Article

Shakespeare and British History

Richard Dutton

in The Oxford Handbook of Holinshed's Chronicles

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199565757
Published online January 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199565757.013.0031

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Shakespeare and British History

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This chapter discusses the influence of Holinshed's Chronicles on two of Shakespeare's plays – King Lear and Cymbeline – both of which follow the spirit of Holinshed's Chronicles, even as they ignore or redirect their historical narratives. The chronicle history strangeness of Shakespeare's Lear is in direct proportion to its remoteness from the Holinshed original. There is also much more evidence of Shakespeare's use of Holinshed in writing Cymbeline than there is in his writing King Lear.

Keywords: King Lear; Cymbeline; English history; history plays

Article.  8588 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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