of Shakespeare is almost entirely due to the performance of his plays, not reading and studying them.

Well, my impression of audiences at Shakespeare performances actually is that they tend to know a lot about the play - certainly if it is one of the major plays, like Hamlet or Macbeth. I wouldn't be surprised if something like 25% - maybe even more - of such an audience are Shakespeare readers. They know when to laugh, even when the joke is nebulous and very archaically phrased.
shakespeare wrote:
And only through performance will the plays continue to affect and be understood/experienced by the widest range of people possible.

Well, again, Shakespeare's plays, like other famous works, have become classics. They are referred to over and over again throughout popular culture; indeed, it is difficult for almost anybody in our culture with a high school degree or more *not* to know a number of characters, lines and even plots from Shakespeare. We get Shakespeare in school, we get it through books and movies that refer to Shakespeare in various ways. In so many ways the entire language is suffused with Shakespeare. Look at a Webster Dictionary of Synonyms, or, of course, the Oxford English Dictionary, and you will see an almost infinite number of Shakespeare references. His works and words have succeeded in transcending the theater to a significant degree, and become part of the overall culture.

I honestly don't mean to diminish the importance of theatrical performance; I love Shakespeare in the theater and hope he will be played there even more often than he is now. I want people to become more interested in Shakespeare, and to realize how much he has to tell us. But his works are bigger than the stage and they find ways of affecting us by other means as well, being absorbed into all levels of cultural discourse.

By the way, I agree that Edward III is Shakespeare's. Who but him could write something like this:

"Away loose silks and wavering vanity,
Shall the large limit of fair Britain
By me be overthrown, and shall I not,
Master this little mansion of myself?
Give me an armor of eternal steel,
I go to conquer kings, and shall I then
Subdue myself, and be my enemy's friend?
It must not be. - Come, boy, forward, advance!
Let's with our colours sweet the air of France."


It's not quite as controlled as the mature Shakespeare, but it's quite convincing as an early work.
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Why is this play included? 8 years 10 months ago #1725

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Why do some modern editions of the Complete Works (like the 1996 Riverside) include this play, while others (such as the 2002 Pelican) do not?
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Why is this play included? 8 years 10 months ago #1727

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Some editors feel that there are strong enough parallels to make a case for at least co-authorship. There is a likely incorrect attribution to Shakespeare by Rogers & Ley...likely incorrect because they also incorrectly said he wrote Marlowe's Edward II as well.

I presume it's "editor's prerogative", which is the reason why we've included it on this site (as well as Sir Thomas More) and let readers make their own decisions.
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Why is this play included? 8 years 10 months ago #1731

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It's always been heavily debated whether Edward III is Shakespeare (partly or entirely). But in the last several years, the majority of scholars seems to have been convinced that it is, at least in part, Shakespeare's. Thus some editions include it, but others still feel its status is too questionable.

I've heard for some time now that there's supposed to be an Arden edition of Edward III coming, but if it's come out yet I've failed to notice it. I'm really looking forward to it, though, and if I were to do a Complete Shakespeare edition, I would include Edward III, too.
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Why is this play included? 8 years 10 months ago #1733

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"Well, my impression of audiences at Shakespeare performances actually is that they tend to know a lot about the play - certainly if it is one of the major plays, like Hamlet or Macbeth. I wouldn't be surprised if something like 25% - maybe even more - of such an audience are Shakespeare readers. They know when to laugh, even when the joke is nebulous and very archaically phrased."

Just did a straw pole of a couple of my esl classes - no one had 'read' a single Shakespeare - well over half had seen a Shakespeare - most on film, many in the theatre.

Whilst in the UK we took school kids to see Shakespeare - even when they knew little if anything of the language. They laughed at the right places because the direction and acting made things funny.

I'd say Shakespeare is bigger than the dry academic - big enough to go in a theatre.

As for Edward - if Shakespeare did write a bit of it - he didn't write much - and whatever he wrote is worth studying - but so too is the rest of the play.
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Re: Why is this play included? 5 years 8 months ago #5214

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I presume it's "editor's prerogative", which is the reason why we've included it on this site (as well as Sir Thomas More) and let readers make their own decisions.
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Why is this play included? 3 weeks 5 days ago #7356

  • Cory Howell
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I believe the Riverside Shakespeare (1996) was the first major Complete Works to include Edward III. Since then, a few other major editions have jumped on that bandwagon, including the Oxford Shakespeare and the Norton Shakespeare (the first two editions of which were based on the Oxford Shakespeare). Bevington's Complete Shakespeare (now in its 7th ed.) and the Complete Pelican Shakespeare are certainly notable exceptions. Bevington also did not include both versions of King Lear (Folio and Quarto), and mentions in his intro to Lear that he was trying to keep the size of the volume manageable. I wouldn't be surprised if the Pelican Shakespeare editors eventually came out with a new edition that includes the play.

Meanwhile, the upcoming New Oxford Shakespeare will become the first major Complete Works to include Arden of Faversham in the canon! We'll have to see how that works out for them.
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