William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
The Dramatic Works and Poems of William Shakespeare
New York: Harper & Brothers, No. 82 Cliff-Street, 1837
Perhaps one of the greatest influences on Melville, not otherwise mentioned in this exhibit, were the works of Shakespeare. In an August 1850 Literary World article Melville praised Shakespeare when he wrote: “Those occasional flashings-forth of the intuitive Truth in (Shakespeare); those short, quick probings at the very axis of reality:—these are the things that make Shakespeare, Shakespeare."
This 19th century Shakespeare edition is representative of Melville’s time. It should be mentioned, however, that the Department of Archive and Special Collections’ holdings include all four of the 17th century Shakespeare folio editions, beginning with the renowned 1623 First Folio.