University of London Research Software Proves Shakespeare Worked With Thomas Kyd On Play

Posted Oct 14, 2009

It has been heavily debated whether Shakespeare had a ghostwriter in some cases. But now researchers at the University of London can verify that they have found one instance where Shakespeare did get some help. The University of London used software that can detect plagiarism. In this case they found that Shakespeare received help from Thomas Kyd. One play that Shakespeare specifically received help with was The Reign of King Edward III.

The software used is called Pl@giarism. Pl@giarism was made for catching students that cheat. Sir Brian Vickers was the professor behind the Shakespeare project. Vickers compared this The King Edward play to other writing pieces from the same time period. The King Edward play matched Kyd’s style of writing.

According to The Times UK:

The Shakespeare matches came from four scenes, about 40 per cent of the play. The remaining scenes had about 200 matches with works by Kyd, best known for The Spanish Tragedy, a play known to have influenced Shakespeare, indicating that he wrote the other 60 per cent of the play.

I’d like to run this software on Kaavya Viswanathan’s How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life. I think it’d be entertaining.