Do we have all of Shakespeare’s plays? Is there any play lost to us? Many plays, which were once considered to have been written by Shakespeare, have now been discovered to be written by others. Shakespeare also has written plays in collaboration with others. A couple of his plays, however, are known to us only because they are mentioned by their name by his contemporaries and are lost. They are Love’s Labour Won and Cordenio.

      Francis Meres, an English churchman and author, lists a dozen or so plays by Shakespeare in his book Palladis Tamia. One of them is Love’s Labour Won. An English book-seller, Christopher Hunt also mentions the name of this play as Shakespeare’s work. Both of them were Shakespeare’s contemporaries and knew the bard’s works. Some say that this play was a sequel to Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. There is a reason for this speculation. In the play Love’s Labour Lost, the weddings that were to take place at the end of the play were delayed for a year. Maybe, Shakespeare, scholars think, had a sequel named Love’s Labour Won in mind. There is also another theory that this is the alternative name of an already existing play.

      Cardenio, on the other hand, is thought to be a collaborative effort by Shakespeare and John Fletcher, another Elizabethan writer. Scholars say that this play’s plot was based on a story from Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Cardenio is a young man who lives in misery and madness in Sierra Morena, a mountain range in Spain, driven there by the apparent infidelity of his beloved Lucinda and the treachery of Duke Ferdinand. Lewis Theobald, and 18th century British writer, had written a play named Double Falsehood or The Distressed Lovers. Some say that this play is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cardenio.

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