Hugh Craig

in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199566105
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature


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This article examines the different kinds of authorship in relation to William Shakespeare; who wrote Shakespeare; what kind of author Shakespeare was; and the Shakespeare canon. It is hard to exaggerate the cultural prestige that is invested in Shakespeare as an author. His works are invoked to guarantee the richness of the resources of the English language, to anchor English national pride, and as a touchstones for the power of literature itself. They are read, performed, and studied to a degree that makes him outstanding, even among the select band of national poets. As a creator, Shakespeare is both exceptional and representative. Defining him either as an independent author, or as essentially a member of a theatrical collective, affects the picture of literary creation in general.

Keywords: William Shakespeare; Shakespeare canon; English national pride; national poet

Article.  8159 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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