IT IS OFTEN ASSUMED THAT THE TEXT OF A SHAKESPEARE PLAY AS PRINTED IN A HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE EDITION REPRESENTSTHE POET'S FINAL INTENTION. SUCH IS NOT THE CASE. BECAUSE COPIES WERE HASTILY COMPOSED AND/OR EDITED, THE VARIOUS EDITIONS THAT HAVE SURVIVED CONFLICT, AND EDITORS NEED TO DO COMPARATIVE STUDIES IN ORDER TO APPROXIMATE WHAT SHAKESPEARE'S INTENTIONS MAY HAVE BEEN. SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE OFFERS AN ENJOYABLE 'DOCUDRAMA' PERSPECTIVE OF THE POET'S COMPOSITIONAL AGONIES AND ECSTASIES.,
INDIVIDUAL COPIES OF THE PLAYS ARE CALLED QUARTOS AND ARE NUMBERED ACCORDING TO WHAT HAS SURVIVED: Q1. Q2 etc.
WHEN THE COLLECTED EDITION OF SHAKESPEARE'S PLAYS WERE PUBLISHED IN 1623, this WAS CALLED F1 OR THE FIRST FOLIO. SUBSEQUENT EDITIONS WERE NUMBERED F2. F3. F4 ETC.
FOR EXAMPLE, THE Q1 EDITION OF HAMLET IS CALLED THE "BAD QUARTO" SINCE THE TEXT IS BADLY GARBLED. EDITORS USUALLY TRY TO CONSTRUCT AN AUTHORITATIVE EDITION FROM Q2 AND F1.
EDITING A SCENE FROM MACBETH
YOUR JOB WILL BE TO CONSTRUCT AN "AUTHORITATIVE TEXT" OF:
ACT III, SCENE IV,OF MACBETH CONCERNING THE APPEARANCE OF THE GHOST TO MACBETH AT THE DINNER FEAST TO CELEBRATE MACBETH'S KINGSHIP. THERE ARE NO QUARTO COPIES OF MACBETH. THE PRINTED EDITION IS F1. IT IS SHORT AND CONSIDERED CUT, AND PARTS ARE NOT CONSIDERED WRITTEN BY SHAKESPEARE.
SOURCES FOR YOUR PROJECT:
1. You will be given a copy of the scene with no stage directions. Work just with the text. Some stage directions appear in F1, but subsequent editors often move them to suit their interpretations. You may do the same.
Films: ( compare the following productions)
1. The Roman Polanski direction .
2.The Orson Welles direction.
1. Renaissance theories on ghosts and demons from the Internet : Click here.
1. Do a comparative study of everything you have: text to text to film to film to critic etc.
2. Draw conclusions as to what would be most effective in terms of a production. Remember that when you use the films, consider such concepts as
:a.imagination of the director
b.lighting color vs. black and white
d.angles of the camera
g.comparative acting ability
3. You job basically is to construct with proof from textual analysis, an authoritative edition of the
scene in Macbeth. You are looking for what appears to Macbeth and when and what lines in the text support your conclusions. WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD MAKE MOST SENSE TO AN AUDIENCE AND WHY?