“A 16th-century manuscript hidden in the depths of the British Library and decoded using plagiarism software has been pinpointed as a previously unknown source for Shakespeare’s plays.
“A Brief Discourse of Rebellion & Rebels by George North, a minor figure in Queen Elizabeth’s court, is, according to its finders and decoders, the source of more than 20 monologues and passages by the Bard.
“They claim that it inspired Richard III’s villainous determination, the character of King Lear’s Fool, the treatment of Jack Cade and the breeds of dog Macbeth compares to men.”
Well, yes, we’ve known for some time that the Bard borrowed from the work of other people, but this is apparently a new discovery. The comparison of North’s work and the opening soliloquy of Richard III is pretty convincing.
- A Brief Discourse of Rebellion
To view our own proportion in a glass, whose form and feature, if we find fair and worthy, to frame our affections accordingly, if otherwise she have by skill or will deformed our outward appearance and left us odible to the eye of the world…
- Opening soliloquy in Richard III
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks/ . . . I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion/ Cheated of feature by dissembling Nature…