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The Quest for CardenioShakespeare, Fletcher, Cervantes, and the Lost Play$
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David Carnegie and Gary Taylor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641819

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641819.001.0001

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Reimagining Cardenio

Reimagining Cardenio

(p.344) 20 Reimagining Cardenio
The Quest for Cardenio

Bernard Richards

Oxford University Press

This chapter is an account by Bernard Richards of the writing of his acting version of Cardenio, which was put on at Queens’ College, Cambridge, various theatres in Devon, and the Edinburgh Festival in 2009. It argues that Lewis Theobald’s Double Falsehood is inadequate as a dramatic text, since it seems to be missing some crucial scenes. Richards provides his rationale for six new scenes he wrote to fill out the action. These scenes were partly based on the relevant chapters in Cervantes’s Don Quixote, although Richards, like Shakespeare and other Jacobean dramatists, did not feel compelled strictly to adhere to the source. Richards explains why he dropped a song from the Theobald version and substituted one by Robert Johnson that was probably used in the original 1613 production of Cardenio. The chapter concludes that the play was probably not among Shakespeare’s best, but must have been an adequate evening’s entertainment.

Keywords:   Cardenio, Shakespeare, Fletcher, Edinburgh Festival 2009, Double Falsehood, Don Quixote, Gary Taylor, Robert Johnson, adaptation, Bernard Richards

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