Shakespearean Idiosyncrasies In Hamliton’s Cardenio

shakespeare The Scholar Charles Hamilton has set out to be a maverick in that he is the only scholar to aver that the untitled 1611 manuscript known today as “The Second Maiden’s Tragedy” is in fact the lost Cardenio. I’d like to point out four lines in the text that I feel strengthen this claim:

“Tis of much worth when with this key the prisoner can slip forth.”  Cardenio 3.1

“From this time forth my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth.” Hamlet 4.4

“The painful warrior famoused for worth, after a thousand victories once foiled, is from the book of honor razed forth, and all the rest forgot for which he toiled.”  Sonnet 25

“The unbounded kingdom of the mind is as unlimitable as heaven.”  Cardenio 1.2

” O god I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a King of infinite space…” Hamlet 2.2. (The exact same sense as above.)

“What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties.”  Hamlet 2.2

“Like an old man, thou can’st do nothing.”  Caredenio 1.1

“Not in deed, madam, for I can do nothing.” Antony and Cleopatra 1.5

“I need no spur, my lord; honor pricks me.” Cardenio 1.1

“Well, ’tis no matter, honor pricks me on.” Henry IV, Part 1 5.1

These are just a few idiosyncratic similarities I found skimming the text at around 10 o’clock at night. I think these examples are no coincidence and need to start some reconsideration in the scholarship community as to opening up the discussion as to including this play in Shakespeare’s canon.




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