Plagiarism software uncovers a new source of Shakespeare's inspiration

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Plagiarism Software Unveils a New Source for 11 of Shakespeare’s Plays (NYTimes)

Contrary to what some idiotic clickbait headlines claim, the software doesn't show Shakespeare plagiarized anything. What the software does indicate is that it's highly likely Shakespeare read George North's manuscript A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels and it made a strong impression, as evidenced by the vocabulary and themes in many of his plays.

Martin Meisel [...] added that there is no question the manuscript “must have been somewhere in the background mix of Shakespeare’s mental landscape” while writing the plays.

I think this is fascinating. There's this strange belief that creativity exists in a vacuum and "original" works spring forth pure from the artist's untouched mind. The reality is quite different, so it's fascinating to me that in addition to picking up run of the mill term paper cheats, this software can show the literary ancestry, as it were, of creative inspiration.