This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com
As it turns out, Shakespeare had some helps with several of his plays.
According to Big Data, Christopher Marlowe co-wrote three of Shakespeare’s works and will now be credited as such. Gary Taylor, one of the senior editors of the project, told Reuters, “Shakespeare has entered the world of Big Data and there are certain questions that we are now able to answer more confidently that people have been asking for a very long time.”
This settles part of a centuries-long debate over whether Shakespeare really authored his plays. Taylor, also a professor at Florida State University, said that academics knew that the playwright co-wrote on at least some of his works.
Given this development, the Oxford University Press will add Marlowe as a co-writer to the Henry VI plays — parts 1, 2, and 3.
The project involved 23 international scholars. They all analyzed Marlowe’s work; this included his repeated phrases and idiosyncrasies. They did the same with other contemporary writers of Shakespeare’s time.
Some academics, however, don’t believe that Marlowe was a co-writer. “I believe Shakespeare collaborated with all kinds of people … but I would be very surprised if Marlowe was one of them,” Carol Rutter told BBC News. Rutter is a professor of Shakespeare and performance studies at the University of Warwick.
She said, however, that disagreeing adds to the ongoing discourse of the worse. “We have really stopped thinking about the richness of the writing experience in the early modern theatre,” she said, “and by crediting Marlowe, people like Gary Taylor are making us attend to that.”
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