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The Boundaries of John Marston's Dramatic Canon.

The Uncertain Boundaries of John Marston's Dramatic Corpus:

In recent decades, authorship attribution scholars have been able to broaden our knowledge of early modern oeuvres through analyses of versification habits; preferences for particular morphological, syntactic, and orthographic forms; authors' favored contractions, colloquialisms, and interjections; and parallelisms of thought and language (recurrent collocations). Although there is often much disagreement in the field of modern attribution studies, all major scholars agree that a strong case can be made when various approaches, based on these fundamental elements of an author's individual style, support each other.

Scholarly attention in early modern authorship studies has been largely focused on Shakespeare. However, in recent years there has been new interest in other dramatists of the period, exemplified by forthcoming editions of the works of writers such as John Marston (c. 1576-1634). (1) Ascertaining the boundaries of an author's canon is important for so-called "complete works," and this process is complex. In the cases of many early modern plays that found their way into print, the companies were more concerned to advertise themselves than their authors. Internal evidence sometimes contradicts title-page evidence, or contemporary ascriptions in play lists, as in the case of The Revenger's Tragedy (1606), (2) which was ascribed to Cyril Tourneur by Edward Archer in 1656, but is now generally assigned to Thomas Middleton. Many plays of the period were written by teams of authors, or were revised by other authorial hands. Some surviving texts are of poor quality, and are thus not necessarily indicative of a dramatist's stylistic habits. Such individual features are sometimes obfuscated by the hands of scribes, compositors, and so forth.

John Marston's dramatic corpus consists of nine plays of uncontested authorship. His sole-authored plays are as follows: Antonio and Mellida (1599); Antonio's Revenge (1600); Jack Drum's Entertainment (1600); What You Will (1601); The Malcontent (1603); Parasitaster (1605); The Dutch Courtesan (1604); and The Wonder of Women (1605). There are also two uncontested "collaborative" Marston plays: John Webster revised The Malcontent, and Marston wrote Eastward Ho (1605) with Ben Jonson and George Chapman. However, the boundaries of Marston's dramatic canon are uncertain, which might account, in part, for his unjustified critical neglect. We should remember that it is the so-called "minor" playwrights who consolidated the trends of the period. Marston was a fascinating and controversial playwright, poet, pamphleteer, and writer of aristocratic entertainments. We hope that the following study of his extant dramatic corpus will enable researchers to gain new insights into his impact on early modern drama. We examine four plays of uncertain authorship which have been associated with Marston: Lust's Dominion (1600); Histriomastix (1602); The Family of Love (1607); and The Insatiate Countess (1610). This study surveys the internal evidence for Marston's hand in these texts and develops theories on the divisions of authorship in collaborative works. We begin by outlining the attribution history of each of these four plays below.

Lust's Dominion

Lust's Dominion; Or, the Lascivious Queen is a revenge tragedy, printed in 1657. Gustav Cross made a case for Marston's having had a hand in the play in 1958. (3) He argued that the play exhibited Marston's idiosyncratic vocabulary and could be identified with The Spanish Moor's Tragedy--for which Philip Henslowe paid Thomas Dekker, John Day, and William Haughton in 1600--and that it was also the unnamed tragedy for which Henslowe paid Marston in September 1599. (4) In 1980, Cyrus Hoy agreed that Lust's Dominion and The Spanish Moor's Tragedy were the same play, but that Marston began a revision of an older play for Henslowe in 1599, which was continued by Dekker, Haughton, and Day the following year. (5) He suggested that "There are traces of Marston and Dekker in both scenes of Act 1 [...] Traces of Marston and Dekker continue through II.ii, but it seems to me that the quality of the scene changes with the entrance of the friars and the Queen Mother," and that "There are traces of Marston in IV.iii and IV.iv, and--more markedly--at sundry points through Act V." (6) In 2001, Charles Cathcart argued that the play originated with Marston, was revised by Dekker, Haughton, and Day, and perhaps went through a subsequent limited revision, most likely in 1606. (7)


Histriomastix, or the Player Whipped was entered into the Stationers' Register on 31 October 1610, and was published by Thomas Thorpe that same year. The anonymous play was first linked to Marston by Richard Simpson in 1878. (8) Simpson suggested that Marston had revised an older, lost text, a theory with which R. A. Small and E. K. Chambers agreed. (9) Other scholars, including Frederick Gard Fleay, (10) Alvin B. Kernan, (11) and George L. Geckle, (12) argued for Marston's sole authorship. In 1981, David J. Lake provided linguistic evidence claiming that Marston had "a main finger" in the play, and proposed Dekker as a possible collaborator. (13) Marston's involvement, either as co-author or reviser, more or less became orthodoxy until Roslyn Lander Knutson contended in 2001 that the play does not belong in Marston's canon. (14) Knutson's arguments have since been challenged by James R Bednarz, (15) John Peachman, (16) and Cathcart. (17)

The Family of Love

The Family of Love was entered into the Stationers' Register on 12 October 1607 and was published the following year in quarto form by John Helmes. This city comedy was performed by the Children of the King's Revels. Edward Archer ascribed the comedy to Thomas Middleton in 1656, (18) and the play was included in Middleton's oeuvre by Alexander Dyce, in 1840, (19) and by A. H. Bullen in 1885. (20) Gerald J. Eberle contended in 1948 that the play was written by Dekker and Middleton. (21) George R. Price argued in 1969 that neither dramatist was responsible for the play. (22) In 1975, Lake concluded that the play contains the hands of Middleton, Dekker, and Lording Barry. (23) In 1999, MacDonald P. Jackson, Gary Taylor, and Paul Mulholland convincingly dislodged the ascription to Middleton and argued that Lording Barry was sole author. (24) They concluded that "If, as the 1608 edition explicitly tells us, The Family of Love had a single author, Lording Barry is the obvious candidate, on the basis of both external and internal evidence." (25) However, Cathcart, writing in 2008, proposed that Marston "is likely to have been an original composer of the play." (26)

The Insatiate Countess

The Insatiate Countess was first published in quarto by Thomas Archer in 1613; the title page announced Marston as the author. However, one copy of the 1613 quarto contains a cancel leaf attributing the play to William Barksted and Lewis Machin, while a third quarto, published by Hugh Perrie in 1631, assigns the play to Marston. Shortly afterwards, Perrie provided an alternative title page, which mentions Barksted as the author. These divergences in title page attributions have been followed by polarization in authorship attribution studies: Lake concluded in 1981 that the play was non-Marstonian. (27) Conversely, Giorgio Melchiori argued in 1984 that there was strong evidence for "the existence of a first draft by Marston, extending to the first part of the comic plot and to the whole of the tragic one, but limited, after Act I, to certain passages and scenes." (28) He elaborated that "Marston devised the plot and underplot of the play, wrote a first draft of Act I, part of II.i, some speeches and outlines of the rest, particularly Il.ii, Il.iv and, to a lesser extent, III.iv, IV.ii and V.i." (29) Cathcart has more recently argued that the play was "written in or soon after 1601, probably during the time of Marston's connection with the Children of Paul's [....] its first published text reflects a version prepared with a view to performance at the Whitefriars by the Children of the King's Revels," and that "Barksted and Machin treated the playscript" for "The Whitefriars performances." (30)


We examine Marston's acknowledged sole-authored stage plays in order to identify authorial markers. We also compare results for collaborative plays, such as Eastward Ho, and plays that were revised or augmented by other playwrights, such as The Malcontent, with the four contested texts. This enables us to ascertain whether these "dubious" texts correlate with the stylistic patterns for plays in which Marston's hand can be found. Our tests involve the following markers: spelling preferences; vocabulary; collocations (including synonyms and words belonging to the same semantic and associative groups); and versification features. Some of our methods are computational, while others involve manual analyses of versification and of old spelling texts drawn from ProQuest. (31) We also make use of the search functions available for the database Early English Books Online, or EEBO, (32) within the appropriate time period 1590-1610. Marston had ceased writing plays after he was ordained deacon in September 1609.


"O" and "Oh" Spelling Distinctions

Several attribution scholars have examined the spelling distinction between "Oh" and "O" in texts of disputed authorship. For example, Jackson has shown that Shakespeare displays an "overwhelming preponderance of O spellings," which distinguishes his hand in collaborative texts from Middleton's, who "strongly preferred the spelling Oh." (33) Such forms of analysis are of some use when examining texts that were printed from autograph copies, but we should remember that "there are various kinds of hands which have contributed to the existence of each text: the poet/playwright, the scribe, the compositor, the editor, the prompter, perhaps various actors." (34) However, examinations of spelling distinctions can provide useful supplementary evidence.

We tested Marston's uncontested sole-authored plays and found that the dramatist seems to have overwhelmingly preferred the spelling "O":

The only anomaly is Jack Drum's Entertainment. Given that seven out of eight plays display an overwhelming preference for "O", we can be confident that this marker is of some use. If we compare Marston's disputed and collaborative/revised plays, we find some interesting ratios:

The most striking play in this list is Lust's Dominion: it is unlike any text in which Marston's hand can be found. The four examples of "O" spellings are concentrated in the last two scenes of the play: V.v and The Family of Love accords with other Marston texts in its preference for "O," but Lording Barry also displays this preference in his Ram Alley (1608), which has a ratio of 24:2. (35)

"Whilst" and "While" Preferences

Lake highlighted the fact that Marston overwhelmingly preferred "whilst" to "while." (36) As Jackson puts it, Marston "used 'whilst' thirty-five times in his pageants, masques, and poems, without ever using 'while'. Every writer makes a multitude of such choices, which form a kind of personal signature." (37) However, by our count, there are nine instances of "while" in Marston's unassisted plays. We present the ratios in these texts below:

The similitude of some of these ratios is striking, and suggests that this test can help us to identify Marston's hand in texts of uncertain authorship. Many of the ratios in Table 4 differ from Marston's uncontested/unaided texts:

The high count for "while" in Histriomastix could be the result of either revision or non-Marstonian authorship. It is worth noting, however, that the count for "while" is even higher in Eastward Ho. Both Chapman and Jonson preferred "while" in their dramatic works, which may point towards Marston's hand in I.i, III.ii, and IV.i of that play. This distribution largely accords with the divisions of authorship proposed by Percy Simpson in 1932 and C. G. Petter in 1973. (38) The high count for "while" in Histriomastix does not tally with Lake's suggestion that Marston collaborated with Dekker on that play. (39) The overall preference for "whilst" in Lust's Dominion is not strong evidence for Marston's hand, for Dekker "nearly always writes whilst," (40) and Haughton and Day also seem to have preferred "whilst." The ratio for The Family of Love does not support an ascription to Marston, but does accord with the ratio for Lording Barry's Ram Alley: 4:14.

It is difficult to make anything of our findings for The Insatiate Countess, given that we have little or nothing of Barksted and Machin's unassisted works to test, although Barksted preferred "whilst" in his extant poems. We should remember that, in the cases of Barksted, Machin, Haughton, and Lording Barry, "small sample size means smaller power." (41) Act I of this play has an equal ratio (1:1) of "whilst" and "while"; the sole appearance of "whilst" in this act could point to Marston's hand.

"Amongst" and "Among" Preferences

We found that Marston almost never used "amongst":

It is therefore surprising to discover that "amongst" features in every act of Histriomastix except act II and act V (the sole occurrence of "among" features in act IV). In Lust's Dominion, "amongst" can be found in III.iv,, and (notably, Day overwhelmingly prefers "amongst" in his unassisted plays). The sole example of Marston's preferred form, "among," occurs in V.i. The Family of Love does not display a marked predilection for either form--it contains two more instances of "among" than "amongst"--while Lording Barry's Ram Alley has three instances of "amongst" and one of "among." The Insatiate Countess is comparable to Marston, but some of these figures are very low and thus provide tentative evidence (Barksted displays a partiality for "amongst" in his poems). Possibly due to Webster's hand, the augmented version of The Malcontent contains more instances of "amongst" than any other play in Marston's undoubted canon, (see Table 6).

"Betwixt" and "Between" Preferences

Lake pointed out in 1975 that "Marston hardly ever uses" the connective "between." (42) Our findings validate Lake's observation, for there are sixteen instances of "betwixt" in the uncontested/sole-authored plays but only two instances of "between", (see Table 7).

Again, as Table 8 shows, Histriomastix does not correlate with Marston; nor does The Insatiate Countess, although Marston's preferred form can be found in I.i, III.i, and IV.i. The sole example of "between" is found in III.v of Lust's Dominion. Dekker preferred "between"; Haughton's Englishmen for My Money (1598) exhibits no preference; while Day preferred "betwixt." Lording Barry uses "betwixt" on six occasions in Ram Alley, but never "between":

"em" and "Them" Preferences

Ashley H. Thorndike, (43) A. C. Partridge, (44) Hoy, (45) and Lake, (46) have been able to differentiate dramatists through their preferences for either "them" or "em". We discovered that Marston consistently preferred "them" throughout his dramatic career:

The contested and collaborative/revised plays largely accord with Marston's accepted plays (see Table 10). It is notable that Lust's Dominion has more examples of "em" than all of the uncontested Marston texts combined, and it is possibly significant that these clipped forms occur in, IV.v, and V.iii, for Day and Dekker employed "em" at a much higher rate than Marston, while Haughton did not use "em." Our findings thus suggest that Day or Dekker were responsible for these scenes. Moreover, although the ratio for The Family of Love correlates with other Marston texts, we have found an almost identical number for "them" in Barry's Ram Alley, which has a ratio of 2:47, (47) The distribution of these forms could help us to rule Marston out as an authorship candidate for certain scenes of Lust's Dominion, while our findings for The Family of Love do not rule Marston out, but do not rule Lording Barry out either. The Insatiate Countess contains far too many clipped forms to assign the whole play to Marston, which suggests that substantial material was written by Barksted and/or Machin. (see Table 10).

In terms of the overall preferences examined above, Histriomastix, The Family of Love, and The Insatiate Countess comply with Marston's sole-authored texts in three out of five instances, whereas Lust's Dominion accords in just two out of five instances. The first three plays could be, at least in part, by Marston, while the latter play seems unlikely.

Exclamatory Noises (Interjections)

Marston displays a fondness for what George K. Hunter referred to as "exclamatory noises," such as "pah" and "whop." (48) We examined Marston's undoubted sole-authored plays for exclamations, interjections, and oaths, and identified the following markers: "fa," "faugh," "fie," "fut," "la," "pah," "pew," "pish," "puh," "sfoot," "sheart," "slid," "slud," "tush," "tut," "um," "whogh," and "whop." (49) See Table 11:

Some of these items are rare, but many of them are common in drama of the period. The purpose of this test is to provide an overall comparison (irrespective of rarity) between the use of exclamations, interjections, and oaths in Marston's undoubted sole-authored plays, and then to compare these findings to Marston's disputed and putatively collaborative/revised plays (see Table 12).

The Insatiate Countess contains fewer Marstonian exclamations than any of his acknowledged plays--"fie" occurs in the first two acts of the play, and "tut" is found in act [GAMMA]V. The six instances of "fie" in The Family of Love (distributed throughout the play, with the exception of act II) are of interest, for this exclamation is not found in Lording Barry's Ram Alley. However, as noted by Taylor, Jackson, and Mulholland (although their count of sixteen is erroneous, for they included three abbreviated speech prefixes), the number for "tut" is in accordance with Barry's play which has a total of twelve. (50)

The exclamation "pish" occurs in I.i and I.iv of Lust's Dominion. Haughton never used "pish," but it occurs in Day's Law Tricks, or Who Would Have Thought It? (1604) and Dekker's 2 Honest Whore (1605). "Puh" features in a number of Dekker plays, but not Haughton or Day's; this could point towards Dekker or Marston's hands in II.ii, IV.ii, and IV.iii of Lust's Dominion. Dekker used "sheart" in his sole-authored plays, whereas Haughton and Day did not; this oath occurs in I.ii, II.iv, and III.iv of Lust's Dominion. The two occurrences of "tut" are found in III.v and Both Haughton and Day used "tut," while it is rare in Dekker's corpus, and does not occur in his unassisted plays. Thus, Dekker, Day, and Haughton might have written Lust's Dominion, while Marston probably did not contribute to it. (51)

Suffixes: Latinate Termination -ate

Marston is notorious for his "affected diction," and his "indiscriminate use of Latinate terminations, especially words ending in -ate." (52) Reproducing Frederick Erastus Pierce's "three-syllable Latin word test," (53) we searched Marston's uncontested plays for polysyllabic words ending in -ate. We adjusted our raw counts to the overall word count of each text. Table 13 lists the occurrence of -ate every x words, (see Table 13).

Now look at Table 14.

Lust's Dominion is well outside the range for plays in which Marston's hand can incontestably be found (one -ate suffix per 742-1518 words). Pierce pointed out in 1909 that "Dekker almost always uses" words of Latin origin "sparingly," (54) so a low count for -ate accords with a theory of Dekker's being the main hand in that play. Conversely, Histriomastix is commensurate with Marston's practice, with a rate of one -ate suffix every 845 words. The Insatiate Countess has a higher frequency than any Marston text, while The Family of Love corresponds to some of Marston's later plays. Lording Barry's use of the suffix -ate in his Ram Alley is quite unlike Marston: Barry averages one -ate every 3358 words in that play. The plays that definitely contain Marston' s hand, The Malcontent (augmented) and Eastward Ho, are within the range for sole-authored Marston texts, despite containing non-Marstonian material. On the basis of the -ate test, Histriomastix and The Family of Love resemble Marston's style, Lust's Dominion does not, and The Insatiate Countess falls outside of Marston's usual range, but is similar to Jack Drum's Entertainment.

Most Frequent Word Spelling Distinctions

We compared a list of the most frequent fifty words using the software programs Wordstar and QDA Miner, (56) selecting Marston texts plus texts from the canons of Dekker, Jonson, and Day. Global mean figures for all the top occurring non-character frequent words were compared to the top fifty global mean occurring words. We compared a separate list for those words in Marston only, and then compared the top ten words for their respective commonalities. This enabled us to tell which words from the common Marston list differed from the global group common words, therefore helping us to determine "Marston-like" spelling.

Table 15 shows the top ten Marston key words. Marston texts favor "foole" over "fool" and "onely" over "only," but contrastingly "he" over "hee"; "lord" over "lorde"; and "be" over "bee." However, there is little consistency of the "e" usage.

Marston seems to use "nay" in every play attributed to him, and the reasonably high number (15) in The Family of Love fits his overall pattern. Marston uses the word "sir" in every play attributed to him except The Wonder of Women. Lust's Dominion has the next lowest count, and therefore does not resemble Marston in this respect. Histriomastix stands out as the only play attributed to Marston with no instances of "ha" in the text. Lust's Dominion and The Family of Love stand out for having only instances of "fool" and no instances of "foole." These two plays also favor the non-Marstonian "think" over "thinke." We should bear in mind that textual evidence of spelling preferences based on printed texts may often be due to the printer/typesetter etc. (57) Nonetheless, it is worth noting that Lust's Dominion and The Family of Love least resemble Marston's preferences out of the four contested texts analyzed here, (see Table 15).


We employed the anti-plagiarism software Plagiarism in order to compare the four contested plays with the undoubted Marston canon, as well as the plays of authorial candidates. (58) This software can be set to highlight any specified collocation length within a pair of electronic documents, from two words upwards, and can also identify approximate matching utterances (e.g., some sequences might differ slightly in their syntactical arrangement or spelling). We limited our searches to sequences consisting of at least three words (known as trigrams in Corpus Linguistics). A search that admitted twoword units would reveal a higher number of matches, whereas a search limited to large phrasal structures might filter out significant findings. This generated a list of 8092 phrases, which was then run through a program which compared all those matches with the texts in the rest of a database of 49 early modern author groups. The last step was to compare those matches which only occur in the Marston core canon and each of the candidate texts but nowhere else. This produced lists of results (one for each candidate text) including a percentage for each of the texts (the number of rare matches, divided by the number of words). Our results demonstrated that Lording Barry's Ram Alley (the implications of which will be explored below) and Histriomastix share the most rare matches with Marston's uncontested plays, whereas Lust's Dominion and The Family of Love share the least number of rare shared phrases:

We ran a concurrent batch of tests using WCopyfind (developed by Lou Bloomfield, Professor of Physics). (59) We tested both old spelling texts, drawn from ProQuest, as well as normalized texts, (60) for accurate results, and determined the rarity of these matches using the database Early English Books Online, or EEBO. This time we counted matches that only occur within each targeted text and the acknowledged plays of authorial candidates first performed during the period 1590-1610. Collaborative texts were omitted.

Whereas the first round of tests was quantitative, this round focussed primarily on the qualitative aspects of shared phrases. We should bear Muriel St. Clare Byrne's caveats in mind when examining collocations. In 1932, Byrne demonstrated that authorship attribution scholars who wish to make valid ascriptions, on the basis of parallel phrases, must adhere to the following criteria: parallels may be due to plagiarism, either conscious, unconscious, or coincidental, rather than common authorship; mere verbal parallelism is of little value in comparison to parallelism of thought coupled with some verbal parallelism; and mere accumulation of parallels is of no significance. (61)

Lust's Dominion

We began by testing Marston, Dekker, Day, and Haughton's sole-authored plays against Lust's Dominion. We recorded every shared trigram-plus and then checked each matching utterance against all plays performed during 1590-1610 for uniqueness (see Table 17).

The results are not promising for Marston: in comparison to Dekker, Haughton, and Day, there are few matches indicative of common authorship, despite the fact that his uncontested sole-authored canon is larger than the other candidates' unassisted plays. Marston's eight uncontested sole-authored plays share 29 unique phrases with Lust's Dominion; Dekker's five unassisted plays of the period 1590-1610 (Old Fortunatus, The Shoemaker's Holiday, Satiromastix, 2 Honest Whore, and The Whore of Babylon) share 39 phrases; Day's four sole-authored plays (Law Tricks, The Isle of Gulls, Humour Out of Breath, and The Parliament of Bees) share 19 unique phrases; and Haughton's Englishmen for My Money shares 12 trigrams-plus. The evidence for a three-way collaboration between Dekker, Day, and Haughton seems strong, with Dekker as "the controlling hand throughout, for there are many touches suggestive of his revision of his collaborators' work." (62)

Nonetheless, it is worth citing some matches with Marston, despite the fact that they seem to be the result of influence, rather than authorship. For instance, the match, "And since I lived for her, for her I'll die," (63) with "And since I cannot live with him I die," (64) is noteworthy. The triple, "And since I," embraces "live" and "I die," placed in almost identical positions in the pentameter line. Both lines contain pronouns and provide a thought parallel. In Lust's Dominion, the King delivers this line following the news that Maria is dead, while Mellida's line is in response to the fallacious report that Antonio has drowned. Additionally, we have discovered another thought parallel, coupled with verbal parallelism, between these lines and Antonio's Revenge, through attentive reading. At the conclusion of Marston's tragedy, the revenger vows to remain faithful to his dead lover: "She lives in me, with her my love is dead" (AR, It could be argued that the repetition of this formula in Marston's play increases the likelihood of appropriation; furthermore, such combinations of thought and language are rare in Lust's Dominion.

Our analysis indicates that Haughton's contributions are minimal but that his hand can be found in act II, III.v, and V.iv of Lust's Dominion. For instance, in II.v, Eleazar, upon hearing of Mendoza and the Prince's escape, says,
Winds leave your two and thirty palaces,
And meeting all in one, join all your might,
To give them speedy and a prosperous flight.
                                             (LD, II.v.)

We find the same distinct collocation of words and ideas in Pisaro's speech in Englishmen for My Money:
But come what will, no wind can come amiss,
For two-and-thirty winds that rules the seas
And blows about this airy region,
Thirty-two ships have I to equal them. (65)

In V.iv, Philip, chained by the neck along with Mendoza, the Queen Mother, and Hortenzo, states, "Yet can I laugh in my extremest pangs" (LD, V.iv.). This gives us another distinct collocation match with the Portuguese moneylender Pisaro, as he devises a complot to entrap his daughters in marriage: "Tickled with extreme joy, laugh in my face" (EM, vii.7).

Dekker's hand is evident throughout much of the play; the verbal fabric of act I, in particular, is infused with his phrasing. Some of these unique matches give us an insight into the dramatist's word associations, such as, "Thou cri'dst, away, away, and frown'dst upon me" (LD, I.i.), with "Away, away, and meet me presently," (66) while others exhibit complex collocations of words and ideas, such as Alvero's declarative, "Death's frozen hand holds Royal Philip's heart" (I.ii.), which parallels Ampedo's dying words in Old Fortunatus (1599): "I faint, Death's frozen hand / Congeals life's little river in my breast" (OF, Vii. 168-69). We might also compare Eleazar's line, "And make all Spain a bonfire" (LD, I.ii.), with "and make all de court and country burn" (OF, IV.iii.60-61). Many of these matching utterances embrace additional words serving the same syntactical and/or semantic functions. But Dekker was also apt to repeat long, contiguous strings of identical words, as we can see in the shared seven-word unit below:

Why, this is as it should be. He once gone (LD, II.v.) why this is as it should be. (OF, III.i.181)

Our tests also highlight distinctive parallels of thought and language in the fourth act of Lust's Dominion. For example, in IV.v the First Soldier states that "my legs are not of the biggest" (LD, IV.v.). We find the same thought process in The Shoemaker's Holiday (1599), when Margery tells Hodge that "thou knowest the length of my foot. As it is none of the biggest." (67) Day's hand is somewhat harder to identify, for many of the unique shared phrases are fairly trivial, such as the trigram, "was the villain," which can be found in the Queen Mother's line, "Spaniards, this was the villain" (, and the following line in Humour Out of Breath (1607): "My lord, Hortensio was the villain." (68) Nonetheless, these repeated phrases tend to cluster in scenes for which the linguistic patterns accord with a theory of Day's authorship, rather than Dekker, Haughton, or indeed Marston.


We discovered 29 unique (in the period 1590-1610) trigrams-plus shared between acknowledged Marston plays and Histriomastix. We can compare this figure to an undoubted text relatively close in date (according to Martin Wiggins's chronology), What You Will, which shares 46 unique trigrams-plus with the remainder of Marston's sole-authored canon. The large majority of these parallel phrases in What You Will are three and four-word units, but Marston sometimes recycled larger chunks of speech, as we can see below:
That casts out beams as ardent as those flakes
Which singed the world by rash-brain'd Phaethon (69)
ardent as those flames that singed the world by heedless Phaeton. (70)

Although Histriomastix has a lower count for unique matches than What You Will, the matching phrases seem to indicate a single dramatist's phrasal lexicon, with several unobtrusive matches, as well as longer strings of words, which reveal parallels of thought as well as language. We might note that the phrase, "remember to forget," (71) in act IV of Histriomastix, can also be found in Antonio and Mellida (A&M, IV.i.125) (72) and What You Will (WYW, III.i.4-5). As John Peachman puts it: "That the phrase appears twice in Marston's acknowledged works is suggestive." (73) In act IV of Histriomastix, the merchant Velure's metaphorical phrase, "Should stand and lick the pavement with his knee" (Hist, IV.i.), provides a verbal match with The Malcontent, when Mendoza imagines "petitionary vassals licking the pavement with their slavish knees" (Male, I.v.28-29). We find another distinctive image in the following act: "Spit on thy bosom; vowing here by heaven" (Hist., V.i.). This line matches the following speech in Antonio's Revenge, delivered by Pandulpho:
I'll skip from earth into the arms of heaven,
And from triumphal arch of blessedness
Spit on thy frothy breast.
                                              (AR, II.ii.81-83)

We should also note the following line in act V of Histriomastix, "but then there's a thing call'd Action" (Hist., V.i.), which recalls Marston's parody of the third 1602 addition to Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy (1587): "There is a thing called scourging Nemesis" (AR, IV.iii.125). This passage also affords us another match with Antonio's Revenge, as we can see in the lines: "O 'twill be rare" (Hist., V.i) and "O, 'twill be rare, and all unsuspected done" (AR, II.i. 18). In the final act of Histriomastix, Perpetuana says, "From Poverty to Famine, worse and worse" (Hist, VI.i.), which is followed by Filissella's rhyming line: "The scourge of Pride, and Heaven's detested curse" (VI.i.). We find the same association of rhyming words in The Malcontent, when Malevole says: "But fame ne'er heals, still rankles worse and worse; / Such is of uncontrolled lust the curse" (Male, II.v. 148-49). The collocation, "worse and worse," with the determiner "the," the preposition "of," and the noun "curse," is accompanied by abstract nouns with negative connotations in both examples. Such combinations of thought and language are most apparent in the final three acts of the play.

The Family of Love

According to our WCopyfind test results, verbal links between The Family of Love and Marston exceed what we might expect for an authentic Marston text. There are 59 unique links in total (18 of these parallel phrases cluster in act II; followed by 12 in act IV; 10 in act V; 10 in act III; 7 in act I; and 2 in the epilogue). When Doctor Glister states, "that's the fittest place, for by the break of day," (74) he is echoing a line from Marston's Antonio and Mellida: "Upon his shoulders; that's the fittest place for it" (A&M, III.ii.242). Lipsalve's line, "A plague upon him for a Glister" (FL,, closely parallels the moment Malevole assures Pietro that "heaven will send a plague upon him for a rogue" (Male, IV.iv.25). A particularly interesting collocation occurs in Maria's line, "the cincture of mine arms" (FL, III.vii.), which echoes Jack Drum's Entertainment: "the cincture of a faithful arm," (75) while Gerardine's exclamation, "O monstrous! this is a foul blot" (FL, V.iii.), provides a striking parallel with Mulligrub's line in The Dutch Courtesan: "O monstrous! this is a lie." (76)

Cathcart is therefore undoubtedly correct in highlighting links between The Family of Love and Marston's hand. (77) However, as noted above, we also discovered dense verbal relations between Lording Barry's Ram Alley and Marston's corpus, which suggests that matches between these texts could be due to plagiarism. Indeed, Lording Barry, who was a pirate (and perhaps, as our findings suggest, a literary pirate also), has been accused of "shameless plagiarism." (78) But, to the best of our knowledge, no scholar has pointed out the extent to which Barry seems to have absorbed Marston's phraseology, although Brian Gibbons, writing in 1968, noted Barry's "parody in the manner of early Marston," (79) an observation echoed by Simon Shepherd over a decade later. (80) The verbal evidence therefore suggests that either Marston had a hand in both Ram Alley and The Family of Love, or, more likely in our view, that Barry was an inveterate borrower who knew Marston's works intimately and was able to weave Marston's phraseology into his own passages.

Despite the significant number of matches with Marston, we have traced Lording Barry's peculiar combinations of words and thoughts throughout The Family of Love. We found 21 unique verbal links (there are 6 matches in act I; 3 in act II; 2 in act III; 1 in act IV; and 9 in act V) between this play and Ram Alley. Some of these shared phrases are long, contiguous sequences, as we can see in Purge's line, "short tale to make, I got her ring" (FL, V.iii.), which parallels (we might note the reference to a female character, "her" and "daughter," in both lines). Throat's speech, "Short tale to make, I fingered have your daughter." (81) However, the large majority of these shared utterances are discontinuous and suggest a single author's word associations. For example, the declarative, "I have known the natures of divers of these gallants" (FL, I.i.), shares the units, "I have," and "of these gallants," with "I have done that for many of these gallants" (RA, I.ii.37), while Master Dryfat's line, "pity the state of a poor gentleman" (FL, I.iii.), shares a distinct collocation with William Smallshanks's imploration to Taffeta: "Dear widow, pity the state of a young, / Poor, yet proper gentleman" (RA, V.i.62-63). It seems that the line, "I gave it to the relief of the distressed Geneva" (FL, Viii.), could derive from the same author's mental repertoire of words and ideas as: "To gather relief for the distressed Geneva" (RA, .V.iii.285). The numerous word strings co-occurring with Marston's dramatic efforts in both The Family of Love and Ram Alley could therefore be indicative of imitation.

The Insatiate Countess

There are 48 unique verbal links between The Insatiate Countess and Marston's acknowledged corpus: 7 can be traced in act I; 11 in act II; 8 in act III; 10 in act IV; and 12 in act V. The distribution of these parallels suggests that Marston had completed much of the play before it was, tentatively, revised by Barksted and Machin. Our findings suggest that Barksted had a main hand in the beginning and the end of the play. To offer just a couple of examples, Roberto's simile, "like beauty in a cloud," (82) parallels Barksted's second poem, Hiren, or The Fair Greek (1611): "Let not thy sunne of beauty in a cloud," (83) while the line, "Nature's step-children rather her disease" (IC, I.i. 124), is identical to: "Natures step-children, rather her disease" (Hiren, 1. 520). The final speech of the play is probably all Barksted's, as is suggested by the Duke's image, "With thousand torches ushering the way" (IC, V.ii.231), which duplicates a line in Mirrha the Mother of Adonis (1607): "with thousand torches ushering the way" (Mirrha, 1. 194). Evidently, Barksted had a habit of repeating lines and images more or less verbatim. He seems to have been responsible for framing the play, and almost certainly touched up dialogue and added scenes/passages elsewhere.

Verbal links with Marston range from seemingly unexceptional phrases to long sequences of words. For example, phrases such as 'I am your vowed' (followed by a noun), in the line, "I am your vowed enemy" (IC, I.i. 199), and "I am your vowed servant" (DC, II.ii. 140), are so unremarkable that they are unlikely to have been plagiarized. In act II we find some of the strongest evidence for Marston's individuality: Abigail's line, "Well sir, your visor gives you colour for what you say" (IC, II.i.98), shares a distinct combination of thought and language with Rossaline's dialogue in Antonio and Mellida: "good colour for what he speaks" (A&M, V.ii.61). Here we see an identical word sequence embracing the comparable lexical choices "say" and "speaks." Similarly, it seems that Isabella's lines, "My husband's not the man I would have had. / O my new thoughts to this brave sprightly lord" (IC, II.iii.45-46), derive from the same author's idiosyncratic lexicon of collocations as: "you should have had my thought for a penny" (A&M, II.i.74-75). There is substantial evidence for Marston's hand in IV.iv, as we can see in verbal parallelisms such as, "That is as spotless as the eye of heav'n" (IC, IV.iv.28), and "Hast thou a love as spotless as the brow / Of clearest heaven" (AR, I.v.41-42). There are also several long collocations shared between Marston's acknowledged plays and passages in act V. For example, Marston seems to have recalled the Ghost of Andrugio's line in Antonio's Revenge, "Blest be thy hand, I taste the joys of heaven" (V.v.36), when he composed Isabella's conversation with Sago: "Blessed be thy hand: I sacrifice a kiss" (IC, V.i.77). Isabella, like Andrugio's spirit, associates this five-word unit with the notion of "vengeance" (V.i.78). Similarly, the line, "Oh husband, I little thought to see you in this taking" (IC, V.ii.41), echoes Mistress Mulligrub's lamentation: "O husband! I little thought you should have come to think on God" (DC, V.iii.82-83), while Claridiana's declarative, "Flesh and blood cannot endure it" (IC, V.ii.57-58), closely parallels Jack Drum's Entertainment: "flesh and blood cannot endure your countenance" (JD, IV.i.). Our evidence suggests that Marston's hand is more prominent in the extant text than previous scholars have supposed.

Versification Features for the Purpose of Authorship

Versification analysis is a good tool for attribution, especially if the text is long enough; unlike verbal tests, it cannot attribute a single line. One of the most important parameters in versification analyses is the distribution of "pauses" in the lines of the texts. "Pauses" and "strong syntactic breaks" are not synonymous: Ants Oras, the pioneer in researching the placement of "pauses" in Renaissance plays, relied on punctuation in his analysis. (84) He studied hundreds of texts, mostly dramas, counting punctuation: "pauses" were identified with commas and other punctuation marks as well as places where lines are divided between characters. The disadvantage of this method is the reliance on the literacy of sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century scribes, prompters, and actors. Marina Tarlinskaja's approach relies on syntax. (85) The advantages are objectivity and uniformity of the approach, the disadvantage is the painstaking manual work. Tarlinskaja's versification analysis is not limited to syntactic breaks, but this and other parameters of versification research as applied to Marston's plays will be described below.

Ants Oras's Methodology Applied to Our Material

Oras studied the positions that "pauses" occur in the verse lines to answer questions of periodization and authorship. The number of "pauses" after syllables 1-9 was calculated as a percentage from the total number of all "pauses" after every syllable of the line. (86) Oras recorded patterns for several Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatists "formed by all the pauses indicated by internal punctuation," which he termed A-patterns; "pauses shown by punctuation marks other than commas" (B-patterns); and all "breaks within the pentameter line dividing speeches by different characters" (C-patterns). (87) We reproduce Oras's results for A-patterns (all punctuation marks in pentameter lines). The remarkable similarities in patterns for same-author plays examined by Oras suggest that punctuation marks, be they authorial or compositorial (Oras examined the earliest editions available for each play), "keep within the rhythmical climate of the time," (88) and are useful for identifying a dramatist's individual prosodic characteristics. (89) Using Oras's approach, we examined the "pause" patterns for Marston's unaided texts and found that, with the exception of some vacillation in positions 5 and 6, Marston was consistent in his placement of "pauses" throughout his career. All of these plays exhibit a major peak after position 4, followed by a minor peak after 6. (90)

We also examined act I of Lust's Dominion, in accordance with Hoy's hypothesis that Marston "seems mainly to have concerned himself with the beginning" of the play, (91) as well as A-patterns for the three other contested texts (Oras examined C-patterns for The Family of Love in just twenty lines of verse):

Histriomastix is consistent with the patterns found for unaided Marston plays. Position 1 is slightly higher than the dramatist's sole-authored efforts, and syllabic positions 4 and 6 are slightly low, but overall the "pause" profile fits. The Insatiate Countess also suggests the "special physiognomy" of Marston's hand, (92) although positions 5 and 6 are slightly elevated.

On the other hand, the results contradict the argument that Marston was involved in the composition of act I of Lust's Dominion: "pauses" after positions 3 and 7 are too high for Marston; "pauses" after position 4 too low for any of the dramatist's plays; and the dominant peak after position 6 is unlike Marston. On the basis of these data, it is hard to imagine that Marston's hand can be found in these scenes. The punctuation placement seem to validate H. D. Sykes's argument that these scenes were "clearly written by one hand" and bear "the unmistakeable stamp of Dekker." (93) We agree with Algernon Charles Swinburne that "The sweet spontaneous luxury of the lines in which the queen strives to seduce her paramour out of sullenness has the very ring of Dekker's melody." (94) Significantly, the large majority of Dekker's plays, including The Shoemaker's Holiday and Old Fortunatus, also display a peak after position 6, as we might expect at the period of writing; conversely, Day's The Isle of Gulls (1606) and Humour Out of Breath display peaks after position 4. (95) The evidence for Dekker's sole authorship of act I of Lust's Dominion is compelling. (96)

The "pause" profile for The Family of Love shows some correlations with Marston. The percentage for position 1 is identical to that found for The Dutch Courtesan; the percentage for "pauses" after the second syllable is very close to The Wonder of Women; and the percentage after syllable 4 accords with Marston. But there are also some differences: the percentage of "pauses" after positions 3 and 7 are too low for Marston. Moreover, the dramatist(s) responsible for this play employed "pauses" after position 6 far more frequently than Marston, whose style remains in the pre-1600 versification mode. Having just one Lording Barry play for comparison problematizes analysis of this kind, but the profile for Ram Alley roughly corresponds to that found for The Family of Love: a high peak at position 4, closely followed by position 6. Our tests do not rule Marston out for the authorship of The Family of Love, but they do not rule Barry out either.

Marina Tarlinskaja's Methodology Applied to Our Material

Tarlinskaja's versification analysis includes 12 parameters. Here are some of them. Our analysis of syntactic breaks is based solely on syntax, not on punctuation (cf. with Oras's "pauses"). Analysis based on syntax allows us to disregard punctuation inserted by copyists and later editors. There are many nuances in syntactic affinity between adjacent words in a line, but we differentiate only three degrees: (1) close links, marked by [/], as between a modifier and a modified noun, or a verb and its direct object, e.g., "the humble /slave, we desire / increase," (2) medium links that are also medium breaks, marked [//], as between the subject and the predicate, a verb and an adverbial modifier of time or place, or adjacent words that have no immediate syntactic links, e.g., "thy fingers // walk; alive // that time; My heart // my eye // the freedom / of that right"; and (3) strong breaks, as between the author's direct speech, or between a sentence and a clause, or two independent sentences, e.g., "For shame," /// he cries, /// let go, /// and let me / go." The links and breaks are calculated as percentages from the total number of lines. In Elizabethan times, the most frequent break fell after syllable 4, emphasizing the hemistich segmentation 4 + 6 syllables. After 1600 the most frequent break began to fall after syllable 6, or even 7. The line segmentation became 6 + 4 or 7 + 3 (or 7 + 4).

Another parameter of analysis is stressing. The basis of this test is separation of the abstract metrical scheme from actual stresses in actual lines of the metrical text, in our case, iambic pentameter. Metre is a scheme abstracted from many actual texts. It also incorporates a set of rules that the author is aware of, so he chooses a limited set of words and word combinations in a particular syntactic arrangement to follow the rules. For example, "The divine Desdemona" is permissible for Shakespeare, but "The divine? You said, divine Desdemona?" is not. The metrical rules are stricter or more permissive during different periods of English versification and in different genres. We calculated the percentage of stresses on each syllabic position of all lines of the text from the total number of lines. The resulting strings of numbers are called the stress profiles of the text. It is convenient to tabulate stressing on even ("metrically strong," S) and odd ("metrically weak," W) syllabic positions separately. The problem of stressing monosyllables on S and W is challenging. (97)

We also examined phrasal stressing: a stress on W adjacent to the stress on S on its left or its right, e.g., "dear LOVE," and "with TOO much pain." In the first example, the extra-metrical stress occurs to the left of the stress on S, in the second example, to the right. The first type of phrasal stressing is conditionally called proclitic, the second type enclitic. The ratio of enclitic phrases (calculated per 1000 of the lines) is a good way of differentiating authorship, e.g., the scenes belonging to Shakespeare and Fletcher in The Two Noble Kinsmen (1613). Among other parameters of analysis are the types of line endings, syllabic, accentual, and syntactic. Syllabic types fall into masculine, feminine, dactylic, and very rarely hyperdactylic. Masculine endings can be stressed and unstressed, and the unstressed syllable on position 10 may be created by a polysyllabic word or by a weakly stressed or unstressed monosyllable, such as a preposition or a conjunction. Feminine endings can be simple ("LOVing") or compound ("LOVE it"). Compound feminine and dactylic endings can be light and heavy (with a stress on syllable 11), e.g., "in LOVE too." Syntactically, line endings can be end-stopped or run-on. Run-on lines are connected to the following line by a medium or strong link.

Other parameters include the frequency of syllabic suffixes -ed and -eth; the use of disyllabic variants of suffixes -ion and -ious; the frequency of pleonastic verb "do" and of grammatical inversions; the frequency of alliterations; and the use of deviations from the metre to emphasize the meaning of the situation described in the line (not unlike onomatopoeia), for example, "Duck with French nods and apish courtesy" instead of something more "iambic," like: "Or duck with apish nods."

Syntactic Breaks

In Elizabethan verse before 1600, the most frequent syntactic break fell after syllabic position 4, while after 1600, in Jacobean plays, the break fell after syllable 6 and even after 7. The sum of strong links, medium links/breaks, and strong breaks constitute the total number of word boundaries (WB) after each syllabic position. For comparison with Marston's texts we shall look at Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1595), Henry V (1599), and King Lear (1605), because Shakespeare's versification style reflects the general tendencies of the periods when the plays were composed. Antonio and Mellida was taken as a sample of Marston's style, (see Table 20).

Surprisingly, Marston's tendency is much like early Elizabethans, in particular Christopher Marlowe, though all of Marston's plays were composed close to or after 1600. Marlowe uses many polysyllabic words, particularly in Tamburlaine the Great (1587); therefore, though most breaks fall after syllable 4, the peak is not too high." Shakespeare's plays follow the periods: a peak after syllable 4 in the early Romeo and Juliet; breaks after 4, 5, and 6 are almost equal in Henry V, a transitional play; and a peak after syllable 6 in the later King Lear. Breaks in later Shakespeare become more frequent towards the end of the line. Dekker's The Noble Spanish Soldier (1622) displays a firm peak of breaks after syllable 6. In Marston's Antonio and Mellida the major peak of syntactic breaks falls after syllable 4 in almost a quarter of the lines. The Insatiate Countess, act I (all) and act V (ending with the execution of the countess, amounting to 215 lines), though a Jacobean play, is unquestionably Marstonian, with a peak after syllable 4. Histriomastix and The Family of Love have high peaks of breaks after syllables 4 and 6 in an almost equal proportion, so this test does not tell us much about their authorship. Lust's Dominion is completely un-Marstonian with its major peak of breaks after syllable 6. It reminds us of Dekker, as has been suggested above.

Stressing (see Table 21)

This test has turned out to be quite revealing. Antonio and Mellida and Histriomastix display, similarly to Tamburlaine, a wave-like tendency of stressing on S: the "dips" are on syllables 2, 6, and 10. The Family of Love and particularly The Insatiate Countess, both acts analyzed, also resemble Marston's style, with a "dip" on 6, but the stressing on syllable 10 is higher and on 8 lower than in Marston's earlier plays, because there are fewer polysyllables at the end of its lines, such as long names of personages (Antonio and Mellida) and Romance borrowings (Histriomastix), and more verse lines scattered among long passages of prose and non-iambic verse, so ends of iambic pentameter lines need to be made more marked by a stress.

A missing stress on syllable 6 is often accompanied by grammatical symmetry, expressed most often in two attributive phrases. In Histriomastix, symmetrical rhythmical-syntactic lines, or "cliches" as M. L. Gasparov termed them, (100) constitute 13.5% of all lines with an omitted stress on 6, e.g., "Then sacred knowledge by divinest things" (Hist., I.i); "All other pity is but foolish pride" (III.i.); and "Th'impatient spirit of the wretched sort" (III.i.).

The same types of lines are obvious in The Insatiate Countess: "Of Dian's bowstring in some shady wood" (IC, I.i.329); "Some little airing of his noble guest" (I.i.417). Here too Marston followed earlier playwrights. There are symmetrical rhythmical-syntactic patterns also of other types.

Other Features of Versification Analysis

To determine the authorship of a play it helps to calculate the ratio of proclitic and enclitic phrases; syllabic suffixes -ed and -eth; pleonastic verbs "do"; grammatical inversions; the disyllabic form of the suffix -ion; and the frequency of rhythmical deviations from the metre used to emphasize the meaning of the situation described in the line ("rhythmical italics"). Marston's line endings are predominantly masculine in all plays but The Insatiate Countess, the latest play: 17.3 and 19.2%, among them compound feminine, mostly light, but in three lines--heavy. Run-on lines are particularly numerous in Antonio and Mellida and The Family of Love (21.5 and 29.2%). (see Table 22).

Marston's plays contain numerous stresses on W: the indices of proclitic phrases are in mid-300s in Histriomastix and The Insatiate Countess, lower in The Family of Love, higher in Antonio and Mellida, and much higher in Lust's Dominion: over 500 per 1000 lines (cf. with Dekker). The ratios of enclitics are within the same range, except for The Insatiate Countess act V: much lower. The ratio of pleonastic "do" is relatively low, the two exceptions being The Family of Love and Lust's Dominion: twice as many cases of pleonastic "do" than in the rest of "Marston's" plays compared. A difference exists in the ratio of syllabic -ed and disyllabic -ion: Lust's Dominion, exactly like Dekker's The Noble Spanish Soldier, has no syllabic -ed at all, and very few disyllabic variants of -ion, again, like Dekker's play. The Family of Love falls within Marston's margins, and The Insatiate Countess act V reminds us of Antonio and Mellida, Marston's much earlier play. Shakespeare's partiality for pleonastic "do," compared to Marston and other playwrights, is well known. Marston was fond of making polysyllabic words even longer: in addition to the cases of words with disyllabic -ion, we find "phy-si-ci-an," "mar-ri-age," "for-be-a-rance," and "ven-ge-ance." Rhythmical italics are particularly frequent in Antonio and Mellida and The Insatiate Countess, plays about love and death. Examples include: "Cropped by her hand" (IC, V.i.63); "Mixed in his fear" (V.i.171); and "down with my ashes sink" (V.ii.218), all from act V of The Insatiate Countess.

Overall Conclusions:

Out of the four "dubious" plays examined in this essay, Histriomastix and The Insatiate Countess can still be attributed to Marston with confidence, though both plays seem to contain non-Marstonian material, probably as later alterations. As we have seen, Marston's acknowledged works are characterized by the striking consistency with which he employs "whilst" over "while," "among" over "amongst," and "betwixt" over "between." Histriomastix diverges in many respects, but the play evinces some affinities with Marston in terms of Latinate diction. Furthermore, the versification characteristics of Histriomastix, e.g., its stress profile, support our attribution of the play to early Marston. Evidence for Marston's involvement is also supported by recurrent collocations: these suggest a single author's idiolect, as opposed to influence, imitation, or plagiarism. Richard Simpson's hypothesis that Marston revised an older version of the play written by George Peele seems unsustainable, (101) and we are not convinced that Dekker was co-author. (102) We suggest that the play was originally composed by Marston, but that at some point the text might have been "lightly overwritten by another hand." (103) We feel that the evidence is sufficient enough to not "release Marston from responsibility for Histrio-Mastix and declare the author of Histrio-Mastix once again to be unknown." (104)

Our findings for The Insatiate Countess largely agree with Melchiori's arguments for Marston's contributions, but we have also detected lexical evidence for his hand in II.iii; IV.i and IV.iv; and some speeches in act V (V.i and V.ii), which might explain why we find "Marston's initial choice" of character names in V.ii. (105) Our findings suggest that Barksted, and not "some hack writer," was largely responsible for the last scene of the play, (106) while our verbal evidence corroborates with Wiggins's observation that act I seems "to have been worked over by Barksted." (107) Our versification analysis, however, attributes act I to Marston alone, as well as the sample from act V.

Lust's Dominion and The Family of Love suggest Marston's influence, but we consider it unlikely that Marston actually had a hand in these texts. Dekker seems to have compiled his co-authors' sections of Lust's Dominion for a final copy of the whole play, frequently touching up dialogue and linking passages and scenes in an effort to achieve unity. (108) Haughton was largely responsible for the scenes featuring the friars, Crab and Cole, (109) whereas Day seems to have helped with the portions in which Maria encounters Oberon and the fairies, and some martial scenes at the end of act III and the beginning of act IV; parts of act V also seem to contain islets of Day. It is testament to H. Dugdale Sykes's formidable skills as an attributionist that our modern methods largely accord with his divisions of authorship, expounded more than a century ago. (110) Sykes drew upon remarkably extensive reading-based judgements that are lacking in many recent number-specific studies. We feel that, on the basis of our tests for vocabulary, prosody, and parallels of thought and language, there is little or no room for a fourth authorial hand in this play, and thus we tentatively rule Marston out as a serious candidate.

The Family of Love more closely resembles Marston than the other primary authorship candidate, Lording Barry, in terms of our counts for the connective "between," the exclamations "ha," "la," and "fie," and the Latinate termination -ate. However, there is no way of testing this play against the stylistic variation for Barry texts, given that we have just one play for comparison. As Taylor, Mulholland, and Jackson put it, "some of Barry's own preferences could have shifted between 1605 (the earliest possible date for completion of Family) and 1610 (the latest possible date for completion of Ram Alley)." (111) Furthermore, The Family of Love is akin to Barry in terms of the play's preference for "while" over "whilst," and the high counts for "amongst" and "tut," while spelling preferences do not correspond with Marston's accepted stage plays. Additionally, versification analysis does not suggest Marston's profile. The abundance of verbal links with Marston, spread throughout his dramatic corpus, could easily have persuaded us that Marston contributed to the play, were it not for the fact that Barry's Ram Alley also has dense verbal relations with Marston's oeuvre, indicative of close imitation. We suggest that the dramatic relationship between Marston and Barry should be explored further, and hope that other scholars can build upon our findings, as well as the theories expounded in Cathcart's monograph. (112) Our results therefore suggest that the author of The Family of Love was "highly influenced by Marston's own writings," (113) and that its author was probably Lording Barry.

The overall results of our analyses prove the usefulness of diverse approaches to authorship, when unlike tests give support to each other.


(1.) This article derives from a report entitled "Examining the Boundaries of John Marston's Dramatic Canon," which was submitted to Martin Butler and Matthew Steggle January 24, 2017. The authors wish to thank Butler and Steggle for the opportunity to examine Marston's corpus as part of The Oxford Marston project.

(2.) We have used Martin Wiggins and Catherine Richardson's British Drama 1533-1642: A Catalogue, 10 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014-15) for the dates of first performances.

(3.) Gustav Cross, "The Authorship of Lust's Dominion," Studies in Philology 55 (1958): 39-61.

(4.) See also Dodsley's A Select Collection of Old Plays, ed. J. P. Collier, 3d ed., 12 vols. (London: Septimus Prowett, 1825), II.311.

(5.) Cyrus Hoy, Introductions, Notes, and Commentaries to Texts in The Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker, ed. Fredson Bowers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980).

(6.) Hoy, Introductions, Notes, and Commentaries, 68-69.

(7.) Charles Cathcart, "Lust's Dominion; Or, the Lascivious Queen: Authorship, Date, and Revision," The Review of English Studies, 52.207 (2001): 360-75.

(8.) Richard Simpson, The School of Shakespeare, 3 vols. (London: Chatto and Windus, 1878), II.1-89.

(9.) R. A. Small, The Stage Quarrel Between Ben Jonson and the So-called Poetasters (Breslau: M. & H. Marcus, 1899), 67-90; E. K. Chambers, The Elizabethan Stage, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1923), IV.17-19.

(10.) F. G. Fleay, Biographical Chronicle of the English Drama, 2 vols. (London: Reeves and Turner, 1891), 11.69-72.

(11.) Alvin B. Kernan, "John Marston's Play Histriomastix," Modern Language Quarterly, 19 (1958): 134-50.

(12.) George L. Geckle, "John Marston's Histriomastix and the Golden Age," Comparative Drama 6 (1972): 205-22.

(13.) David J. Lake, ''Histriomastix: Linguistic Evidence for Authorship," Notes and Queries, 226 (1981): 148-52, esp. 152.

(14.) Roslyn Lander Knutson, "Histrio-mastix: Not by John Marston," Studies in Philology, 98, no. 3 (2001): 359-77.

(15.) James P. Bednarz, "Writing and Revenge: John Marston's Histriomastix," Comparative Drama 36 (2002): 21-51.

(16.) John Peachman, "Previously Unrecorded Verbal Parallels Between Histriomastix and the Acknowledged Works of John Marston," Notes and Queries 51 (2004): 304-6. Available online at [accessed 30 September 2016].

(17.) Charles Cathcart, Marston, Rivalry, Rapprochement, and Jonson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008): 8-13.

(18.) Gerald J. Eberle, "Dekker's Part in The Familie of Love" in Joseph Quincy Adams Memorial Studies, eds. James G. McManaway, Giles E. Dawson, and Edwin E. Willoughby (Washington, DC: Folger Shakespeare Library, 1948): 723.

(19.) The Works of Thomas Middleton, ed. Alexander Dyce, 5 vols. (London: Edward Lumley, 1840): II.

(20.) The Works of Thomas Middleton, ed. A. H. Bullen, 8 vols. (Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin, 1885): III.

(21.) Eberle, "Dekker's Part," 726.

(22.) George R. Price, Thomas Dekker (New York: Twayne, 1969): 177-78.

(23.) David J. Lake, The Canon of Thomas Middleton''s Plays (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975): 91-108.

(24.) Gary Taylor, Paul Mulholland, and MacDonald P. Jackson, "Thomas Middleton, Lording Barry, and The Family of Love," The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 93, no. 2 (1999): 213-41.

(25.) Taylor, Mulholland, and Jackson, "Thomas Middleton, Lording Barry," 227.

(26.) Cathcart, Marston, Rivalry, Rapprochement, 79.

(27.) David J. Lake, "The Insatiate Countess: Linguistic Evidence for Authorship," Notes and Queries, 28 (1981): 166-70.

(28.) Giorgio Melchiori, "Introduction," in The Insatiate Countess, ed. Giorgio Melchiori (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984): 1-50, esp. 12.

(29.) The Insatiate Countess, ed. Melchiori, 16.

(30.) Cathcart, Marston, Rivalry, Rapprochement, 59-60. Michael Scott has also argued for an earlier date for the original play. Michael Scott, "Marston's Early Contribution to The Insatiate Countess" Notes and Queries, 222 (1977): 116-17.

(31.) Available online at [accessed 13 June 2017].

(32.) Available online at [accessed 13 June 2017].

(33.) MacDonald P. Jackson, Studies in Attribution: Middleton and Shakespeare (Salzburg: Jacobean Studies, 1979): 214-15.

(34.) Marcus Dahl, "Authors of the Mind," Journal of Early Modern Studies 5 (2016): 157-73, esp. 157.

(35.) The augmented version of The Malcontent has the highest rate of occurrence for "O" interjections in Marston's canon, which could be due to additions and revisions made by Marston and John Webster (although Webster's dramatic works show no marked preference for either form). For a useful account of the divisions of authorship in this play, see David J. Lake, "Webster's Additions to The Malcontent: Linguistic Evidence," Notes and Queries 226 (1981): 153-58.

(36.) Lake, Middleton's Plays, 211.

(37.) MacDonald P. Jackson, Defining Shakespeare: Pericles as Test Case (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003): 5.

(38.) Eastward Ho, in The Works of Ben Jonson, eds. C. H. Herford and Percy Simpson, 11 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1932): IV; "Introduction," in Eastward Ho!, ed. C. G. Petter (London: Ernest Benn, 1973): xiii-xlviii.

(39.) Lake, "Histriomastix: Linguistic Evidence," 148-52.

(40.) Lake, Middleton's Plays, 50.

(41.) John P. A. Ioannidis, "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False," PLoS Medicine, 2, no. 8 (2005). Available online at [accessed 13 June 2017].

(42.) Lake, Middleton's Plays, 46.

(43.) Ashley H. Thorndike, The Influence of Beaumont and Fletcher on Shakespeare (Worcester, MA: Wood, 1901): 24.

(44.) A. C. Partridge, The Problem of Henry VIII Reopened (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1949); Orthography in Shakespeare and Elizabethan Drama (London: Arnold, 1964).

(45.) Cyrus Hoy, "The Shares of Fletcher and his collaborators in the Beaumont and Fletcher Canon (1)," Studies in Bibliography 8 (1956): 129-46.

(46.) Lake, Middleton's Plays, 281.

(47.) Interestingly, there are eighteen instances of the form "hem" in The Family of Love, which we do not find in Barry's Ram Alley or any of Marston's unaided plays.

(48.) George K. Hunter, "Introduction," in Antonio and Mellida, ed. George K. Hunter (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965): ix-xxi, esp. xix.

(49.) We count consecutive repetitions of such forms as single instances, so "fie, fie" would count as one example, rather than two, and so forth.

(50.) Taylor, Mulholland, and Jackson, "Thomas Middleton, Lording Barry," 228-29.

(51.) Notably, the co-occurrence of "fa" and "pish" in I.i of Eastward Ho provides additional evidence for Marston's hand in that scene.

(52.) Brian Vickers, "Counterfeiting" Shakespeare: Evidence, Authorship, and John Ford's Funerall Elegye (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002): 226.

(53.) F. E. Pierce, The Collaboration of Webster and Dekker (New York: Henry Holt, 1909).

(54.) Pierce, Webster and Dekker, 5.

(55.) Available online at [accessed 7 July 2017].

(56.) Available online at [accessed 7 July 2017].

(57.) Notably, the manuscript masque text The Entertainment at Ashby (1607) has zero instances of many of the seeming Marstonian preferences, and instead has instances of non-Marstonian words such as "he," "lorde," "only," and "think." However, the manuscript is only partly autograph.

(58.) Available online at [accessed 10 October 2016].

(59.) Available online at[accessed 13 June 2017].

(60.) Available online at https://shc.earlyprint.Org/shc/home.html# [accessed 13 June 2017].

(61.) Muriel St. Clare Byrne, "Bibliographic Clues in Collaborate Plays," Library 13 (1932): 21-48, esp. 24. See also Brian Vickers, Shakespeare, Co-author: A Historical Study of Five Collaborative Plays (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002): 58.

(62.) H. Dugdale Sykes, Sidelights on Elizabethan Drama (New York: Routledge, 1924): 107.

(63.) Lust's Dominion, III.iii, in Mary Ellen Cacheado, Lust's Dominion (or the Lascivious Queen), A Tragedy (MA dissertation: Sheffield Hallam University, 2005). Available online at [accessed 30 October 2016]. All further references are to this edition, which does not contain line numbers, and will be given parenthetically.

(64.) John Marston, Antonio's Revenge, IV.iii.97, ed. Reavley Gair (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1978). All further references are to this edition and will be given parenthetically.

(65.) William Haughton, Englishmen for My Money, i.6-9, in Natalie C. J. Aldred, "A Critical Edition of William Haughton's Englishmen for My Money; or, a Woman Will Have Her Will" (Doctoral thesis: University of Birmingham, 2010). Available online at [accessed 30 October 2016]. All further references are to this edition and will be given parenthetically.

(66.) Thomas Dekker, Old Fortunatus, V.ii.55, in Old Fortunatus, A Play Written by Thomas Dekker, ed. Oliphant Smeaton (London: J. M. Dent, 1904). All further references are to this edition and will be given parenthetically.

(67.) Thomas Dekker, The Shoemaker's Holiday, x.31-32, eds. R. L. Smallwood and Stanley Wells (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1979).

(68.) John Day, Humour Out of Breath, V.i., in Humour Out of Breath; A Comedy, Written by John Day, ed. J. O. Halliwell-Phillips (London: printed for the Percy library, 1860).

(69.) John Marston, What You Will, IV.i.195-96, in The Works of John Marston, ed. A. H. Bullen, 3 vols. (London: J. C. Nimmo, 1887), II. All further references are to this edition and will be given parenthetically.

(70.) John Marston, The Malcontent, I.v.44-45, ed. George K. Hunter (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999). All further references are to this edition and will be given parenthetically.

(71.) Histriomastix, IV.i., ed. John S. Farmer (Amersham: Tudor Facsimile Texts, 1912). All further references are to this edition, which does not include line numbers, and will be given parenthetically.

(72.) John Marston, Antonio and Mellida, IV.i.125, ed. George K. Hunter (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965). All further references are to this edition and will be given parenthetically.


(74.) The Family of Love, II.iv, in The Works of Thomas Middleton, ed. Alexander Dyce, 5 vols. (London: Edward Lumley, 1840), II. All further references are to this edition and will be given parenthetically.

(75.) Jack Drum's Entertainment, II.i., ed. John S. Farmer (Amersham: Tudor Facsimile Texts, 1912). All further references are to this edition and will be given parenthetically.

(76.) John Marston, The Dutch Courtesan, II.iii.69, in The Works of John Marston, ed. A. H. Bullen, 3 vols. (London: J. C. Nimmo, 1887), II. All further references are to this edition and will be given parenthetically.

(77.) Cathcart, Marston, Rivalry, Rapprochement, 79-155.

(78.) Robert Duncan Fraser, "Lording Barry: Dramatist, Pirate--and Dramatis Persona?," A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews, 28, no. 2 (2015): 74-78. Available online at [accessed 10 October 2016].

(79.) Brian Gibbons, Jacobean City Comedy: A Study of Satiric Plays by Jonson, Marston and Middleton (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1968), 151.

(80.) The Family of Love, ed. Simon Shepherd (Nottingham: Nottingham Drama Texts, 1979), p. iii.

(81.) Ram Alley, IV.iv.95, in Robert Duncan Fraser, "Ram Alley, or Merry Tricks (Lording Barry, 1611): A Critical Edition" (Doctoral thesis: Sussex University, 2013). Available online at All further references are to this edition and will be given parenthetically.

(82.) John Marston and Others, The Insatiate Countess, I.i. 12, in Four Jacobean Sex Tragedies, ed. Martin Wiggins (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). All further references are to this edition and will be given parenthetically.

(83.) William Barksted, Hiren and The Fair Greek, 1. 87, in Occasional Issues of Unique or Very Rare Books, ed. Alexander B. Grosart, 17 vols. (Manchester: printed privately, 1876), III. All further references are to this edition and will be given parenthetically.

(84.) Ants Oras, Pause Patterns in Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama: An Experiment in Prosody (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1960).

(85.) Marina Tarlinskaja, "Rhythm-Morphology-Syntax-Rhythm," Style, 18, no. 1 (1984): 1-26.

(86.) Oras, Pause Patterns, pp. 1-2.

(87.) Ibid.,3.

(88.) Ibid., 3.

(89.) Following Oras, we have examined the earliest editions of these plays available. These texts are drawn from the database Literature OnLine, or LION ( There is always some small margin of error in analyses of this kind, but we have been utterly consistent in our counts, and any errors are thus unlikely to affect the overall patterns.

(90.) Oras also produced frequency polygons for these plays. See Oras, Pause Patterns, 42.

(91.) Hoy, Introductions, Notes, and Commentaries, 69.

(92.) Oras, Pause Patterns, 23.

(93.) Sykes, Sidelights, 100.

(94.) Algernon Charles Swinburne, The Age of Shakespeare (London: Chatto and Windus, 1908), 84-85.

(95.) Oras, Pause Patterns, 53-55.

(96.) It is perhaps worth mentioning that the word "golden" occurs on four occasions in this play, three of which cluster in act I (the other instance occurs in II.iii). Brian Vickers has substantiated previous scholars' observations that Dekker displays a notable "fondness for the adjective 'golden' [...] which occurs a remarkable 163 times in twenty-six sole and co-authored plays." The Collected Works of John Ford, ed. Brian Vickers, 5 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 11.172.

(97.) Our approach is explained in detail in Marina Tarlinskaja, English Verse: Theory and History (The Hague and Paris: Mouton, 1976); Shakespeare and the Versification of Elizabethan Drama 1561-1642 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014).

(98.) Dekker, The Noble Spanish Soldier.

(99.) See "Table B.3", in Tarlinskaja, Shakespeare and the Versification.

(100.) M. L. Gasparov, Metr i smysl. Ob odnom iz mekhanizmov kul 'turnoj pamyati [Metre and meaning. About one mechanism of the cultural memory] (Moscow: RGGU, 1999).

(101.) See Simpson, The School of Shakespeare, II.10-12, II.14.

(102.) See Lake, "Histriomastix: Linguistic Evidence," 152.

(103.) Cathcart, Marston, Rivalry, Rapprochement, 10.

(104.) Knutson, "Histrio-mastix: Not by John Marston," 377.

(105.) The Insatiate Countess, ed. Giorgio Melchiori, 16.

(106.) Ibid.

(107.) Martin Wiggins and Catherine Richardson, British Drama 1533-1642: A Catalogue: Volume VI: 1609-1616 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 43.

(108.) In the case of Keep the Widow Waking (1624), Dekker seems to have been "the principal agent in the making of the play and was entrusted with its execution." Charles Jasper Sisson, Lost Plays of Shakespeare's Age (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1936), 114. The same can be said of Lust's Dominion.

(109.) Dekker probably also had a hand in these scenes; for instance, the exclamation, "humh," which is unique to Dekker, co-occurs with II.iii, and follows Haughton's passages featuring the friars.

(110.) Sykes, Sidelights on Elizabethan Drama, 106-1.

(111.) Taylor, Mulholland, and Jackson, "Thomas Middleton, Lording Barry," 227.

(112.) Cathcart, Marston, Rivalry, Rapprochement, 79-155.

(113.) Ibid., 89.

Play                       O    Oh

Antonio and Mellida         93   9
Antonio's Revenge          103   1
Jack Drum's Entertainment   42  55
What You Will               84   1
The Malcontent             104   3
Parasitaster                75  17
The Dutch Courtesan        101   5
The Wonder of Women         78   0


Play                        O    Oh

Lust's Dominion               4  79
Histriomastix                48   0
The Malcontent (augmented)  127   1
Eastward Ho                  56   0
The Family of Love           52   1
The Insatiate Countess       52   6


Play                       Whilst  While

Antonio and Mellida         9       1
Antonio's Revenge           9       3
Jack Drum's Entertainment   6       1
What You Will               9       1
The Malcontent             15       0
Parasitaster                6       1
The Dutch Courtesan         6       1
The Wonder of Women        18       1


Play                        Whilst  While

Lust's Dominion              8       5
Histriomastix               10       7
The Malcontent (augmented)  18       1
Eastward Ho                  4      12
The Family of Love           4       9
The Insatiate Countess       1       8


Play                       Amongst  Among

Antonio and Mellida        0        1
Antonio's Revenge          0        1
Jack Drum's Entertainment  0        2
What You Will              0        1
The Malcontent             0        1
Parasitaster               0        3
The Dutch Courtesan        0        0
The Wonder of Women        1        3


Play                        Amongst  Among

Lust's Dominion             3        1
Histriomastix               6        1
The Malcontent (augmented)  5        2
Eastward Ho                 1        5
The Family of Love          6        8
The Insatiate Countess      0        1


Play                       Betwixt  Between

Antonio and Mellida        1        0
Antonio's Revenge          3        0
Jack Drum's Entertainment  1        0
What You Will              2        0
The Malcontent             2        0
Parasitaster               2        1
The Dutch Courtesan        5        0
The Wonder of Women        0        1


Play                        Betwixt  Between

Lust's Dominion             0        1
Histriomastix               0        2
The Malcontent (augmented)  3        1
Eastward Ho                 5        0
The Family of Love          1        3
The Insatiate Countess      3        7


Play                       'em  Them

Antonio and Mellida        0    24
Antonio's Revenge          0    16
Jack Drum's Entertainment  0    15
What You Will              0    35
The Malcontent             0    14
Parasitaster               1    45
The Dutch Courtesan        1    24
The Wonder of Women        0    14


Play                        'em  Them

Lust's Dominion              4   63
Histriomastix                0   44
The Malcontent (augmented)   0   35
Eastward Ho                  0   24
The Family of Love           0   49
The Insatiate Countess      13   44


Play                 Exclamatory Noises

Antonio and Mellida  "fa" (1) "faugh" (2) "fut" (3) "pew" (1) "pish" (4)
                     "sfoot" (1) "slid" (2) "slight" (1) "slud" (2)
                     "tush" (1) "tut" (1) "whogh" (1) "whop" (1)
Antonio's Revenge    "faugh" (1) "fie" (4) "fut" (4) "pish" (5) "tush"
                     (3) "tut" (2)
Jack Drum's          "fie" (4) "la" (2) "pish" (2) "tush" (4) "tut" (4)
Entertainment        "fie" (7) "fut" (10) "la" (7) "pew" (1) "pish" (4)
What You Will        "puh" (1) "slid" (3) "tut" (4) "whop" (1)
The Malcontent       "fie" (1) "la" (2) "pew" (1) "pish" (2) "tush" (1)
                     "tut" (2) "urn" (1)
Parasitaster         "fie" (5) "pish" (5) "tush" (1) "um" (1)
The Dutch Courtesan  "faugh" (1) "fie" (7) "la" (1) "pah" (2) "pish" (2)
The Wonder of Women  "fie" (2) "pish" (1) "tush" (1) "um" (1)


Play                    Exclamatory Noises

Lust's Dominion         "pish" (2) "puh" (3) "sheart" (5) "tut" (2)
Histriomastix           "fie" (3) "slid" (3) "tush" (1)
The Malcontent          "la" (5) "pew" (2) "pish" (2) "slid" (1) "tush"
(augmented)              (1) "tut" (1)
Eastward Ho             "fa" (1) "fie" (5) "la" (2) "pish" (1) "sfoot"
                        (5) "slid" (1)
The Family of Love      "fie" (6) "tut" (13)
The Insatiate Countess  "fie" (2) "tut" (1)


Play                       Overall Word Count  -ate

Antonio and Mellida        15900               1060
Antonio's Revenge          16612                874
Jack Drum's Entertainment  17809                742
What You Will              18547               1030
The Malcontent             15994                800
Parasitaster               24727                916
The Dutch Courtesan        19730               1518
The Wonder of Women        14642               1464


Play                        Overall Word Count  -ate

Lust's Dominion             22147               1846
Histriomastix               14362                845
The Malcontent (augmented)  22024                918
Eastward Ho                 25832                861
The Family of Love          22155               1384
The Insatiate Countess      21873                729


Play             Foole  Fool   Free  Ha    Hee     He    Lord  Lorde

Antonio           10     0      0     27   10       61    24     0
and Mellida
Antonio's         33     0      3     27    4       85    27     0
Dutch Courtesan   13     0      3     58   17      121         291
Parasitaster      42     0      7     59   55      133    57     1
Histriomastix      4     0      1      0    7       18    24     0
Jack Drum         29     0      4     46   25       97     9     2
Insatiate          4     0      4      5   30       80    89     0
What You Will     32     0      2     52   44       99     9     0
Wonder of Women    2     0     10     15    7       57    17     0
Lust's Dominion    0     5     12     25   11       94    59     0
Family of Love     0     7      7     13    0       63     4     0
Play             Nay    Onely  Only  Sir  Thinke  Think  Bee    Be
Antonio           16     5      3     22   13        4     0    11
and Mellida
Antonio's          9    11      6     27   13        1     2    88
Dutch Courtesan   41    36      6    124   25        3    18   143
Parasitaster      53    89     17     85   37        4    48   150
Histriomastix     10     5      0     45    5        0    11    89
Jack Drum         20     8      2    124   14        5     6   110
Insatiate         13    11      0     31   40        1     0   169
What You Will     39    11      3     43    9        2    30   104
Wonder of Women    8    20      4      0   18        6    13    67
Lust's Dominion    8     2      2      4    2       10     2   135
Family of Love    15     0     18     57    0       25     0   187


Play                    Number of Matches as % of Word Count

Histriomastix           0.00098
Ram Alley               0.000899
The Insatiate Countess  0.000646
Lust's Dominion         0.0006
The Family of Love      0.000495


Scene    Marston Unique  Dekker Unique  Day Unique  Haughton Unique
         Matches         Matches        Matches     Matches

I.i       1               4              2           0
I.ii      1               2              0           0
I.iii     1               5              2           0
I.iv      1               0              0           1
Hi        2               2              1           1
II.ii     1               0              1           1
II.iii    0               1              0           0
II.iv     1               1              0           0
II.v      1               2              0           1     0               0              0           0
III.i     2               1              0           0
III.ii    0               1              1           0
III.iii   3               0              0           0
III.iv    3               3              0           0
III.v     1               0              0           2    0               0              3           0
IV.i      0               0              1           0
IV.ii     1               1              0           1
IV.iii    2               1              1           0
IV.iv     1               2              0           0
IV.v      3               4              1           1
V.i       0               3              3           0
V.ii      0               1              1           0
V.iii     2               1              0           1
V.iv      1               1              0           1
V.v       0               3              1           1      1               0              1           1
Totals   29              39             19          12


Play            1     2    3     4     5     6     7    8    9

Antonio and     6.8  10.2  4.4  25.3  18.0  20.1   7.0  5.9  2.3
Mellida 1-2
Jack Drum's     4.0   8.1  4.9  31.9  21.5  20.0   7.1  1.8  0.7
What You Will   2.9   9.4  5.5  26.4  19.9  19.6   8.2  5.5  2.7
The Malcontent  5.0  10.2  4.1  31.4  10.9  23.2   7.1  6.3  1.8
Parasitaster    1.4   4.9  3.5  36.7  17.9  22.6   7.4  4.9  0.7
The Dutch       2.7   8.5  2.4  27.9  14.8  23.0  12.4  7.3  0.9
The Wonder      2.4   6.9  3.3  31.8  15.6  21.4   9.4  6.7  2.4
of Women


Play           1    2    3    4     5     6     7     8    9

Lust's         4.1  8.9  6.5  19.1  15.0  26.4  13.4  5.7  0.8
(Act I)
Histriomastix  7.3  9.7  5.5  24.9  19.4  18.4  10.7  3.2  0.9
The Family     2.7  6.8  0.9  35.2  14.2  30.1   5.5  4.6  0
of Love
The Insatiate  2.6  7.0  4.0  25.9  22.0  24.3   9.8  3.2  1.2

Strong Syntactic Breaks after Syllables 2-9

Play             2     3    4     5     6     7     8    9

Tamburlaine      6.5  2.2  12.0   6.7   4.6   2.0  1.7  0.2
1 (1587)
Antonio         11.5  4.5  23.5  16.8  14.6   7.7  4.7  2.4
Histriomastix    7.7  4.4  10.8  10.1   9.4   5.4  1.9  0.7
Lust's           7.8  4.1  13.0  12.6  23.8  11.5  5.9  1.1
The Family       5.7  1.1  22.2  10.4  23.6   3.2  4.6  0.0
of Love (1607)
Countess         6.6  2.3  18.8   8.8  11.0   3.7  2.2  0.7
(1610) Act 1
Countess         6.0  5.4  20.7  12.3  14.3   6.9  3.7  1.0
Act 5
Romeo           10.2  4.8  25.7  13.0  14.0   4.4  3.4  1.6
Henry            6.6  3.2  14.3  11.1  13.5   6.8  2.8  1.0
V (1599)
King Lear        8.2  4.8  18.2  15.2  27.7  15.4  8.9  3.7
Dekker,          7.2  4.2  14.4  12.8  23.2  16.8  8.0  2.6
Soldier (98)

Stressing on Positions 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 (in % of all Lines; Minima

                2     4     6     8    10

Tamburlaine 1  70.2  86.9  66.3  79.0  77.2
Antonio and    75.6  92.1  70.6  86.9  81.8
Lust's         72.1  83.8  74.2  74.9  86.2
Histriomastix  77.8  87.9  76.5  81.1  79.9
The Family     86.4  91.4  78.1  83.5  91.4
of Love
Countess       63.6  87.5  63.6  76.5  85.7
Act I
Countess       69.5  87.2  66.0  77.8  82.3
Act V
Romeo          66.7  87.2  68.3  73.6  88.5
Henry V        63.5  81.7  70.8  71.9  86.8
King Lear      69.9  82.0  77.6  67.8  95.7
Dekker,        68.1  84.5  80.4  73.6  90.6

TABLE 22 Additional Features, per 1000 Lines

                 Procl.  Encl.  Pleon.  Syllabic   Disyllab.    Gramm.
                                'do'    -ed, -eth  -ion, -ious  invers.

Tamburlaine 1    161.4   11.1   10.1    38.0        13.4         27.5
Antonio          446.3   75.1   16.7    45.9        13.6         10.4
Histriomastix    343.5   57.8   19.8    19.8        17.8         25.7
Lust's           508.8   56.5   31.8     0.0         3.5         21.2
Family           309.0   32.1   39.4    21.5         7.1         21.5
Countess Act I   330.9   55.1   14.7    11.0        11.0         33.1
Countess Act V   305.4   20.0   29.5    29.5        10.0         39.4
Romeo            370.3   49.6   36.3    23.5         3.7         12.8
Henry V          322.9   33.4   40.1    26.7        13.9         37.3
King Lear        363.7   39.4   35.8    11.8         1.6         36.4
Dekker, Soldier  457.8   96.4   18.1     0.0         6.0         30.3

                 Rhythm-  Alliter.

Tamburlaine 1     70.6    237.5
Antonio          100.1    137.6
Histriomastix     64.3    177.2
Lust's            95.4    144.9
Family            35.8    111.1
Countess Act I   154.6    117.6
Countess Act V    98.5    113.3
Romeo             62.2    121.4
Henry V          138.6    206.6
King Lear        116.1    161.8
Dekker, Soldier   84.3    101.1
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Author:Freebury-Jones, Darren; Tarlinskaja, Marina; Dahl, Marcus
Publication:Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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