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The History of Cardenio (or just Cardenio) is a lost play, known to have been performed by The King's Men, a London theatre company, in 1613.[1] It was attributed to William Shakespeare and John Fletcher in 1653 in a Stationers' Register entry by the bookseller Humphrey Moseley, who was known to have falsely used Shakespeare's name in other such entries and, indeed, in another part of the same entry.

The content of the play is not known, but it is likely based on incidents involving the character Cardenio in Don Quixote, of which the 1612 translation by Thomas Shelton would have been available to the authors. Fletcher based several of his later plays on the work of Miguel de Cervantes.

Contents

Lewis Theobald and Double Falshood

In 1727, Lewis Theobald claimed to have obtained three Restoration-era manuscripts of an unnamed play by Shakespeare, which he edited, "improved", and released under the name Double Falshood, or the Distrest Lovers. It has been suggested that Theobald was unable to publish the original script, because of Jacob Tonson's exclusive copyright on Shakespeare's plays. But that contention does not hold up, as the Tonson copyright applied only to the plays he had already published, not to any newly discovered play by Shakespeare; and Theobald edited an edition of the complete works for Tonson, whose commercial interests would have been substantially bettered if he had been able to advertise the edition as containing a hitherto "lost" play. (A prior instance of commercially "enhancing" an edition of Shakespeare's plays by adding new ones was the second reprint of the Third Folio of 1664, which added seven plays, only one of which (Pericles) has been accepted as at least partly by Shakespeare.)

The Double Falshood has the plot of the "Cardenio" episode in Don Quixote, and present scholarly opinion is that Theobald may indeed have used the lost Cardenio as his original, but he might have suspected that the work was wholly or partly by John Fletcher, even though he was presumably ignorant of the co-authorship attribution in Moseley's Stationers' Registry entry.[2]

The fate of Theobald's three alleged manuscripts is unknown. The very existence of three genuine manuscripts of that age is problematical, and Theobald was said to have invited interested persons to view the alleged manuscript, but he then avoided actually displaying them. These facts have led many scholars to conclude that Theobald's play was a hoax written by himself. However, more recent stylometric analysis leads to the conclusion that Double Falsehood was based on one or more manuscripts written in part by Fletcher and in part by another playwright. The open question is whether that second playwright was Shakespeare. The text contains no more than two or three passages which appear good enough to be even tentatively attributed to the Bard, but it is possible that Theobald so heavily edited the text that Shakespeare's style was entirely submerged. In the late period represented by Shakepeare's known collaborations with Fletcher in Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen his style had become so involved that it is difficult for an auditor or even a reader to catch the meanings of many passages on a quick hearing or a first read, so Theobald might have found it necessary to alter the text in a way that made Shakespeare's voice unrecognizable.

In 2010, the Arden Shakespeare published an edition of Double Falsehood, accompanied by new research from Professor Brean Hammond on the publishing history of Cardenio that makes the case for the Shakespearean origins of Theobald's play.[3]

Charles Hamilton and The Second Maiden's Tragedy

In 1990, Charles Hamilton, a handwriting expert, after seeing a 1611 manuscript known as The Second Maiden's Tragedy, usually attributed to Thomas Middleton, identified it as a text of the missing Cardenio in which the characters' names had been changed. This attribution is not generally accepted by experts on Shakespeare.[4] In fact, the principal plot in this play bears no resemblance to the Cardenio tale in Don Quixote; but the subplot dramatizes another tale interpolated in the Cardenio episode of Don Quixote (Chs. XXXIII-XXXV) and it employs some of the imagery from that novella. The play is a gory Senecan tragedy. In Act III the heroine happily commits suicide to prevent her abduction, and her lover gleefully murders a minor character. Then, in V.i, there are five killings within the space of twenty-five lines.

Publicity poster for a production of The Second Maiden's Tragedy as Cardenio.

Several theatre companies have capitalized on Hamilton's attribution by performing The Second Maiden's Tragedy under the name of Shakespeare's Cardenio, ignoring its disputed status. For instance, a production at Oxford's Burton Taylor Theatre in March, 2004, claimed to have been the first performance of the play in England since its putative recovery (although a successful amateur production had premiered at Essex University's Lakeside Theatre on October 15, 1998). This production was a huge commercial and critical success and the company behind it were offered a large sum (which they turned down) to transfer the production to London's West End. A laboratory performance of the play was given on March 17, 1996, at the Linhart Theatre in New York. Hamilton (who was 82 years old at the time) made a presentation after the performance in which he asserted (contrary to his book) that he did not ascribe this play to Shakespeare based on paleographic evidence, but, rather, because he regarded it as a "Romance", which Shakespeare had turned to at the end of his career. A full production of the play was mounted at the Next Theatre in Evanston Illinois in 1998. The production noted the contested authorship and was critically well received.

Cardenio in popular culture

"The History of Cardenio" has featured as a plot element in literary mystery novels such as Lost in a Good Book, the second book in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, and The Shakespeare Secret and Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell.

In their BBC radio show on Shakespeare's histories, the Reduced Shakespeare Company suggests that Cardenio is a "children's play about the legend of King Arthur", and performs a short sketch based on this idea. (RSC Radio Show: The Histories, 1994)[citation needed]

Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt and playwright Charles L. Mee collaborated on a contemporary reimagining of Cardenio. This production, directed by Les Waters, premiered at the American Repertory Theater on May 8, 2008.

A stolen copy of a manuscript of Cardenio appears in Trace Memory by David Llewellyn in the possession of ex-time traveler Captain Jack Harkness. Trace Memory is a novel written for the BBC series Torchwood, a spin off of Doctor Who (a science fiction drama which, in The Shakespeare Code, contained Love's Labours Won, Shakespeare's other lost play).[5]

Notes

  1. ^ Chambers, E. K. The Elizabethan Stage. 4 Volumes, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1923. Vol 2, page 17.
  2. ^ For a thorough discussion of scholarship to date see G.H.Metz, Sources of Four Plays Ascribed to Shakespeare 257-83 U.Mo.Press 1989
  3. ^ "'Lost' Shakespeare play Double Falsehood published". BBC News. 2010-03-15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8569101.stm. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  4. ^ Shaksper
  5. ^ Llewellyn, David (2008). Trace Memory. BBC Books. ISBN 9781846074387. 

External links

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The History of Cardenio is a lost play, known to have been performed by the King's Men, a London theatre company, in 1613. It was attributed to William Shakespeare and John Fletcher in 1653 in a Stationers' Register entry by the bookseller Humphrey Moseley, who was known to have falsely used Shakespeare's name in other such entries and, indeed, in another part of the same entry.

The content of the play is not known, but it is likely based on incidents involving the character Cardenio in Don Quixote, of which the 1612 translation by Thomas Shelton would have been available to the authors. Fletcher based several of his later plays on the work of Miguel de Cervantes.

Contents

Lewis Theobald and Double Falshood

In 1727, Lewis Theobald claimed to have obtained three Restoration-era manuscripts of an unnamed play by Shakespeare, which he edited, "improved", and released under the name Double Falshood, or the Distrest Lovers. It has been suggested that Theobald was unable to publish the original script, because of Jacob Tonson's exclusive copyright on Shakespeare's plays. But that contention does not hold up, as the Tonson copyright applied only to the plays he had already published, not to any newly discovered play by Shakespeare; and Theobald edited an edition of the complete works for Tonson, whose commercial interests would have been substantially bettered if he had been able to advertise the edition as containing a hitherto "lost" play. (A prior instance of commercially "enhancing" an edition of Shakespeare's plays by adding new ones was the second reprint of the Third Folio of 1664, which added seven plays, only one of which (Pericles) has been accepted as at least partly by Shakespeare.)

The Double Falshood has the plot of the "Cardenio" episode in Don Quixote, and present scholarly opinion is that Theobald may indeed have used the lost Cardenio as his original, but he might have suspected that the work was wholly or partly by John Fletcher, even though he was presumably ignorant of the co-authorship attribution in Moseley's Stationers' Registry entry.[1]

The fate of Theobald's three alleged manuscripts is unknown. The very existence of three genuine manuscripts of that age is problematical, and Theobald was said to have invited interested persons to view the alleged manuscript, but he then avoided actually displaying them. These facts have led many scholars to conclude that Theobald's play was a hoax written by himself. However, more recent stylometric analysis leads to the conclusion that Double Falsehood was based on one or more manuscripts written in part by Fletcher and in part by another playwright. The open question is whether that second playwright was Shakespeare. The text contains no more than two or three passages which appear good enough to be even tentatively attributed to the Bard, but it is possible that Theobald so heavily edited the text that Shakespeare's style was entirely submerged. In the late period represented by Shakepeare's known collaborations with Fletcher in Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen his style had become so involved that it is difficult for an auditor or even a reader to catch the meanings of many passages on a quick hearing or a first read, so Theobald might have found it necessary to alter the text in a way that made Shakespeare's voice unrecognizable.

Charles Hamilton and The Second Maiden's Tragedy

In 1990, Charles Hamilton, a handwriting expert, after seeing a 1611 manuscript known as The Second Maiden's Tragedy, usually attributed to Thomas Middleton, identified it as a text of the missing Cardenio in which the characters' names had been changed. This attribution is not generally accepted by experts on Shakespeare.[2] In fact, the principal plot in this play bears no resemblance to the Cardenio tale in Don Quixote; but the subplot dramatizes another tale interpolated in the Cardenio episode of Don Quixote (Chs. XXXIII-XXXV) and it employs some of the imagery from that novella. The play is a gory Senecan tragedy. In Act III the heroine happily commits suicide to prevent her abduction, and her lover gleefully murders a minor character. Then, in V.i, there are five killings within the space of twenty-five lines.

production of The Second Maiden's Tragedy as Cardenio.]]

Several theatre companies have capitalized on Hamilton's attribution by performing The Second Maiden's Tragedy under the name of Shakespeare's Cardenio, ignoring its disputed status. For instance, a production at Oxford's Burton Taylor Theatre in March, 2004, claimed to have been the first performance of the play in England since its putative recovery (although a successful amateur production had premiered at Essex University's Lakeside Theatre on October 15, 1998). This production was a huge commercial and critical success and the company behind it were offered a large sum (which they turned down) to transfer the production to London's West End. A laboratory performance of the play was given on March 17, 1996, at the Linhart Theatre in New York. Hamilton (who was 82 years old at the time) made a presentation after the performance in which he asserted (contrary to his book) that he did not ascribe this play to Shakespeare based on paleographic evidence, but, rather, because he regarded it as a "Romance", which Shakespeare had turned to at the end of his career. A full production of the play was mounted at the Next Theatre in Evanston Illinois in 1998. The production noted the contested authorship and was critically well received.

The most prominent American staging of The Second Maiden's Tragedy as Cardenio to date — the acclaimed 2002 Los Angeles production starring film and television actors Megan Henning and Travis Schuldt — was advertised as "Shakespeare's" play, although the programme note by director James Kerwin acknowledged — and discussed in detail — the play's controversial history.[3]

Cardenio in popular culture

"The History of Cardenio" has featured as a plot element in literary mystery novels such as"Lost in a Good Book," the second book in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde (Penguin: 2004), and "The Shakespeare Secret"/"Interred with Their Bones" by Jennifer Lee Carrell (Dutton Adult: 2007).

In their BBC radio show on Shakespeare's histories, the Reduced Shakespeare Company suggests that Cardenio is a "children's play about the legend of King Arthur", and performs a short sketch based on this idea. (RSC Radio Show: The Histories, 1994)Template:Fact

Shakespeare Scholar Stephen Greenblatt and playwright Charles L. Mee collaborated on a contemporary reimagining of Cardenio. This production, directed by Les Waters, premiered at the American Repertory Theater on May 8, 2008.

A stolen copy of a manuscript of Cardenio appears in Trace Memory by David Llewellyn in the possession of ex-time traveler Captain Jack Harkness. Trace Memory is a novel written for the BBC series Torchwood, a spin off of Doctor Who (a science fiction drama which, in The Shakespeare Code, contained Love's Labours Won, Shakespeare's other lost play).[4]

A version of "Cardenio" based on Theobald's "Double Falsehood"[2], performed by The Alternative Cambridge Theatre [3], and directed by Laura Hounsom, is to tour the South West of England before an appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2009. [4]. The text has been re-worked by Bernard Richards, Fellow Emeritus, Brasenose College[5], Oxford.

External links

References

  1. For a thorough discussion of scholarship to date see G.H.Metz, Sources of Four Plays Ascribed to Shakespeare 257-83 U.Mo.Press 1989
  2. Shaksper
  3. [1]
  4. Llewellyn, David (2008). Trace Memory. BBC Books. ISBN 9781846074387. 


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Classis: Malacostraca
Subclassis: Eumalacostraca
Superordo: Peracarida
Ordo: Amphipoda
Subordo: Gammaridea
Superfamilia: Gammaroidea
Familia: Cardenioidae
Genus: Cardenio
Species: C. paurodactylus


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