If we turn now from Shakespeare’s life to the obscure beginnings of his work, it is reasonable to suppose that he must have been in London by 1588, writing collaboratively but prominently the plays whose success so irritated Robert Greene. We cannot exactly date the composition of his first plays: four histories, three comedies and a tragedy. Classical drama was then available in Latin only, but ‘tragedy’ and ‘comedy’ are Greek terms for Greek forms of drama, saluting the Athenian drama of two thousand years earlier.
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