Internet Shakespeare Editions

The Illuminated Text

"Devise, wit; write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio."(Love's Labour's Lost, 1.2.171-2)

The Illuminated Text is an interactive resource that allows you to take advantage of the full capabilities of digital publications. Here you will find a range of multimedia tools to assist in the display, comparison and exploration of Shakespeare's texts.

There are three main ways to explore the texts.

1. Folios, quartos and other original publications

View, search, print, or cut and paste transcriptions of the old spelling texts as they were originally published. It may come as a surprise to many that Hamlet was originally published in three very different versions.

Example: Hamlet

2. Facsimilies of the original publications

See graphics of the books in which the plays and poems first appeared. These books are held in major libraries around the world, and are made available here for you to browse through. See how Romeo and Juliet was published in 1597, 1599, and 1623.

Example: Romeo and Juliet

3. The modern texts

Read and explore modern editions of the plays and poems with full annotation and explanations, as well as an introduction and illustrations from performance.

Example: As You Like It

Putting it all together

In the title pages for each of the plays and poems you will find another resource. These focal pages collect everything related to the work across the whole site, from the texts and facsimiles to performance, contextual and critical materials, and links to related pages in the Life and Times.

Example:   Henry V