The Plagiarization Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare
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William Shakespeare was an English playwright who lived during the Elizabethan era. He is considered one of the greatest writers of the English language and his influence upon the language shapes the way modern English is now used. Much controversy exists around the possibility of Shakespeare not being educated enough to write his own plays although most scholars believe there is not enough evidence to prove otherwise. One of his most famous plays is a tragedy titled Hamlet which was believed to be written between 1599 and 1601. There now exists a newly discovered title page for a version of Hamlet published in 1587 - twelve years before Shakespeare supposedly wrote his own. The existence of such a Hamlet proves that Shakespeare did not write Hamlet himself, but plagiarised it from a lesser-known playwright. There does not exist enough evidence to provide definitive proof that the the man known as William Shakespeare plagiarised all of his plays, or was merely a front for a different person publishing under the name. The original source of Hamlet is from a Danish revenge story about a prince feigning madness to take revenge against his uncle whom killed the prince’s father. Shakespeare’s Hamlet very closely follows the original, though the playwright changes the story to become a tragedy. Hamlet’s internal conflict with religion along with his struggles about reality versus appearance. This strongly reflects the time period in which Shakespeare would have written Hamlet as Protestants had broken away from the Catholic Church and Renaissance humanist thought was spreading throughout Europe.
The earliest reference to any version of Hamlet existing is in an essay written by Thomas Nashe which prefaces Robert Greene’s Menaphon. In it, Nashe writes, ‘yet English Seneca read by candle light yeeldes manie good sentences, as Bloud is a begger, and so foorth : and if you intreate him faire in a frostie morning, he will affoord you whole Hamlets’. Given that Menaphon was published in 1589, undoubtedly there existed a play titled Hamlet that was being performed in Elizabethan theatres. Paul Werstine writes in ‘The Textual Mystery of Hamlet’ that attempting to decipher the cause for the inconsistencies within the