The Tragedie of Julius Caesar
Classic Books Company, 2001 - 500 pages
The First Folio of 1623 was prepared for print by two members of Shakespeare's acting troupe -- John Hemings and Henry Condell -- which included comic actor Will Kemp and the great tragedian Richard Burbage. In a fascinating and detailed introduction, Freeman points out that because Shakespeare and his colleagues wrote from a rhetorical tradition -- a society where the emphasis was on the spoken word -- he wrote with an eye to how he wanted his plays performed, giving as much direction as possible to his actors. Freeman looks at what is known of the printing of that First Folio and analyzes the variations between the First Folio, later Folios, Quarto editions (where available) and modern editions of the plays. He examines the "corrections" made by editors over the centuries that have shaped the way we perceive Shakespeare today -- from the regularization of verse, to the changes from prose to verse (and vice versa) and the standardization of character prefixes.
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