Reading Robert Greene : Recovering Shakespeare’s Rival book cover
1st Edition

Reading Robert Greene
Recovering Shakespeare’s Rival

ISBN 9781032154060
Published June 16, 2022 by Routledge
228 Pages

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Book Description

Robert Greene holds a significant place in our understanding of Elizabethan literature. This book offers the most rigorous attempt yet undertaken to determine the scope of the playwright’s canon through analyses of Greene’s verse style, vocabulary, rhyming habits, and the dramatist’s phraseology in his attested plays and in comparison to four plays that have long been on the margins of Greene’s corpus: Locrine, Selimus, George a Greene, and A Knack to Know a Knave. The book defines the ranges for Greene’s stylistic habits for the very first time and proceeds to identify parallels of thought, language, and overall dramaturgy that reveal a single author’s creative consciousness. This volume also casts light on Greene as a more collaborative dramatist than has hitherto been acknowledged. Through emphasizing the immediate surroundings in which Greene was writing – the flourishing of popular theatres in two compact areas of London, in which each theatre company and their dra-matists kept a close eye on what their competitors were producing – Greene emerges as an influential playwright, whose restored oeuvre enables us to establish new ways in which his dramatic methods impacted other writers of the period, including Shakespeare.

Table of Contents


1. Situating Greene

2. Defining Greene

3. Greene’s Acknowledged Plays

3.1. Alphonsus, King of Aragon (1587)

3.2. Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (1589)

3.3. James IV (1590)

3.4. Orlando Furioso (1591)

4. Collaborating with Greene

4.1. A Looking-Glass for London and England (1589)

4.2. John of Bordeaux (1591)

5. Greene’s Marginal Plays

5.1. Locrine (1591)

5.2. Selimus (1591)

5.3. George a Greene (1591)

5.4. A Knack to Know a Knave (1592)

6. Comparing Greene’s Marginal Plays

7. Recovering Greene

Works Cited

Appendix A: Rhyme combinations

Appendix B: Unique n-gram figures

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Darren Freebury-Jones is Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. His 2016 doctoral thesis at Cardiff University examined Thomas Kyd’s influence on Shakespeare’s early work; he is the Associate Editor for the first edition of Kyd’s collected works since 1901. He has also undertaken canon-defining studies for editions of the works of John Marston and Thomas Dekker. His research discoveries can be found in a range of journals and books and have featured in several national newspapers.