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Look Inside Shakespeare's Errant Texts

Shakespeare's Errant Texts
Textual Form and Linguistic Style in Shakespearean 'Bad' Quartos and Co-authored Plays

$53.99 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107625556

$ 53.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • If more than half of Shakespeare's texts survive in more than one version, and an increasing number of his texts appear to have been co-authored with other playwrights, how do we define what constitutes a ‘Shakespearean text'? Recent studies have proposed answers to this crucial question by investigating ‘memorial reconstruction' and co-authorship, yet significantly they have not yet considered properly the many formal and stylistic synergies, interchanges and reciprocities between oral/memorial and authorial composition, and the extent to which these factors are traceable in the surviving playtexts of the period. It is precisely these synergies that this book investigates, making this site of interaction between actorly and authorial input its primary focus. Petersen proposes new quantitative methodologies for approaching form and style in Shakespearean texts. The book's main case studies are Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Titus Andronicus – plays drawn from the middle of Shakespeare's working career.

    • Proposes a new view of early modern playtexts, with lessons drawn from studies in transmitted folk ballads and tales, building on established studies but introducing a new and original perspective
    • Links textual studies with authorship attribution and theatre history, so that readers can gain an understanding of the complexity of the early modern playtext
    • Uses quantitative methods to analyse the interplay between oral/memorial and multiple author composition in Shakespearean texts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The question of the provenance of [Shakespeare's] foreshortened variant texts has puzzled scholars and editors for centuries and Lene B. Petersen's engaging and compelling new book offers a novel way of thinking about them … this is a fascinating and provocative book.' Around the Globe

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107625556
    • length: 332 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 16 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Oral-Memorial Transmission and the Formation of Shakespeare's Texts:
    1. The Elizabethan dramatic industry and industrious Shakespeare
    2. Decomposing the text: oral transmission and the theory of the Zielform
    3. The popular play and the popular ballad: evidence of 'Quarto mechanics' in the multiple texts of Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet
    Conclusion Part I
    Part II. Recomposing the Author: Some Tools for Positioning the Role of the Playwright in Dramatic Transmission:
    4. Introduction to quantitative textual analysis: computational stylistics, cognition and the missing author
    5. Stylometry and textual multiplicity I: contextual stylistics and the case of Titus Andronicus
    6. Stylometry and textual multiplicity II: testing the grading between authorship and 'orality' in the scenes of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet
    Conclusion Part II: evaluating the experiment
    Appendix I. Scenic units in Q1 Hamlet/Der Bestrafte Brudermord and Romeo and Juliet/Romio und Julietta
    Appendix II. 'Meet it is I set it downe': verbal evidence of Quarto mechanics in the short versions of Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet
    Appendix III. Chapter 4: table of results for 257-Plays DA, using 50 principal components
    Appendix IV. Examples of principal component screen plots for three-text Hamlet by scenes and three-text Romeo and Juliet by scenes only

  • Author

    Lene B. Petersen, University of Southern Denmark
    Lene B. Petersen's work centres on Shakespearean textual studies, corpus linguistics/authorship and attribution studies and Renaissance theatre history. She has also written on traditional folk ballads and their transmission.

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