A Shakespeare allusion of 1605 and its author - British Library Research Repository
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A Shakespeare allusion of 1605 and its author



SURPRISINGLY few critical notices of Shakespeare have so far been recovered from sources dating from his own lifetime; fewer than a dozen are known to survive, and all of these originate from more or less professional literary circles. The most famous is the schoolmaster Francis Meres's comment in Palladis Tamia (1598): 'As Plautus and Seneca are accounted the best for Comedy and Tragedy among the Latines: so Shakespeare among the English is the most excellent in both kinds for the stage.' Apparently the only other estimates recorded until now of his skill as a writer of tragedy are a marginal jotting by Gabriel Harvey and a sentence in Anthony Skoloker's Daiphantus (1604), both specifically praising Hamlet. A further testimony has now come to light which, though decidedly more ambiguous than these, implies that for one gentleman playgoer, as forMeres, Shakespeare was the greatest tragedian of the age.


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  • Resource type

    Journal article

  • Institution
    • British Library

  • Journal title
    • British Library Journal

  • Volume
    • 1977

  • Article number
    • 2

  • Publisher
    • British Library

  • Place of publication
    • London, UK

  • ISSN
    • 2056-2829

  • Official URL
  • Rights statement
  • Rights holder
    • British Library Board