Author: Jill Kimball

COLORADO PUBLIC RADIO: News That Shakespeare Co-Authored His ‘Henry VI’ Trilogy Doesn’t Ruffle Colorado Festival’s Feathers

Four hundred years after his death, William Shakespeare still makes headlines with Henry VI. But this time, he’s sharing them.

Last week, Oxford University Press announced it would credit Christopher Marlowe as co-author on Shakespeare’s “ Henry IV ” trilogy. Marlowe, a 16th Century British poet and playwright, had a fine reputation in his own right.

The authorship on several Shakespeare works has long been up for scholarly debate, but this will be the first time a large publishing company will publish a Shakespeare-Marlowe byline on the “Henry VI” plays. The “New Oxford Shakespeare,” a collection of all of the Bard’s known works that’s out next month, comes after further analysis of both new and old research by scholars.

But the jury is still out for some, including Amanda Giguere. She’s the director of outreach with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder, one of the oldest Shakespeare festivals in the country.

“My first thought is that it’s not a definitive study,” says Giguere. “Oxford crediting Marlowe as the co-writer, doesn’t necessarily mean that yes, in fact Shakespeare and Marlowe put their heads together and both intentionally co-wrote these plays.”

She’s not alone. A professor of Shakespeare and performance studies at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom told BBC News, “I don’t think [Oxford University Press] putting their brand mark on an attribution settles the issue for most people.

But Giguere says it’s exciting that scholars continue to dig into this history and the new findings shed light on theater’s collaborative nature.

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