Introduction

Shakespeare and 'the Personal Story'

in Critical Survey

"It seems to be a kind of respect due to the memory of excellent men, especially of those whom their wit and learning have made famous, to deliver some account of themselves, as well as their works, to Posterity. For this reason, how fond do we see some people of discovering any little personal story of the great men of Antiquity, their families, the common accidents of their lives, and even their shape, make, and features have been the subject of critical enquiries. How trifling soever this Curiosity may seem to be, it is certainly very natural; and we are hardly satisfy’d with an account of any remarkable person, ‘till we have heard him describ’d even to the very cloaths he wears." (Nicholas Rowe, 1709)

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