Health Editor’s Note: You got to love AI, right?…..Carol
Artificial Intelligence Reveals Second Playwright’s Contributions to Shakespeare’s ‘Henry VIII’
by Theresa Machemer/Smithsonian.com
In the summer of 1613, an early performance of William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII—then titled All is True—found the Globe Theater packed with spectators. Cannon fire sounded as the play’s eponymous monarch walked onstage toward the end of the first act, captivating audience members to such an extent that they failed to notice a fiery prop landing on the theater’s thatched roof. Within an hour, the Globe had been reduced to ash.
New research suggests Shakespeare didn’t pen the history play-turned-tragedy by himself. Since literary analyst James Spedding first raised the possibility in 1850, scholars have speculated that Henry VIII was actually a collaboration between the Bard and John Fletcher, who succeeded Shakespeare as house playwright of the King’s Men acting company. Now, an algorithm created by Petr Plecháč of Prague’s Czech Academy of Sciences has revealed that the inflammatory cannon scene—and roughly half of the play—were likely written by Fletcher. Plecháč’s findings are published in the pre-print server arXiv.
” The scenes that are written by Fletcher are creaky,” Grace Ioppolo, a Shakespearean scholar at the University of Reading, told BBC News’ Tim Masters in 2015, when the rebuilt Globe Theater was preparing to host the play once again.