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Re-using Shakespeare

A theme well-known by Shakespearean scholars is that none of his plays are “original” in that the whole piece was entirely born from his imagination. His plots were frequently a combination of various sources and elements. Indeed, they were reused pieces. Quite appropriately, a number of images from gift books are repurposed themselves – some to illustrate other scenes, poems by other authors and frontispieces for completely different books having nothing to do with Shakespeare. The examples here show examples of such plates – used to illustrate Shakespeare’s texts in addition to others.

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