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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: October ::
A Shrew
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1698  Thursday, 6 October 2005

From: 		Larry Weiss <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 04 Oct 2005 15:36:29 -0400
Subject: 	A Shrew

I have recently had occasion to revisit the issue of the relationship 
between The Shrew and the 1594 quarto of A Shrew, and I find that the 
current state of scholarship is murky.  For example, the summary in the 
textual note in Riverside 2d indicates that there is a consensus in 
favor of the "bad quarto" theory and cites, inter alia, Wells/Taylor. 
But the Oxford Textual Companion does not seem to adopt that view, or 
any other.  Is there a consensus, and, if so, for which theory?  If not, 
how do the various current textual scholars line up for the various 
theories:

1.  A Shrew is a memorial reconstruction of The Shrew.  (Improbable it 
seems to me, since the texts are so vastly different.  Presumably, this 
is why Gwynne Evans prefers the expression "memorial imitation.")

2.  A Shrew is WS's source.  Evans says this theory "is no longer accepted"

3.  A Shrew and The Shrew have a lost common source

4.  A Shrew is a revision of The Shrew

	a.  by Shakespeare (astronomically unlikely according to 
Elliott/Valenza) or

	b.  by someone else (any ideas who?)

Of course there is the inextricably related question of what happened to 
the Sly continuation --

1.  WS lost interest in the Sly motif, which he had begun to follow from 
The Shrew or the lost common source

2.  The hypothesized reviser of The Shrew added those scenes

3.  WS completed the Sly frame but it was blotted, and Compositor B did 
not notice the blot until he had set the induction and first interscene. 
  If that was the case, who deleted the Sly motif -- WS, the book 
holder, Hemmings & Condell -- and why?

4.  A Shrew is based on a later version of The Shrew in which WS 
completed the Sly frame, while F1 was set from an earlier version which 
was still incomplete.  This last conjecture is floated by Wells/Taylor, 
who offer it as a "possibility" in Textual Companion.

Perhaps there are still other explanations.

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