Asked • 07/07/19

Shakespeare making fun of Shakespeare: listing all of the self-deprecating meta-references in Shakespeare's plays?

One of the things I've noticed through reading Shakespeare is that a lot of his plays include a meta-reference making fun of the play. For example, in *Twelfth Night* Fabian says "If this were played upon a stage now, I could / condemn it as an improbable fiction." And in *A Midsummer-Night's Dream*, Puck tells the audience that if they don't like the play, which he describes as "this weak and idle theme", they should pretend it was a dream. > If we shadows have offended,  Think but this, and all is mended,  That you have but slumber’d here  While these visions did appear.  And this weak and idle theme,  No more yielding but a dream, I'm hoping to get a list of every single meta-reference where Shakespeare makes fun of his own play. I've looked online, and I haven't been able to find such a list, so I'm hoping to use the collaborative power of the internet to make one.

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