15

There are two parts to this question: why does English use iambic meter while French doesn't, and why does English have 10 syllables in each line of iambic pentameter, while French has 12 syllables per line in an alexandrine. To answer the second question first, it may be pure chance that French settled on 12 syllables per line, while English settled on 10. ...


9

I'm adding my own answer to complement Peter Shor's. In an interview, the Shakespeare scholar Kenneth Muir talks, among other things, about his translations of Racine and Corneille. When asked how he translated the alexandrines, Muir responds that he translated them into pentamers: I decided that alexandrines would not be taken by an English audience, ...


7

"An Attempt to Ascertain the Order in which the Plays Attributed to Shakespeare Were Written" can be found on pages 269 - 346 of the first volume of The Plays of William Shakespeare in Ten Volumes. The chronology itself can be found on pages 274-275. It starts with Titus Andronicus (1589) and ends with the following plays and years: A Yorkshire ...


6

After some more research, I found the answer to my question. According to The Growth Of English Drama by Arnold Wynne (p. 176), [George Peele's play] Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes merits a passing notice if only because it contains the earliest known example of a girl disguised as a page, the Princess Neronis waiting upon her lover in that office. Since ...


5

I can find in Annals of the Liverpool stage: from the earliest period to the present time from Google books, the following: In June, 1759, the Drury Lane Theatre was opened with the tragedy of The Orphans. The book states that there were playhouses around in Liverpool before that, at least since 1740, and even that the Drury Lane Theatre was around ...


5

tl;dr It isn't. Hamlet and its contemporaries Hamlet is one of a cluster of similar plays that were tremendously popular on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage that are now grouped as revenge tragedies. These plays draw upon the works of the Stoic philosopher and playwright Seneca, whose blood-soaked tragedies feature the revenge motif, a ghost, and ...


5

There's a monograph on male-to-female cross-dressing in this period: Perhaps the most famous instance of a man dressed as a woman in early modern literature is the scene in William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor in which the wives dress Falstaff in the gown, hat, and muffler of the aunt of Mistress Ford’s maid, the old witch of Brainford. […] ...


4

The first such claim probably was made in the Wikipedia article you mention. It's a pretty flimsy claim that would collapse under the slightest scrutiny, and there's no evidence that any scholar has made such a claim. The scholarly consensus around Der bestrafte Brudermord is that it is a version of Hamlet based upon performances in Germany of Shakespeare's ...


4

The Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450–1700 (CELM) has a comprehensive list of manuscripts from the period of interest. I sampled some of the authors and I estimate that the catalogue includes roughly 65 manuscripts of plays. It's hard to be precise because it's not entirely clear what counts as a "play". Do extracts of plays count? Or musical ...


4

To my knowledge, the only Elizabethan or Jacobean play that is a sequel to a Shakespeare play is The Woman's Prize, or the Tamer Tamed by John Fletcher, a play that was first performed in 1609 – 1610. The play is a mock sequel to Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. In The Taming of the Shrew, Petrucio "tames" Katharina. In Fletcher's "sequel", Petruchio ...


3

The English Parliament did pass a ban on swearing in 1623, that much at least is agreed upon by several records: The Statutes Relating to the Ecclesiastical and Eleemosynary Institutions of England, Wales, Ireland, India, and the Colonies: With the Decisions Thereon, Volume 1, Archibald John Stephens, 1845, which names the law as part of Statuta Jacobi: ...


3

Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy was immensely popular; not only was it printed ten times between 1592 and 1633 (although only one copy of the 1592 edition has survived), it was also quoted, alluded to and reworked by other authors. Thomas Kyd is also attributed an Ur-Hamlet, which is now lost. The Spanish Tragedy borrowed certain elements from Seneca's ...


2

A foot of three unstressed syllables is called a tribrach. Do tribrachs exist in Shakespeare? I don't know. It is going to be very hard, if not impossible, to find tribrachs in Shakespeare (or any other English pentameter, for that matter) that can't be reanalyzed in terms of other feet. Googling "tribrach" gives a number of websites that include the ...


2

The traditional distinction between syllabic (French) and metrical (English) verse is misleading. French has long and short vowels (long and short syllables) just like any other language. English poetry, on the other hand, is "accented" (tricky term here) by long syllables or so-called "stresses" just like French, Italian, Latin and Greek verse. If you don'...


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