Shakespeare's resources

By John Drakakis

Shakespeare's resources
Hardcover +
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526157867
  • Publish Date: Nov 2021
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Paperback +
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526174529
  • Publish Date: Oct 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526157850
  • Publish Date: Nov 2021
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: eBook
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5785-0
    • Published Date: November 2021


    Geoffrey Bullough's The Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare (1957-75) established a vocabulary and a method for linking Shakespeare's plays with a series of texts on which they were thought to be based. Shakespeare's Resources revisits and interrogates the methodology that has prevailed since then and proposes a number of radical departures from Bullough's model. The tacitly accepted linear model of 'source' and 'influence' that critics and scholars have wrestled with is here reconceptualised as a dynamic process in which texts interact and generate meanings that domesticated versions of intertextuality do not adequately account for. The investigation uncovers questions of exactly how Shakespeare 'read', what he read, the practical conditions in which narratives were encountered, and how he re-deployed earlier versions that he had used in his later work.


    'Drakakis finds the idea of 'source' or 'authority' too narrow. The sheer scope of materials to which Shakespeare had access, the the circumstances in which the playwright utilized them, he argues, mean that 'source' and 'authority' imply a 'quasi-theological' concept of creation. Instead of 'source' or 'authority', Drakakis offers 'resources', a term that, as he uses it, is much more open-ended. A resource could be a book, but it could also be a half-forgotten encounter or, in Shakespeare's case, the experience of having written an earlier play ... Each of his chapters is deeply engaged with the history of Shakespeare scholarship, on which he commentates with generosity and from which he quotes at length ... He closes on a musical metaphor, presenting Shakespeare as one who could 'repeat tunes, recall motifs to mind, imitate themes and memes, improvise on existing material and, on a number of occasions, innovate'.
    Times Literary Supplement

    Times Literary Supplement


    1 The legacy of Geoffrey Bullough
    2 Myths of origin
    3 Textual economies
    4 Trafficking in intertextuality
    5 The nature of con-text
    6 From formula to text: Theatre, form, meme and reciprocity
    7 The Thorello Plays: Shakespeare, Jonson and the circulation of theatrical ideas
    8 Shakespeare as resource
    Conclusion - The elephant in the graveyard


    John Drakakis is Emeritus Professor of English Studies at the University of Stirling

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