Edward III (play)

The Raigne of King Edward the Third, commonly shortened to Edward III, is an Elizabethan play printed anonymously in 1596, and probably partly written by William Shakespeare. It began to be included in publications of the complete works of Shakespeare only in the late 1990s.[1] Scholars who have supported this attribution include Jonathan Bate, Edward Capell, Eliot Slater,[2] Eric Sams,[3] Giorgio Melchiori,[4] and Brian Vickers.[4] The play's co-author remains the subject of debate: suggestions have included Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, Michael Drayton, Thomas Nashe, and George Peele.

Edward III
Title page of the first quarto (1596)
Written bypossibly: William Shakespeare, Thomas Kyd
Date premieredc.‚ÄČ1592
Original languageEnglish
SubjectKing Edward III experiences personal and military struggles
Genrehistory play
SettingFourteenth century: England and France

The play contains several gibes at Scotland and the Scottish people, which has led some critics to think that it is the work that incited George Nicholson, Queen Elizabeth's agent in Edinburgh, to protest against the portrayal of Scots on the London stage in a 1598 letter to William Cecil, Lord Burghley. This could explain why the play was not included in the First Folio of Shakespeare's works, which was published after the Scottish King James had succeeded to the English throne in 1603.

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