Rare Internal Tetragrams between ‘Shakespeare’ (Scenes 4-9) and ‘Non-Shakespeare’ Scenes in Arden of Faversham

August 27, 2015

© Darren Freebury-Jones 2015

This data has been collected for the purpose of my thesis, ‘Kyd and Shakespeare: Authorship, Influence, and Collaboration’.


To let thee know I am no coward I


To let thee know all that I haue contriued


If I, the next time that I meet the hind

If I, the next time that I meet the slave


The next time that I take thee neare my house


But now I am going to see what floode it is


Now I am going to London vpon hope

And now I am going to fling them in the Temes


But braul not when I am gone in any case,

But sirs be sure to speede him, when he comes


Nay sirs, touch not his man in any case,

But stand close, and take you fittest standing


Come M. Francklin let vs go on softly

Come M. Francklin, let vs go to bed


Now M. Francklin let vs go walke in Paules


Pardon me M. Arden I can no more


Pardon me M. Arden, Ile away


What M. Arden, you are well met,

I haue longd this fortnights day to speake with you


Mistres Arden you are well met,

I am sorry that your husband is from home


Come M. Arden let vs be going


Come let vs be going, and wele bate at Rochester


One comment

  1. I’m very interested in Shakespeare’s early plays and their authorship too, and find this data very enticing. I also have an interest in the many anonymous plays of this era and whether it is possible that Shakespeare had a hand in other people’s scripts, as well as they in his.

    A brief look at these phrases in Shakespeare offers little. The only phrase found in the First Folio is “I fell asleep”, in 1 Henry IV, which might suggest that these phrases, and hence this passage, is not by Shakespeare. On the other hand, if we look at the phrase “Pardon me, [X]”, where X is either a named individual or the title or status of an individual (‘my lord’, ‘madam’, etc.) the statistics are more interesting and quite revealing.


    1590-92 9 7 1.3

    1593-8 6 10 0.6

    1599-1605 9 9 1.0

    1606-13 0 9 0.0

    TOTAL 24 37 0.65

    The data suggests that this phrase from Arden of Faversham is relatively prominent in early Shakespeare, with the highest mean found in the first 7 plays, whilst it doesn’t occur at all in the last 9 plays.

    There is the possibility that this phrase was used widely in the early 1590s, and became unfashionable in the mid1600s, and that the Shakespeare data captures this general trend.

    On the other hand, such significant deviations from the overall mean, in both directions, could suggest significant involvement of different hands in early Shakespeare, compared to later, if this pattern were repeated on a regular basis. It might also lead to the identification of Shakespearian lexical signatures in parts of anonymous plays from the 1590-2 period, in those instances where such words and phrases have relatively high counts in Shakespeare too.

    Of course, this approach makes one very large assumption, namely that Shakespeare actually wrote all the words found in the First Folio, whereas there is increasing evidence of other hands in parts of Shakespeare. Nevertheless, there does seem to be a pattern here, and a more thorough comparison of this passage from Arden of Faversham to the First Folio than I have carried out may add to the impression that, textually speaking, Shakespeare’s lexical traces may be discernible in any number of other places, alongside those where we would normally expect to find him!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Images of Matter

"Words are but the images of matter" --- Francis Bacon | Exploring the materiality of language in the early modern world and beyond

Will Pooley



research education, academic writing, public engagement, funding, other eccentricities.

READ Research English At Durham

Books and literature articles, news and events, from the UK's top Department of English Studies at Durham University

Nature Writing in Wales

A Creative & Critical Writing PhD Sketchbook

Dr Charlotte Mathieson

Website of Dr Charlotte Mathieson

Shakespeare Institute Library

Info on Shakespeare, Renaissance literature and other useful library and research stuff.


Group for Early Modern Studies


Anne Sophie Refskou

We Are Cardiff

A blog about Cardiff, its people, and the alternative arts and cultural scene!


Cities. Culture. Regeneration. PhD Musings.

Lets pay more tax

Elspeth Jajdelska

Dr Johann Gregory

An Early Career Academic with special expertise in English Literature & emerging expertise in Creative Economy

Dr Alun Withey

Welcome to my blog! I am an academic historian of medicine and the body, and 2014 AHRC/BBC 'New Generation Thinker'. Please enjoy and let me know what you think.

Thinking in Arden

Blog posts, mainly Shakespearean

%d bloggers like this: