When Shakespeare and Fletcher wrote The Two Noble Kinsmen and the sources they used.

An ideal oil on canvas portrait of William Shakespeare from 1896 by George Henry Hall.


The Two Noble Kinsmen is one of the latest of Shakespeare's plays, written in collaboration with John Fletcher. Likely written around 1613-14, the play is indirectly referenced in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair (performed in October 1614) and makes reference to the Globe's fire in the Prologue which occurred in June of 1613. It wasn't printed in the First Folio of 1623, possibly due to it being a collaboration, but was entered into the Stationer's Register and published as a Quarto in 1634.


As specifically referred to in the play's Prologue, The Two Noble Kinsmen is based on Chaucer's 'Knight's Tale'. The sub-plot of the Jailer's Daughter isn't within the Chaucer tale, but is has many similarities to the Ophelia story within Hamlet. The Morris dance scene within the play seems to be based on Francis Beaumont's Masque of the Inner Temple and Gray's Inn, written in 1613.

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