Chapter

Reviewing Authorship Studies of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, and the Case of <i>Arden of Faversham</i>

MacDonald P. Jackson

in Determining the Shakespeare Canon

Published in print June 2014 | ISBN: 9780198704416
Published online August 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191795299 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704416.003.0003
Reviewing Authorship Studies of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, and the Case of Arden of Faversham

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A survey by Brian Vickers of approaches to the attribution of texts of disputed authorship includes a negative review of Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship, edited by Hugh Craig and Arthur F. Kinney. The object of Chapter 2 is to explain Craig and Kinney’s techniques of ‘computational stylistics’ and demonstrate that they are valid and support assignment of the central scenes of Arden of Faversham to Shakespeare. Craig and Kinney rely on (a) counts of lexical words used much more or less often by Shakespeare than by his contemporaries, and (b) authors’ differing rates of use of high-frequency function words. The chapter reports the results of carrying out Literature Online searching of the kind employed in Chapter 1 to Arden’s narrative of his dream in scene 6, unequivocally attributed to Shakespeare by Craig and Kinney. These lead to the same conclusion.

Keywords: computational stylistics; Hugh Craig; Arthur Kinney; Brian Vickers

Chapter.  8165 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism ; Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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