Sunday, February 19, 2017

Zelazny: Shakespeare in Amber

As most of you guys will know, Zelazny's background was in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and his Master's thesis was entitled Two traditions and Cyril Tourneur: an examination of morality and humor comedy conventions in The Revenger's Tragedy. He would later go on to write The Revenger's Tragedy in spaaaaaaaace in the form of Nine Starships Waiting. He's well-informed on the subject.

His writing in general and Amber, in particular, is sprinkled with references to Shakespeare (Arden, Oberon, "In the state of Denmark, there was the odor of decay...."). In a sense, that's not surprising. Writers write what they know, and most readers will be able to recognize a reference or a line from Shakespeare.

However, I've been in communication with a reader who thinks there is more to it than that, that the placement of these references adds up to something of a story within a story, a kind of shadow play within Nine Princes in Amber.

The reader has sent me research on the topic, but I won't post it here at this time because it involves a lot of hard work and I don't want to pass it off on my own. Has anyone heard this theory before? What do you guys think of the possibility?

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