Four Characters in Search of a Subplot: Quixote, Sancho, and <i>Cardenio</i>

Gary Taylor and John V. Nance

in The Quest for Cardenio

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641819
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191749025 | DOI:
Four Characters in Search of a Subplot: Quixote, Sancho, and Cardenio

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This chapter pursues conjectures by earlier scholars that the Jacobean play The History of Cardenio contained a subplot, traces of which survive in Lewis Theobald’s Double Falsehood, which is anomalously short. It gives reasons for believing that the original play contained more material from Don Quixote, related to the Cardenio story there, and then focuses on two scenes and four characters that seem to be relics of that subplot: the two Gentlemen in 4.2 and Fabian and Lopez in 2.1. It connects these characters to Quixote, Sancho, the Barber, and the Curate. It then uses a variety of stylometric tests to establish that four of the speeches of Fabian and Lopez were written by Shakespeare toward the end of his career, with a fifth apparently by Fletcher, and that the speeches of Henriquez in 2.1 contain large amounts of writing by Theobald.

Keywords: Cardenio; Shakespeare; Fletcher; Theobald; Cervantes; stylometrics; subplot

Chapter.  11761 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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