The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0428  Wednesday, 1 March 2000.

From:           Briggs John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 1 Mar 2000 08:29:59 -0000
Subject: 11.0410 Scene Divisions in MND
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.0410 Scene Divisions in MND

Bill Godshalk seemed to be requesting help with the scene divisions in
MND.  Ever willing to be helpful, I checked Arden 2, Oxford, and Oxford
Complete Shakespeare (Original-Spelling Edition + Textual Companion).
In fact, the scene divisions seem quite straightforward.  There are two
examples of the "scene division" in dispute (clear stage with no
time-break) at OCS lines 1394 and 2064.  Rather more interesting is the
fact that the Folio Act divisions for Acts 3 and 4 occur when the stage
is not quite clear (sleeping characters)!  There are no scene divisions
in F.

I would make the following recommendations for scene divisions.  If you
are making a modern-spelling edition, follow the traditional act and
scene divisions:
1.1  1-251
1.2  252-355
2.1  356-623
2.2  624-785
3.1  786-981
3.2  982-1441
4.1  1442-1657
4.2  1658-1700
5.1  1701-2132

If you are making an original-spelling edition, ignore the act
1.  1-251
2.  252-355
3.  356-623
4.  624-981
5.  982-1657
6.  1658-1700
7.  1701-2132

If you are putting on a production, have your interval after 3.1/981.

My argument is that F scene divisions may be trusted, but act divisions
should be treated with scepticism.

John Briggs

Subscribe to Our Feeds


Make a Gift to SHAKSPER

Consider making a gift to support SHAKSPER.