William Green

William Green

Shakespeare Institute
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Thomas Middleton and the Adaptation of Shakespeare: Late Jacobean Politics in Print and Performance, 1616-1623
Supervisor:Prof. John Jowett and Dr. Will Sharpe
PhD Shakespeare Studies


Since the mid nineteenth century, various critics have investigated the likelihood that the texts of many of Shakespeare's plays, as published in the First Folio of 1623, may exist only in the form of adaptations created by Shakespeare's younger contemporary Thomas Middleton in the years immediately following the original author's death in 1616. Originally thought to be confined to the study of just two plays - Macbeth and Measure for Measure - recent years have heralded a veritable surge in scholarly interest in this hypothesis, and Middleton has since been suggested to have also given similar treatment to All's Well That Ends Well, Titus Andronicus, and possibly others. My thesis will be the first study to focus exclusively on Middleton's role as an adapter of Shakespeare, considering what this possibility means for our present-day understanding of Shakespeare's cultural standing among readers in late Jacobean England, and how these texts can inform us about Middleton's own artistry as a dramatist, whose penchant for the creation of politically pointed, often caustically satirical works seemingly stands at odds with the social, political, and religious ambiguity which has so often been associated with Shakespeare's plays.