The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0048 Saturday, 30 January 2010
Date: January 15, 2010 2:39:21 PM EST
Subject: 21.0038 Shakespeare's Literary "Intentions"
Comment: RE: SHK 21.0038 Shakespeare's Literary "Intentions"
As I recall, and as has been stated by other commentators, Erne suggested that, at least after he joined the Chamberlains Men, and up to 1603, Shakespeare's plays were regularly released for publication about two years after performance.
Allowing for the imprecision of dating, I find that R2, RJ*, 1H4, 2H4, H5*, Ham* fit the pattern, although the starred plays appeared in defective form (nee bad quartos). But MND and MWW* appeared about 5 years after premiering, MV 3 or 4, and TC about 8. JC, AYL, TN, and AWW first appeared in the Folio.
This doesn't look like much of a pattern: 5 popular plays appeared in print quickly, although the defective form of three of them doesn't suggest literary preparation. But 4 plays, some of them popular, didn't appear so quickly, and 4 others, a couple of which were also popular, remained unprinted for 20 years. The terms random and ad hoc suggest themselves.
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