This book examines conceptions of authority for and in Shakespeare, and the construction of Shakespeare as literary and cultural authority. The first section, Defining and Redefining Authority, begins by re-defining the concept of Shakespeare’s sources, suggesting that ‘authorities’ and ‘resources’ are more appropriate terms. Building on this conceptual framework, the remainder of this section explores linguistic and discursive authority more broadly. The second section, Shakespearean Authority, considers the construction, performance and questioning of authority in Shakespeare’s plays. Essays here range from examinations of monarchical authority to discussions of household authority, literary authority and linguistic ownership. The final part, Shakespeare as Authority, then traces the increasing establishment of Shakespeare as an authority from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century in a series of essays that explore Shakespearean authority for editors, actors, critics, authors, readers and audiences. The volume concludes with two essays that reassess Shakespeare as an authority for visual culture – in the cinema and in contemporary art.