Probably the greatest news for the scholarly world would be the discovery of Shakespeare's manuscripts. With little chance of that, we can at least feel rewarded with new knowledge about his artistry. One of the most tantalizing problems in recent years has involved the apocryphal plays. It is generally agreed that the best of the lot is the domestic tragedy Arden of Feversham. (I retain the original old spelling, F-e-v-e-r rather than F-a-v-e-r, on the grounds that the literary spelling is of greater substantive worth than the more common spelling of the town. Also there is wordplay on "a great fever" and "feare" in scene x [11.54-56] that might otherwise be lost.) Now, the new edition of the play for the Revels series by M.L. Wine strongly endorses the view that .Shakespeare was the author, a revelation that made front-page news in The Shakespeare Newsletter a few years ago. Although the scholarly debate on the authorship question can hardly be scotched, Wine's thorough analysis deserves a hearing in the light of some new evidence and other scholarly opinions. I doubt that it provides a definitive answer yet. In this paper I shall emphasize only one aspect of the complicated authorship question, namely the often-acclaimed connection between Arden and Macbeth. Are there indeed foreshadowings of Macbeth in Arden? If so, do they suggest that Shakespeare had at least a hand in the earlier play? Or do they imply only that he may have acted in it? (In correspondence with me, Kenneth Muir opts for the latter view.)



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