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Shakespeare's Essays – Sampling Montaigne from Hamlet to The Tempest - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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Shakespeare's Essays: Sampling Montaigne from Hamlet to The Tempest

Peter G. Platt


This revisionist study argues that the Essais of Montaigne—made available to Shakespeare and the English-reading world via John Florio’s translated Essayes in 1603—were a crucial factor in the composition of later Shakespearean drama. While the change in monarchy, the revived interest in judicial rhetoric, and the alterations in Shakespeare’s acting company undoubtedly helped shape plays such as Measure for Measure, King Lear, and The Tempest, this book contends that Shakespeare’s reading of Montaigne is an under-recognized driving force. Both authors quest for approaches to self, knowledge, a ... More

Keywords: William Shakespeare, Michel de Montaigne, skepticism, selfhood, sources for Shakespeare, essays, late Shakespearean drama

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9781474463409
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474463409.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Peter G. Platt, author
Barnard College