This page will enable members to have access to many of the texts that Shakespeare would have known and whose influence can be detected in his plays and poems. See also the material collected under 'Resources' on the 'More' tab above.
All of the texts given below are in the public domain and may be read and copied without infringing copyright.
Below is a link to The Holinshed Projectwhich has both the 1577 and 1587 editions of Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles which was the principal source for most of Shakespeare's English history plays: http://www.english.ox.ac.uk/holinshed/index.php .
Othello: Below is J.E. Taylor's translation (1855) of the story in
Giraldi Cinthio's Hecatommithi (pub. 1565) which was Shakespeare's principal source for Othello:
Below is a link to an article printed Stratford Herald (14.10.2010) focusing on Shakespeare's principal source for The Tempest. Underneath is the frontispiece for Rowe's edition of Shakespeare's plays (1709): [N.B. When the article has loaded you may need to enlarge it by left clicking when the cursor is over the image.]
Arthur Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses (1567)
The web address below will take you to a page which gives Golding's summary of each of the 15 books together with various Dedications and Epistles. At the bottom of the page you will find links to each of the books. Golding's text is given in full.
Geffrey Whitney's Choice of Emblemes (Leiden: Christopher Plantin, 1586)
The web address below gives access to some 230 emblems each of which can be viewed separately by left clicking the appropriate link. The scope and limitations of this site are also given. http://www.mun.ca/alciato/wcomm.html . Whitney's Emblems and several other emblem collections - including George Wither's - can be accessed via the following address: http://emblem.libraries.psu.edu/catalog.htm . Access to these is courtesy of Pennsylvania State University Libraries Rare Books Room.
Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (first published 1621)
The link below will take you to the Contents page of an eText of the Anatomy from the University of Adelaide. Each section and/or chapter can be viewed by left clicking the appropriate link. The scope and limitations of the eText are described at the top and bottom of this Contents page. Clearly the Anatomy was not published until after Shakespeare's death - and therefore not exactly a 'source' - but the sentiments to which the book gives expression were commonplace during Shakespeare's lifetime and can be traced in characters such as Jacques in AYLI. http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/burton/robert/melancholy/index.html .
Below you can listen to the Radio4 discussion programme on The Anatomy of Melancholy broadcast in the In Our Time series on 12th May, 2011. The programme lasts 43 minutes and is best experienced through headphones.