In 1624, John Donne famously wrote, “No man is an island”. While writing a thesis and the subsequent rewriting of it for publication purposes appears to be a solitary act, appearances are deceptive. Indeed, neither my thesis nor the following would have been possible without the professional advice and encouraging words I received from many. Therefore, I would like to thank everybody wholeheartedly for all they have done. Particular thanks go to my examiners, Professor Sean Allan and Professor Duncan Large, for their thought-provoking questions during my viva. Thanks go also to my supervisor, Doctor Michael White, and the staff of the German Department at the University of St. Andrews for every minute of their time they could spare.
I would like to thank my fellow research students of the School of Modern Languages, whose enthusiasm and camaraderie have been inspirational and the perfect antidote to the isolating power of a PhD; special mention belongs to Giulia who has been my tower of strength during this journey.
Part of this journey was possible due to the support of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar in 2019. I would like to express my thanks for the financial support I received and the possibility to access their outstanding collection dedicated to Shakespeare and the study of him and his writings.
Finally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my mother for her unconditional love and unwavering belief in me. Lastly, thanks go to my late grandparents, who have championed me from an early age and most importantly taught me that I should never hesitate to dream big. This book is for you.