Reforming the "bad" Quartos: Performance and Provenance of Six Shakespearean First Editions

University of Delaware Press, 1994 - 232 頁
This innovative book, in contrast to most earlier studies, takes the six "bad" quartos seriously, evaluating them as theatrical scripts in their own right at the same time as it seeks clues to their origins. Reforming the "Bad" Quartos explores both the performance features and the provenance of these six early Shakespearean playtexts - the first printed editions of Hamlet, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and the Second and Third Parts of Henry VI. Because of their early publication dates - all printed during Shakespeare's most active years - the playtexts are especially fascinating for they differ in striking ways from the more familiar versions printed after these earliest texts. Most obviously each of the quartos seems short and sometimes garbled when compared with its parallel, familiar version, earning the "bad" quartos their pejorative label.
The book closely examines alternatives in plot structure, characterization, and staging in the six playtexts. Because the short quartos have long been neglected as "bad" texts, the cleverness and skill behind their unique performance features may come as a surprise to many, especially when they are juxtaposed with parallel features of known adaptations. A strong feature of this study is the large number of performance details drawn from productions dating from the Restoration to the present - details that often mirror performance features in the short quartos and suggest that these playtexts may preserve the earliest adaptations of Shakespeare's plays.
The second half of the book explores this theory of the origin of the short quartos, as well as two others: authorial revision and memorial reconstruction. Using a computer-assisted analysis of parallel texts of the six plays, Reforming the "Bad" Quartos demonstrates that actor-reporters were responsible for shaping the short quartos, not Shakespeare himself, for the players apparently reconstructed the plays from their memories of London performances.
If, as this study argues, the actors also adapted the plays, the short quartos preserve the earliest fast-paced popular adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, designed by the actors to please the million.


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Performance Features
Plot Structure
Memorial Reconstruction
QuartoFolio Plot Outlines
Tables of Closely Linked or Missing Passages
Charts Indicating Likely Reporters
Tired Reporter Tables
Tables of Potentially Deliberate Omissions
Works Cited


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第 105 頁 - Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide! Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark!
第 85 頁 - Then the Curtaines being drawne, Duke HUMPHREY is discouered in his bed, and two men lying on his brest and smothering him in his bed. And then enter the Duke of SUFFOLKE to them.
第 91 頁 - Alarmes within, and the chambers be discharged, like as it were a fight at sea. And then enter the Captaine of the ship and the Maister, and the Maisters Mate, S.
第 189 頁 - ... diuerse stolne, and surreptitious copies, maimed, and deformed by the frauds and stealthes of injurious impostors, that expos'd them: euen those, are now offer'd to your view cur'd, and perfect of their limbes; and all the rest, absolute in their numbers, as he conceiued them.
第 102 頁 - Tis but thy name that is my enemy ; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's Montague ? it is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name ! What's in a name?
第 209 頁 - When these Comedies and Tragedies were presented on the Stage, the Actours omitted some Scenes and Passages (with the Authour's consent) as occasion led them; and when private friends desir'da Copy, they then (and justly too) transcribed what they Acted.
第 73 頁 - Alarmes to the battell, YORKE flies, then the chambers be discharged. Then enter the KING, CLA. & GLO. & the rest, & make a, great shout and crie, for YORKE, for YORKE, and then the QUEENE is taken, & the PRINCE, & OXF. & SUM. and then found and enter all againe.
第 38 頁 - Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting-, That would not let me sleep...
第 104 頁 - The grey eyde morne smiles on the frowning night, Checkring the Easterne Clouds with streaks of light, And darknesse fleckted like a drunkard reeles, From forth dales pathway, made by Tytans wheeles. Hence will I to my ghostly Friers close cell, His helpe to craue, and my deare hap to tell.
第 36 頁 - I euen now receiv'd of him. Whereas he writes how he escap't the danger, And subtle treason that the king had plotted, Being crossed by the contention of the windes, He found the Packet sent to the king of England, Wherein he saw himselfe betray'd to death, As at his next conuersion with your grace, He will relate the circumstance at full. Queene. Then I percieue there's treason in his lookes That seem'd to sugar o'er his villainie : But I will soothe and please him for a time, For murderous mindes...