Shakespeare in collaboration

13 September 2022 - 14:00

Queen's Building, Lecture Theatre 1.12, De Montfort University

Event duration: 60 minutes 


We often romanticise Shakespeare as a solitary genius, writing alone by quill and candle light. However, new research is beginning to uncover how he was far more collaborative than once thought. 

The particular ways that authors use the commonest words – such as 'the', ‘and’ and ‘of’ – are seldom noticed by readers or playgoers, but can give them a distinctive ‘language fingerprint’. Using computer models that identify these ‘function words’ in classic texts can show how authors influenced and collaborated on each other’s work. 

Find out how, using this process, Gabriel Egan from De Montfort University has discovered that the distinct ‘fingerprint’ of many other authors exist in the works of Shakespeare, and his in theirs.