Quotation by Voltaire

Shakespeare, who was considered the English Corneille, flourished at about the time of Lope de Vega. He had a strong and fertile genius, full of naturalness and sublimity, without the slightest spark of good taste or the least knowledge of the rules.... After two hundred years most of the outlandish and monstrous ideas of this author have acquired the right to be considered sublime, and almost all modern authors have copied him.... It does not occur to people that they should not copy him, and the lack of success of their copies simply makes people think that he is inimitable.
Voltaire [François Marie Arouet] (1694–1778), French philosopher, author. "On Tragedy," letter 18, Letters on England (1732).
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