The paper scrutinizes the originality and novelty of pieces of art and the creative contribution of their authors. Though Shakespeare almost entirely borrowed the material of his Romeo and Juliet from literary sources, the play represents an original writing towering above all its "prototypes." The newness manifests itself, first and foremost, in the guiding idea that makes the play at once a hymn to young love and a lament for its doom in the "down-to-earth" world of maturity. Originality consists in adjusting the material obtained to the author's own intent, rearranging the parts and working up the individual elements, marking out the key link, and building round it another framework that fits with the mission—that for the sake of which a creative work is done. And it is just this junction of the guiding idea with the reconfigured material that constitutes the marrow of originality. In developing the argument, the author exposes Shakespeare's view of love, his recomposition of what has been borrowed from the others' works, revision of the elements, and elicitation of the key link and its adjustment, on one hand, to the guiding idea and, on the other, to the rest of the contents. The ways and techniques Shakespeare used to remake and supplement the material come to light. From the analysis made, the author derives a comprehensive pattern of novelty in literature and—broader—in art.


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pp. 94-112
Launched on MUSE
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