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The Quest for CardenioShakespeare, Fletcher, Cervantes, and the Lost Play$
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David Carnegie and Gary Taylor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641819

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641819.001.0001

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(p.3) 1 Introduction
The Quest for Cardenio

David Carnegie

Oxford University Press

This introduction describes the structure of the book and the arguments of each contributor. It also outlines the main questions around the lost play Cardenio: was it really by Shakespeare and Fletcher? Was Theobald’s Double Falsehood really based on Cardenio? If so, how much did Theobald adapt it, and how much is original? Or was it his own forgery passed off as Shakespeare, as Theobald’s enemies claimed? How closely did the original Cardenio follow its source material in Cervantes’s Don Quixote? What can we learn from close scrutiny of the available documents? Can computer-aided stylometric tests establish convincing proof of Shakespeare and Fletcher authorship lying behind Theobald’s eighteenth-century adaptation? Can close critical analysis reveal what Theobald probably cut? Can modern stage adaptations of Double Falsehood recreate something akin to the lost original? All these questions are central to one of the great current debates about Shakespeare and early modern drama.

Keywords:   Cardenio, Shakespeare, Fletcher, Theobald, Double Falsehood, early modern drama, Don Quixote, stylometrics, authorship, stage adaptation

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