Even Shakespeare can’t get away with cheating

A British professor, (Sir!) Brian Vickers, has determined that the previously unattributed play The Reign of Edward III was probably written by Shakespeare (and some other guy). How does he know? He used that plagiarism software that kept you honest students from cheating in college:

With a program called Pl@giarism, Vickers detected 200 strings of three or more words in Edward III that matched phrases in Shakespeare’s other works. Usually, works by two different authors will only have about 20 matching strings….Among Shakespeare’s recycled bits of phrases: “come in person hither,” “pale queene of night,” “thou art thy selfe,” “author of my blood” and even the whole phrase “lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.”

The other guy? Thomas Kyd, who Vickers said deserves top billing for having written about 60% of the play. More details here.

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