Shakespeare's debt to classical antiquity

Hingley, George Clement (1912). Shakespeare's debt to classical antiquity. University of Birmingham. M.A.

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It is the purpose of this thesis to try and prove three facts:- (1) that Shakespeare was directly acquainted with the Latin language.
(2) that he had an indirect knowledge of that language, gained by him through the medium of translations which existed in his time.
(3) that, although he did not know Greek in the original, he had nevertheless read several of the
Greek classics in Latin translations.
We will attempt to prove Shakespeare' s direct knowledge of the Latin language by (a) pointing out several Latin quotations in his plays.
(b) noting words of a distinctly classical origin, which, not having been used by any writer prior to Shakespeare and having been coined by him for his own use, must prove his knowledge of Latin.
(c) adducing certain passages in his plays, which are so similar to those used by Latin authors that they appear to be taken not from any translations of those authors, but from the originals themselves.
(d) showing Shakespeare's knowledge of Latin works, of which no translation existed in his time.
We will endeavour to establish the truth of Shakespeare's indirect acquaintance with Latin by (1) enumerating several passages which do not appear to be taken from Latin originals, but from translations of those originals existing in Shakespeare 's time (2) noting several instances of Shakespeare's knowledge of classical history and mythology and showing his general acquaintance with classical antiquity.
Lastly we will attempt to verify the third fact by showing that while Shakespeare did not learn Greek at school, there are nevertheless in his plays several distinct reminiscences (and in his Roman plays almost translations) of Greek writers whom he must have read through the medium of translations.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.A.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.A.
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
School or Department: School of Classics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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