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Titus Andronicus, SBT Collections

Shakespeare's Collaborations

With Eric Rasmussen

Is it possible that Shakespeare collaborated in minor ways with other authors?


Rasmussen: We know from a wide body of evidence, related both to Shakespeare and to other theatre workers (notably the stable of playwrights that worked for Phillip Henslowe at the Rose Theatre), that drama was, as it remains, an essentially collaborative art form. 

Shakespeare was a frequent collaborator in the writing of scripts, especially at the beginning and the end of his career. Recent attribution studies have provided compelling evidence that Shakespeare got a toehold in the profession by contributing a few scenes to plays such as Edward III and Arden of Faversham in the early 1590s. Shakespeare then collaborated with George Peele on Titus Andronicus, with either Thomas Nashe or Thomas Kyd on Henry VI, with Thomas Middleton on Timon of Athens, and with George Wilkins on Pericles. He later passed the baton of principal dramatist for the King’s Men to John Fletcher by collaborating with the younger playwright on Henry VIII, the Two Noble Kinsmen, and the lost Cardenio.

Eric Rasmussen

Eric Rasmussen

Eric Rasmussen, Chair of English at the University of Nevada, is co-editor with Jonathan Bate of the RSC Complete Works of Shakespeare.

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