*Curtsies* Hi Duke, I just read an article about Marlowe being credited as one of Shakespeare's 'co-authors' on the Henry VI plays and how there is strong evidence that Shakespeare's collaborative work was far more extensive than previously thought. I was wondering whether you had any thoughts you'd be willing to share? Thanks Duke!
*Curtsies* Shakespeare’s work–like the work of almost all early modern dramatists–was often collaborative. There are traces of Middleton in Macbeth, George Wilkins in Pericles, and everybody and their mother in the HVI cycle. But the thing is, while we have strong evidence for a lot of this, there’s no way to know for sure. Authorship is a fascinating question, but unfortunately there aren’t a whole lot of definitive answers. The Marlowe thing has come up recently because OUP decided to credit both authors in their newest printing of the texts, but again, there’s no truly definitive proof. Linguistic analysis is all we really have, and that’s tricky because we know that playwrights often imitated or paraphrased or even poked fun at each other. So how do we know that’s actually Marlwoe’s hand in Henry VI and not just Shakespeare trying to write like Marlowe, for whatever reason? It’s nebulous, and not as groundbreaking as they’re making it seem.