Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 228. Wednesday, 7 April 1993.
Date: Tuesday, 6 Apr 93 23:05 EST
Subject: 4.0224 Re: Speaking the Verse
Comment: Re: SHK 4.0224 Re: Speaking the Verse
Regarding Folio (and even quarto) punctuation: Audrey Stanley is now
teaching a voice and acting workshop for me at Trinity College, and she
has us all drilled into remembering that punctuation in Elizabethan/
Jacobean poetic texts is less frequent than in modern texts, and that
its meaning often has more to do with vocal expression (in the case of
plays especially) than with grammatical necessity. If you keep this
in mind, looking to both quarto and folio punctuations as a guide to
reading, more than as grammatical markers, the results can be very
helpful. You end up with a lot more commas and many fewer colons and
semi-colons than in our modern editions of Shakespeare, but the
commas are often meaningful to the verse as spoken expressions.
Just one more small voice in an ongoing discussion . . . .