Shakespeare's word against a computer's

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

COMPUTER has come up with primary evidence suggesting that Shakespeare may, after all, have plagiarised anonymous works often attributed to Christopher Marlowe.

UK's Aston University computer scientist Robert Mathews and literary scholar Thomas Merriam made the discovery using what are called neural networks -- a computer programmed to learn from experience, like a set of brain cells. The electronic critic scored 90 per cent success in comparing the styles of writers, according to how often a word was used.

Controversially, the finding indicts Shakespeare for having borrowed the plots of the plays Henry VI, parts II and III, The Contention and The True Tragedy of Richard, Duke of York, from Marlowe's early works.

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