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  • Title: Seventeeth-Century Dramatic Extracts from Shakespeare's King John
  • Author: Laura Estill
  • Coordinating editor: Janelle Jenstad

  • Copyright Laura Estill. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Laura Estill
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Seventeeth-Century Dramatic Extracts from Shakespeare's King John

    Throughout the seventeenth century, snippets from plays circulated in manuscript and print. These selections, called dramatic extracts, are often found in commonplace books, verse miscellanies, and songbooks. Dramatic extracts are valuable and often-overlooked pieces of archival evidence that give us insight into the reception history and popularity of a play, and which parts interested particular readers and audience members.

    Early modern play extracting stems from the centuries-old tradition of commonplacing, the practice of copying sententiae (“sentences” or commonplaces) for their rhetorical value and their wit and wisdom. In Tudor grammar schools, students were often required to copy commonplaces from classical or religious texts, so they would both absorb the moral wisdom of these texts and also learn to properly craft their own writing (Crane, 77-92; Donker 77-111). Until the end of the sixteenth-century, printed commonplace books in English tended to focus on serious materials: the Bible and classical sources (Moss 207-09). Around 1600, material from Shakespeare’s plays and poems began appearing in printed commonplace books compiled from primarily literary material, such as England’s Parnassus: Or The choysest Flowers of our Modern Poets (1600) and Bel-vedere, or the Garden of the Muses (1600) (Erne 71-75). At the same time, people began copying extracts from English vernacular plays into their manuscripts. These dramatic extracts show us what plays people attended and read; they also demonstrate what parts of each play were appealing and deemed worth copying.

    Although some early modern print and manuscript sources include Shakespearean extracts, these are outnumbered by extracts from plays by Ben Jonson, James Shirley, and John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont, respectively. Where Shakespearean extracts do appear in manuscript, they reflect diverse reactions to his work: sometimes people copied only a couplet, a proverb, or a song, whereas others copied sustained extracts from particular plays. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are multiple manuscripts that contain extracts from Hamlet, including Abraham Wright’s mid-century selections, to which he added the comment that Hamlet was “but an indifferent play, the lines but mean” (BL MS Add. 22608, f. 85v), and Cesare Morelli’s Restoration setting of Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” speech (Magdalene College Cambridge Pepys Library MS 2591, ff. 37-40). A number of seventeenth-century manuscripts contain songs from The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale, including “Where the bee sucks, there suck I” and “Lawn as white as the driven snow” (Beal ShW 98-103.8, 109-112). In cases like King John, however, there is a relative paucity of dramatic extracts.

    There are multiple examples of early readers and playgoers copying selections from Shakespeare’s plays, but no known pre-Restoration examples of extracts from King John in manuscript. Early print miscellanies with extracts from other Shakespearean plays, such as Bel-vedere (1600) and Englands Parnassus (1600), also lack passages from King John. John Cotgrave gathered thousands of dramatic extracts in The English Treasury of Wit and Language (1655), including more than two-dozen Shakespeare plays, yet ignored King John (see McEvilla). One reader rectified this by adding six lines from King John at the end of the Cotgrave’s volume, though we do not know when these lines were copied. From the late seventeenth century, however, we have two manuscripts that contain numerous extracts from King John: Bodleian MS Sancroft 29 and British Library MS Lansdowne 1185. Both these manuscripts are dramatic miscellanies: compilations of mainly parts of plays.

    The dramatic extracts from King John reflect the play’s publishing history: as the play was never printed in an individual play quarto, it was only available in the context of Shakespeare’s complete plays. It is worth noting that some Shakespearean extracts in verse miscellanies and commonplace books were transmitted orally, copied during performances, or taken from intermediary sources. By contrast, readers copied extracts from King John from the complete folio text of Shakespeare’s play: these extracts were not copied from memory, from intermediate print or manuscript sources, or in the theatre. Seventeenth-century readers could not read King John by itself; and, when presented with the folio of Shakespeare’s works, no reader elected to copy from only King John. Rather, readers who jotted selections from King John were interested in Shakespeare as a dramatist and copied extracts from a variety of his plays.

    Though both manuscripts containing King John extracts were copied under similar textual circumstances (that is, from a folio of Shakespeare’s plays into a dramatic miscellany), they reflect two distinct approaches to the play. In Bodleian MS Sancroft 29, Archbishop Sancroft copied short extracts as prose, changing and rearranging Shakespeare’s text at will. By contrast, the Lansdowne compiler selected longer passages, largely retaining Shakespeare’s organization and lineation. These extracts show multiple reasons people continued to read Shakespeare’s plays a century after their initial performance: the plays, including King John, served as a repository of powerful images and rhetorical templates while also portraying compelling characters and capturing enduring themes.

    Bodleian MS Sancroft 29: Manipulating King John

    Though primarily remembered as a political and religious figure who refused to swear fealty to William and Mary after the “Glorious Revolution,” William Sancroft (1617-1693), the Archbishop of Canterbury, was also a scholar. As an avid reader, the archbishop collected extracts from a range of works, including religious tracts, prose romances, and plays. Sancroft excerpted from plays by Webster, Beaumont and Fletcher, Jonson, Dekker, Chapman, and Cartwright, to name a handful. Sancroft’s manuscripts also include extracts from Restoration plays such as Otway’s Don Carlos and Dryden’s Aureng-Zebe, though he copied predominantly from Renaissance plays. The bulk of Sancroft’s dramatic extracts are found in his dramatic miscellany, Bodleian MS Sancroft 29, but he also included Shakespearean extracts in Bodleian MS Sancroft 53, a verse miscellany, and Bodleian MS Sancroft 97, a prose miscellany. While reading the 1664 third folio of Shakespeare’s complete works, Sancroft copied extracts from every play we now attribute to Shakespeare into his dramatic miscellany.

    Sancroft’s predilection for Shakespeare’s work is obvious when compared to the other plays in his dramatic miscellany: he copied from more Shakespearean plays than from all other Renaissance and Restoration plays combined. Even though Sancroft had access to the complete works of Jonson and the complete works of Beaumont and Fletcher, he did not extract as widely from these other dramatists’ folios. Although Sancroft copied extensively from Shakespeare, his attention to each play varied: for instance, he chose just one extract from Titus Andronicus, “As when the golden sun salutes the Morn & having gilt the Ocean with his beams Gallops the Zodiac in his glistering coach” (p. 91, TLN 559-61), but copied more than two pages from Coriolanus. His selections from King John are about a page long, around the average length of his Shakespearean extracts.

    Sancroft copied extracts from King John and other plays into his dramatic miscellany because of their usefulness and value as rhetorical exemplars. He was drawn to vivid images and witty turns of phrase. The archbishop did not approach Shakespeare’s play as a fixed text or as a complete and immutable artistic work; rather, his extracting reveals that he viewed King John as a resource that could be adapted and altered for personal use.

    Sancroft favoured extracts with bold imagery and particularly vivid use of rhetorical devices. For instance, he chose to copy the striking personification, “Time, the old sexton the bald clocksetter” (p. 82, TLN 1257) and Constance’s climactic “My Son, my Life, my Joy, My All-the-World” (p. 82, abridged from TLN 1488-89). Sancroft also included Constance’s lament, “Death, Death ô amiable, lovely Death, The Hate, & terror to prosperity, But Miserie’s Love; Rise from the Caves of Night, And I will kiss thy bones, I’ll put my Eybals in thy vaulty Brows, & ring my fingers with thy household worms – Come grin on me, & I will think thou smil’st & buss thee as thy Wife—” (p. 82, adapted from TLN 1408-18). This reworking abridges, rearranges, and adds to Constance’s words in the play, while still capturing much of Shakespeare’s evocative language. Rather than copying Shakespeare’s “Arise forth from the couch of lasting night” verbatim, Sancroft paraphrased, “Rise from the Caves of Night.” Sancroft actively shaped the dramatic extracts he copied by condensing, telescoping, and supplementing Shakespeare’s text.

    The archbishop’s interest in memorable imagery and well-crafted turns of phrase extended to one of most well-known speeches in the play: the Bastard’s commodity speech, with its vivid personifications and powerful language. Sancroft abridged the Bastard’s lines to: “Conscience buckled his Armor & Zeal & Charity brought him to ye field, as Gods own soldier –But that sly devil that ⸢bawd that⸣ broker, purpose-changer, that smoothfac’d Gentleman, Commodity, the Bias of the world, clapt on him hath drawn him from his purpose” (p. 82, abridged from TLN 885-905). Similarly, Sancroft altered the Bastard’s “not a word of his / But buffets better than a fist of France” (TLN 780-781) to “not a word of his, but buffets us” (p. 81). These extracts decontextualize Shakespeare’s imagery by removing all mention of France; instead, they are generalized descriptions that could be applied to other situations.

    Of his King John extracts, Sancroft copied the most from the Bastard’s speeches, but since the Bastard has the most lines of anyone in the play, it does not necessarily mean that the archbishop found the Bastard a particularly compelling character. Rather, the archbishop’s extracts show that he appreciated the Bastard’s rich turns of phrase. Sancroft’s omissions are perhaps equally telling: he chose not to copy a single word spoken by King John, but also none from his young rival for the throne, Arthur. Rather, Sancroft preferred lines that were easily abstracted from the play’s political turmoil.

    The archbishop shaped particular extracts so that they would be easier to re-use. In one case, he fashioned one of his King John extracts into a template for building a comparison, “Thou maist more safely hold, a serpent by the tongue, a lion by the paw, a fasting Tiger by the Tooth, than –” (p. 81, TLN 1189-91). Rather than completing Pandulph’s thought with “Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold” (TLN 1192), Sancroft omitted the conclusion so that Shakespeare’s imagery could be transposed to apply to any other dangerous situation. Sancroft’s paraphrase, moreover, simplified Shakespeare’s syntax but maintained the meaning, which would also make the extract easier to use.

    The final extract Sancroft copied from King John reinforces his interest in the play as a rhetorical exemplar. The extract simplifies Shakespeare’s original phrasing and reformulates Shakespeare’s imagery using parallelism. Where Sancroft’s source read,

    To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
    To throw a perfume on the violet,
    To smooth the ice, or add another hue
    Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
    To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish
    Is wasteful and ridiculous excess (TLN 1728-33),

    Sancroft’s modifications run, “This were to gild gold, or to paint the Lilly, to perfume the violet, ⸢or⸣ to light a taper to the Sun” (p. 82). Sancroft purposefully balanced his words with the supralinear addition, “or,” carefully structuring these ideas according to rhetorical ideals. For Sancroft, Shakespeare’s plays provided both examples to emulate and raw materials to play with and revise.

    Sancroft’s King John extracts are typical not only of his treatment of Shakespeare, but also of common practices in the culture of extracting. Throughout the seventeenth century, it was not unusual to borrow, change, shorten, and add to dramatic extracts. Many of Sancroft’s alterations make the text more usable, demonstrating the way dramatic material could be appropriated and repurposed decades after it was first written. Ultimately, Sancroft’s extracts demonstrate that his personal engagement with the text was one that neither privileged the author nor relied on accurately representing his sources.

    BL MS Lansdowne 1185: Religion and Death in King John

    BL MS Lansdowne 1185 is a late-seventeenth-century composite volume, that is, a collection of manuscripts bound together. The first forty-one folios of the volume are a dramatic miscellany made up entirely of selections from Shakespeare. The opening page of Shakespearean extracts begins with praise of the Bard: “Shakespears Descriptions are stronger and more natural than any of the other Poets, who generally describd with too stiff and learned a manner, and often not to be understood by those that are unacqueinted with the fiction of Poetry” (f. 2).

    Unlike Archbishop Sancroft, who selected and manipulated short passages, the Lansdowne compiler copied longer passages verbatim. The Lansdowne compiler chose extracts from many, but not all of Shakespeare’s plays. Unlike the other Shakespearean plays that generally appear in only one part of the Lansdowne manuscript, the King John extracts are found in two segments (ff. 3, 7v-14). Generally, but not always, the compiler copied extracts in the order in which they appeared in the play. The multiple pages of extracts from King John (second in length only to the extracts copied from Antony and Cleopatra) demonstrate the compiler’s depth of engagement with the play. The compiler’s marginal notations indicate his thematic interests in the play, particularly with regards to the religious valences and responses to death.

    The marginal commentary throughout BL MS Lansdowne 1185 indicates that the compiler read the play for plot, style, and theme. Often, these additions offer the context for the extracts, such as “Constance to her son Arthur upon the french peace with John” (f. 8v, alongside TLN 974-78) or “Constance to Austria p. 9 +” (f. 9, alongside TLN 1043-52). The compiler frequently provided the page numbers from his source text, perhaps for his personal reference or in expectation of future readers. In one case, referring to the Bastard’s “Hang a calf’s-skin on those recreant limbs” (TLN 1055, 1057, 1059, and 1151) the marginal comment “see the humorous repetition of this by the bastard” shows that, like Sancroft, the compiler appreciated Shakespeare’s rhetoric. Frequently, the marginal notes highlight the themes of a particular passage such as “Of Sorrow ⸢being⸣ tired of Life” (f. 12), alongside Lewis’s lament, “There’s nothing in this world can make me joy / Life is as tedious as a twice told tale / Vexing the dull ear of a drowsie man” (TLN 1492-94). The compiler of BL Lansdowne 1185 was an active reader who engaged with the text by not only copying extracts but by thoughtfully labeling them.

    The first excerpts from King John highlight the religious struggle of the play. The compiler began with King Philip’s speech asking the town of Angiers for support:

    For this down trodden Equity, we tread
    In warlike march, these greens before your town
    Being no further Enemy to you
    Than the constraint of hospitable Zeal
    In the relief of this oppressed child
    Religiously provokes. (f. 3v, TLN 547-52)

    Here, Philip brings up the religious nature of the succession dispute. The compiler similarly extracts the religious segment of King John’s reply,

    John: Then God forgive the sin of all those souls
    That to their Everlasting Residence
    Before the dew of evening fall shall fleet
    In dreadful trial of &c (f. 3v, TLN 590-93)

    The “et cetera” highlights the relative unimportance of the secular concerns in comparison to the religious matter: having copied the important part about God’s forgiveness and the everlasting residence of souls, the compiler did not even finish the last two lines of John’s speech, “In dreadful trial of our Kingdom’s King” (TLN 593). The first page of extracts from King John makes the Lansdowne compiler’s religious interests clear.

    In the second section of extracts from King John, the compiler opened with the messenger’s description of the Bastard accompanying the army, a force unmatched “in Christendom” (f. 7v), and continues with imagery of dragon-slaying, blood, and battle (f. 8). The compiler then turned to the Bastard’s commodity speech, which he labeled as “Of Interest,” meaning “self-interest” (f. 8v, TLN 908-16). Unlike Archbishop Sancroft, who was attracted to the vivid personification of Commodity as a liar and a bawd, the Lansdowne compiler chose the Bastard’s confession-like admission: “Not that I have the power to clutch [close] my hand, / When his fair Angels [coins] would salute my Palm” (f. 8v, TLN 910-11). The Lansdowne compiler concluded this speech with the Bastard’s religiously couched profession of his own hypocrisy:

    Well whiles I am a beggar I will rail
    And say there is no Sin but to be Rich:
    And being rich my virtue then shall be
    To say there is no vice but Beggary: (f. 8v, TLN 914-17).

    Bodleian MS Sancroft 29 and BL MS Lansdowne 1185 demonstrate that the Bastard’s commodity speech was as compelling for early modern readers as it is for readers today.

    With King John, Shakespeare projected his late sixteenth-century religious concerns onto the events of the eleventh and twelfth century; similarly, the Lansdowne reader offers a late-seventeenth century Protestant interpretation onto John’s pre-Reformation England by highlighting the tension between Protestant England and Catholic France. The marginal notation spread along the left side of folio 9v reads, “The Pope’s Authority ridiculed.” The excerpts highlight the religious nature of the succession crisis:

    John: Thou canst not Cardinal devise a name
    So slight unworthy and Ridiculous
    To charge me to an answer as the Pope
    Tell him this Tale, and from the mouth of England
    Addes thus much more that no Italian Priest
    Shall tythe or toll in our Dominions (f. 9v, TLN 1076-81)

    The compiler continued with John’s anti-Pope sentiments: “Tho you and all the kings of Christendom / Are gled so grossly by this medling Priest” (f. 9v, TLN 1089-90). The compiler further copied John’s stance against pardons and his comparison of Catholicism to witchcraft, ending with his proud, “Yet I alone Alone do me oppose / Against the pope and count his friends my foes” (f. 9v, TLN 1097-98). In these vitriolic anti-Catholic contexts, the compiler’s omission of King Philip’s discussion with Cardinal Pandulph about the Catholic imperative to win the war seems particularly pointed.

    The compiler’s interest in the religious themes of King John is perhaps unsurprising given the late seventeenth-century/early eighteenth-century origins of the manuscript. English tensions surrounding Catholicism had not eased since Shakespeare wrote King John (in the years following the Babington plot and the execution of Mary Queen of Scots); the Glorious Revolution (1688) led to the deposition of King James II, a Catholic, and placed William and Mary, staunch Protestants, on the throne. The extracts from King John could be taken as an affirmation of the continued Protestant presence on the throne that had been so recently jeopardized. At the very least, the compiler’s selections from King John reflect the anti-Catholicism that continued through the end of the century.

    The Lansdowne compiler presented King John as both anti-Catholic propaganda and as an examination of mental and emotional reactions to death, suicide, and murder. Directly following John’s staunchly Protestant words, on the facing page, the compiler copies one of the longest passages in the entire manuscript, John’s long-winded speech leading up to asking Hubert to kill Arthur (TLN 1318-21, 1324-46). The compiler’s marginal comment, “See K. Johns perplexity in breaking Arthurs death to Hubert” (f. 10) show his astute reading of John’s character: here, John’s verbosity exhibits his unwillingness to simply ask Hubert to kill the boy. When John is finally able to tell Hubert to murder, the manuscript compiler’s lineation reinforces the short, clipped dialogue by including multiple speeches on one line and separating the speakers and their words with various punctuation marks:

    dost thou understand me
    Thou art his keeper. --- Hub. And I'll keep him so
    That he shall not offend your Majesty
    John_ Death. Hub. My lord / John / A grave.
    Hub. He shall not live. /John/ Enough.
    I could be merry now: Hubert I love thee
    Well Ile not say what I intend for thee – (f. 10v, TLN 1363-74).

    The Lansdowne compiler’s extracts highlight two ways John tries to tell Hubert to kill Arthur: John’s lengthy circumlocution confuses and sugar-coats, whereas the back-and-forth exchange with Hubert ominously turns on single words, “death” and “grave.”

    The compiler juxtaposed John’s command to kill Arthur with Constance’s grief for her son by placing them on facing pages (ff. 10v-11). In the complete play, Pandulph and King Philip undermine the emotional impact of Constance’s speech (TLN 1461-82). When Constance says, “When I shall meet him in the court of heaven / I shall not know him: therefore never, never / Must I behold my pretty Arthur more” (TLN 1471-74) in the full play, Pandulph and King Philip interject: Pandulph criticizes, “You hold too heinous a respect for grief” (TLN 1475) to which Constance retorts, “He talks to me that never had a son” (TLN 1476). King Philip reinforces Pandulph’s point, saying, “You are as fond of grief as of your child” (TLN 1477). The manuscript compiler skipped this interchange and tailored this part of the play into one speech: the move from “Therefore never, never / Must I behold my pretty Arthur more / Grief fills the room up of my absent child” seems perfectly natural (TLN 1473-74, 1478). Without these lines, a reader can take the speech and empathize entirely with the grieving mother. Philip and Pandulph, however, do not trust Constance’s grief and suggest that we should question her motivation. The compiler removes this doubt both by excising lines and with added marginalia: “The concern of a fond mother for her son in Constance to Arthur p. 12 K. John.” For this reader, Constance is a “fond mother,” which could mean both fond in the modern sense or foolish; in any case, this “fond mother” is a far cry from the virago often portrayed on stage and referred to by literary critics.

    Unlike the unilateral Protestantism conveyed, the compiler showcased multiple approaches to Arthur’s death. The compiler presented the “natural speech of a Child” (f. 12, margin, next to TLN 1585-93), which leads to Hubert’s concern that he will not be able to kill the boy (TLN 1598-99). The compiler, like Shakespeare, reveals Hubert’s emotional state not just through Hubert’s words but also through Arthur’s, “Are you sick Hubert? you look pale to-day” (f. 12, TLN 1601). These pages present multiple points of view about Arthur’s death, including the populace’s, who believe rumours and omens, labeled “The conjectures and discourse of the Rabble upon prodigies” (f. 12v). John’s response to Arthur’s death (“The Guilt of All Looks,” f. 13) is undermined by Salisbury’s distrust of John’s reaction (“Of Villains Tears,” f. 13v). Salisbury’s comment, “Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes” (TLN 2110) is part of the compiler’s sustained interest in crying.

    In keeping with this manuscript compiler’s preoccupations, the final two extracts describe death, unlike Shakespeare’s complete play, which concludes with the Bastard’s relating the events to England’s larger history. The first, which the compiler labels as a “description of a dying man,” offers Melun’s depiction of his own death:

    Have I not hideous Death within my View,
    Retaining but a Quantity of Life
    Which bleeds away, even as a form of Wax
    Resolveth from his figure gainst the Fires (f. 14, TLN 2483-86)

    Here, the compiler’s label reduces Melun to a speaking image, unnamed and representative of all dying men. The compiler gives more context for the final extract by labeling it “John poisone” (f. 14). John’s lines follow Melun’s both on the page and thematically:

    And none of you will bid the winter come
    To thrust his icie fingers in my maw
    Nor let my kingdoms Rivers take their courses
    Thro my burnd bosom: nor intreat the North
    To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips
    And comfort me with Cold (f. 14, TLN 2644-49)

    The compiler completed the last letter, the ‘d’ of “Cold,” with a scratchy flourish that fills the final line of the page. In the complete play, just moments earlier, John repined, “I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen / Upon a parchment” (TLN 2439-40). Though the Lansdowne compiler did not choose to copy those particular lines, his extracts, including those spoken by John, those about John, and the non-verbal scribbled conclusion to the final extract from King John, enact precisely what Shakespeare described. In this manuscript, John, like the other characters in the play, is indeed a “scribbled form”—one not drawn by a historian’s pen, but created by a play reader and dramatic extractor adapting a literary work.

    Conclusion

    The extracts from King John in Bodleian MS Sancroft 29 and BL MS Lansdowne 1185 reveal that seventeenth-century readers approached plays as sources to be adapted, appropriated, and personalized. Sancroft’s short, manipulated extracts reveal his interest in Shakespeare as a wordsmith and as the creator of the powerful images from King John. The Lansdowne compiler’s longer, largely unchanged, and labeled speeches demonstrate his view of King John as religious narrative full of evocative emotion. As libraries and archives continue to catalogue and digitize their material, further extracts from King John and other plays will surface, and when they do, they too will offer insight into the tastes and responses of early Shakespearean readers.

    Works Cited

    • Beal, Peter, comp. Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts. <http://www.celm-ms.org.uk>.
    • Bruce, John, ed. Annals of the First Four Years of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. By Sir John Hayward. London: Camden Society, 1840.
    • Crane, Mary Thomas. Framing Authority: Sayings, Self, and Society in Sixteenth-Century England. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1997.
    • Donker, Marjorie. Shakespeare’s Proverbial Themes: A Rhetorical Context for the Sententia as Res. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.
    • Estill, Laura. Dramatic Extracts in Seventeenth-Century English Manuscripts: Watching, Reading, Changing Plays. Newark, DE: U of Delaware P, 2015.
    • Estill, Laura. "The Urge to Organize Early Modern Miscellanies: Reading Cotgrave's The English Treasury of Wit and Language," Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 112.1 (2018): 22-73
    • Erne, Lukas. Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003.
    • McEvilla, Joshua, with contributions from Sean M. Winslow, "An Online Reader of John Cotgrave's The English Treasury of Wit and Language," in The Shakespeare Authorship Page, ed. David Kathman and Terry Ross, <http://shakespeareauthorship.com/cotgrave>.
    • Moss, Ann. Printed Commonplace-Books and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996.
    • Munro, John, ed. The Shakspere Allusion-Book: A Collection of Allusions to Shakspere from 1591-1700. Vol. 1. London: Chatto & Windus, 1909.
    • Roberts, Sasha. “Reading Shakespeare’s Tragedies of Love: Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and Antony and Cleopatra in Early Modern England.” A Companion to Shakespeare’s Tragedies. Ed. Richard Dutton and Jean Elizabeth Howard. Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell, 2003. 108-33.