The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0488 Saturday, 1 December 2012
Date: December 1, 2012 1:11:41 AM EST
Subject: Re: SHAKSPER: Play Length
I wonder to what extent the issue raised by Steve Roth, inquiring whether the plays show signs that Shakespeare included matter that is only likely to be understood by a reader rather than an auditor, is informed by the fact that Shakespeare’s texts unquestionably were written to be read. They could not be performed unless they were first read by the players, even if they received only their individual parts. The prompter, of course, had to have a complete text, and it is likely that the plays had to be examined in full by at least most of the sharers before they were mounted.