Guest Ryan Murtha Posted July 13, 2022 Share Posted July 13, 2022 Credit to A. Phoenix for this, but I thought it deserves its own thread. The Second Folio has some 1,679 edits to the First Folio, and the nature of the editor's capabilities... well, in the words of AP, " The very suggestion that the enormous 1,679 amendments, revisions, corrections and improvements concerning the dramatic action, stage-craft, metre, verse, language and style in the Second Shakespeare Folio were executed by a combination of the printer, anonymous compositors and correctors or some unknown editor is simply absurd." It was however only when M.W. Black and M.A Shaaber in their truly monumental Shakespeare’s Seventeenth-Century Editors 1632-1685 (London: Oxford University Press, 1937) subjected the First and Second Folios to a detailed comparative analysis, did the true enormity of the differences between them finally begin to emerge into the light of day. According to Black and Shaaber there are 1,679 changes in the Second Shakespeare Folio in what was an attempt to clarify, correct and improve the text: They are fairly evenly distributed among the categories of thought, action, etc. Alterations of grammar are most numerous (459) and changes pertaining to the action least (130). Changes affecting the thought, meter, and style are very nearly equal in number-374, 359 and 357 respectively... We have also collected here a number of passages in which the editor corrected inconsistencies of fact and circumstance by closely following the action of the play…. The changes pertaining to the action of the plays are nearly all indications of entrances and exits and reassignments of speeches…. the most noteworthy accomplishment of the editor in this department is his care in marking a character’s entering or leaving the stage. Seventy-three entrances and exits are correctly added and one is correctly omitted… The changes affecting the meter are among the most remarkable features of the work of the editor…There are 360 of them in F2… There are a few passages in which he converted prose into verse. It may be noticed, too, that in some of the changes in our other categories care is taken not to spoil the rhythm in making the change. Occasionally for instance, when a change affecting the thought or the style robs the line of a syllable, the editor will insert a compensating syllable elsewhere in the line. ….The changes which we classify under the heading of style have to do chiefly with matters of taste and propriety, the choice and the form of words. The chief matters of taste concerned are the preference of one word or form to another and the order of the words...the editor of F2, who was not in the least deterred by the scruples which forbid modern editors to alter the text unless they think they are restoring what Shakespeare wrote, evidently had definite ideas about certain matters of usage which, in justice to him, must be called intelligible... The rectifications of the orthography of scraps of foreign languages in the plays and of proper names are also interesting and sometimes clever. The editor’s Latin was evidently good, good enough, at least, to recover quotations from Mantuan, Ovid, Virgil and Horace ..his Italian and French less good, though he made some partial corrections in these languages too. Did_Francis_Bacon_die_in_1626_Or_did_he (1).pdf Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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