How to Erase Shakespeare: The Troubling History of "Pericles"
Keywords:Shakespeare, Pericles, English Renaissance, English literature
Why do we know Shakespeare plays like Romeo and Juliet, but not Pericles? This article explores the reasons why the popular Shakespeare play Pericles was targeted and erased by editors throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. From marketing strategies to concern for Shakespeare’s reputation, I contend that the play was intentionally discarded by those who owned the copyright. This paper focuses on the tough and competitive printing market after Shakespeare’s death in 1616. I explore how Shakespeare’s business partners, Henry Condell and John Heminge, attempted to find literary success in 1623 by erasing what they thought was Shakespeare’s failure: Pericles.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Tyler Abbate
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