The Birth of Hercules (1606)

Original id: 
Start date: 
1 January 1606
End date: 
31 December 1606
Degree of relationship to ancient play: 
Production notes: 
Extant: MS (London: British Library, Add. MS 28722); scribal copy with authorial corrections and some theatrical annotation in another hand. Best guess for date is 1606, limits: 1600-1610. Best guess of place of performance is University of Cambridge, UK. Text includes directions to the actors in Latin, but directions in English for props to be ready, suggesting that the stage hands may not have been scholars. (Martin Wiggins and Catherine Richardson (eds), British Drama 1533–1642: A Catalogue, Vol. 5: 1603–1608; entry 1494). According to L.R. Shero, ‘Alcmena and Amphitryon in Ancient and Modern Drama’, TAPA 87 (1956), 192-238, at p.214, this work dates from ‘shortly before 1610’. R.A. Foakes in the Introduction to the Arden ed. of The Comedy of Errors p.lii says ‘?c.1600’ and takes for granted that it is later than Shakespeare’s play. R. Warwick Bond (The Malone Society Reprints, 1911, p.x): 'The Birth of Hercules is a pretty close adaptation, or even translation, of the Amphitruo of Plautus, increased in bulk nearly one third by the addition of the second servant, Dromio, and by some development of the bare part assigned to Thessala in the original: additions probably suggested by the Comedy of Errors.'
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The Birth of Hercules (1606), accessed at <18 May 2024>