<i>Don Quixote</i> and Shakespeare’s Collaborative Turn to Romance*

Valerie Wayne

in The Quest for Cardenio

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641819
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191749025 | DOI:
Don Quixote and Shakespeare’s Collaborative Turn to Romance*

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Based upon evidence that English dramatists were aware of the popularity of Don Quixote as early as 1607 and had some access to it before Shelton’s translation was published in 1612, this chapter proposes that the turn to romance by Shakespeare and his collaborators between 1608 and 1613 was influenced by Cervantes’s work. An English embassy travelled to Spain to sign peace articles in 1605 only four months after Quixote was published there, and early allusions to Quixote appear in plays by Wilkins, Middleton, and Jonson. Cervantes’s novel may have provided some of the metatextual strategies that are evident in Shakespeare’s late plays beginning with Pericles, for each one puts a figure associated with its source on stage or otherwise grants heightened attention to texts in ways analogous to Quixote’s citation of chivalric romances and the creation of its own metatext.

Keywords: Shakespeare; Fletcher; Cervantes; Don Quixote; collaboration; Romance; Late Plays; Shelton; metatextuality; King’s Men

Chapter.  12295 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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