Internet Shakespeare Editions


4.4.9. List of the characters in the play

Place a list of characters' names before the start of the text. Where such a list exists in the basic text(s), retain this form, supplementing it as necessary. For other plays (the majority), arrange the list for ease of reference; do not follow editorial convention if good reasons exist for departure from it. You should not observe social or political hierarchies if other systems, e.g. order of appearance or relationship (family, national or factional), make for greater clarity. The practice of segregating female roles at the foot of the list should be abandoned (except in the case of your retaining a list from the original text), though notes on casting and doubling of roles should make it clear which roles would, or might, have been played by boys. You may choose to group characters to make their relationships clearer (putting all characters from England in one group, all from France in another in a history play, for example); when you do so, it will be helpful to indicate what the groups represent. The list of characters in the play will be titled "Characters in the Play."

Notes on the list of characters in the play should include discussion of variant forms of speech headings or changes in designation of characters in the course of the action, including disguises. Other matters that may best be considered here include pronunciation of names and information about historical characters. Notes should take the form of annotations, using the template provided, and giving all entries the TLN of "0".

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