Playing With Source Materials: Alterations and Shakespeare's Creative Fabric -- NeMLA 2018
Shakespeare is preeminent among English authors, but, by today's standards, for all of his fame, little is known about Shakespeare the man. This has lead some to create an authorship controversy, though among scholars this is a non-issue as there is ample evidence linking "the man from Stratford" to the London playwright. Stylometry studies have found that Shakespeare and his fellow playwrights collaborated much more than had ever been guessed at, but such findings shed little light on his creative processes. Perhaps the best currently available avenue to gain insight into his creative strategies is by examining what at first glance appears to indicate lack of creativity—his inveterate unabashed "borrowing" of plots, characters, phrases, and more.