Was shakespeare an essex man?

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5 Scopus citations


This lecture offers a reinterpretation of one of the most important but misunderstood episodes in Shakespeare's career: the specially commissioned performance of Richard II at the Globe on the eve of the Earl of Essex's 'rebellion' in February 1601. It refutes the recent suggestion that the play performed was not by Shakespeare, reveals who commissioned the performance and why, makes a new proposal about the relationship between Shakespeare's play and Sir John Hayward's controversial History of Henry IV, sets the performance in the larger context of Shakespeare's representations of the codes of honour, chivalry and politic history that were associated with Essex and his circle, and suggests that the famous encounter between Queen Elizabeth and William Lambarde, in which she purportedly compared herself to Richard II, was in all probability embroidered long after the event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-28+371
JournalProceedings of the British Academy
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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