17 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shakespeare

9. There are no original manuscripts of Shakespeare’s plays available

What I am about to tell you, might make you lose faith in literature. There is no agreement of scholars about ‘original’ manuscripts of Shakespeare. Shakespeare never created copies of his work. He only wrote down the lines of particular actors in the play and hand it to them. Each actor knew his part but there was no master copy. While it sounds strange but bear in mind that it was before the time of photocopiers. Each word had to be written carefully and was indeed a daunting task.


PHOTO: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The more likely theory is that Shakespeare intentionally didn’t create master copies of his work. In order to protect them from being plagiarized. Playwrights in the 16th century were full of plagiarism, they would copy each other’s works and pass them as their own. The “complete” manuscripts come from actors who got together after the play and wrote out their copies into one entirety.


PHOTO: Shakespearedocumented

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