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‘New’ Shakespearean poem released

books Updated: Jun 07, 2012 17:23 IST
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An eighteen-line poem believed to have been written by eternal dramatist William Shakespeare has been released and attributed to him for the first time.

The poem called ‘To the Queen by the Players’ addressing Elizabeth I is said to have been an epilogue for a Royal command performance of ‘As You Like It’ given at court on Shrove Tuesday, in February 1599.

The writing that was found 30 years ago in the collection of Elizabethan era works. The poem’s authenticity has been disputed ever since its discovery.

But, Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate, of the University of Warwick, said that the poem is definitely the work of the literary icon and has decided to include it in the latest edition of the writer's collected works.

"Some people believe it is by Shakespeare, some people do not. I am now 99 per cent certain it was written by Shakespeare," Daily Mail quoted Bates, as saying.

Bates said that it is not known for which play the poem was written, though it is true that the manuscript was performed at court during the specified time.

"We know from records that Shakespeare's company played at court on the day the manuscript refers to, but unfortunately we don't know which play they performed," he added.

Bates also said that it was a practice that when a play was being performed in court, an epilogue and a prologue for the drama were written exclusively for the occasion

"When plays were put on at court, it was a requirement that there should be a prologue and an epilogue tailor-made for the occasion," he added.

The expert also said that Shakespeare might have written the lines in a hurry and chucked them later and by chance the poem has survived.

"Shakespeare was probably in the habit of dashing some lines down on the back of an envelope and then chucking them away. By chance, this one example has survived," he said.