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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: Q1 Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1292  Thursday, 26 June 2003

From:           Annalisa Castaldo <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Jun 2003 10:54:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 14.1283 Re: Q1 Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1283 Re: Q1 Hamlet

"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'."

I agree, and would further add that there are aspects of Q1 that, at
least to me, make it extremely unlikely that Q1 represents only a
mangled version of Q2/F. First, there are the name changes, such as
Corambis for Polonius, an unlikely memorial slip. Second, there is the
rearrangement of the scenes, so that the nunnery scene shifts
dramatically forward. And, as mentioned, there is an entirely new scene
between Horatio and Gertrude, two characters who hardly speak to each
other in the Q2/F versions. It seems most likely that we have a somewhat
mangled early version of Hamlet, and therefore, as with the two versions
of King Lear, we should look at all the versions of Hamlet to see how
and why Shakespeare revises.

Annalisa Castaldo

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