"Shakespeare" is noted for his frequent use of
other authors' plots on which to base his own dramas. For instance,
"The Two Gentlemen of Verona" is founded on the Spanish play "Diana,"
by Montemayor; "Hamlet" on " The History of Hamblet," originally
composed in Latin by the Dane, Saxo Grammaticus; "Othello" on an
Italian novel by Boccaccio; "Twelfth Night" on one in Italian by
Bandello; "Romeo and Juliet" on one in Massuito's collection; "Timon
of Athens" on one in Greek and Lucian; "Julius Caesar" and "Antony
and Cleopatra" on Plutarch. If Will Shaksper wrote these
"Shakespeare" plays, it means that he must have been able to read
Spanish, Latin, Italian and Greek in the original, for there were no
translations of these foreign authors in those days.
Is it a coincidence that Francis Bacon, in writing his history of "Henry VII," acknowledged his dependence on authors who had preceded him and given him the main facts?