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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: Q1 Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1283  Wednesday, 25 June 2003

From:           Ben Spiller <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 2003 19:50:30 +0100
Subject: 14.1267 Hamlet ("bad quarto") at the BL
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1267 Hamlet ("bad quarto") at the BL

I wish the debate could move on from being underpinned by the antiquated
belief that the First Quarto should be labelled the so-called 'Bad
Quarto'.  In terms of performance, it is an exceptional script although,
of course, the poetry is mangled and ambiguities in characterisation
(especially 'Gertred') are ironed-out.  The First Quarto has a lot to
offer, including a scene not present in any other edition of the play
when Horatio gives the Queen Hamlet's letter from the ship destined for
England.  For anyone who doesn't already know, there is a very clear
edition of the First Quarto available from Cambridge, as part of the New
Cambridge Shakespeare collection.  It's edited by Kathleen O. Irace
(CUP, 1998), priced about 


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