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  • Title: Textual Introduction
  • Author: Michael Best

  • Copyright Michael Best. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Michael Best
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    Textual Introduction

    1The two versions of King Lear

    King Lear presents an exceptional challenge to a modern editor. Two significantly differing versions of the play survive in print; despite a long tradition of meticulous and often exciting scholarship, the relationship between them is still hotly contested. The first version, a quarto published in 1608 (Q1), has a fulsome title, highlighting Shakespeare as the author, and making special mention of the part played by Edgar:

    M. William Shak-speare: H I S True Chronicle Historie of the life and death of King LEAR and his three Daughters. With the vnfortunate life of Edgar, sonne and heire to the Earle of Gloster, and his sullen and assumed humor of TOM of Bedlam: As it was played before the King's Maiestie at Whitehall vpon S. Stephans night in Christmas Hollidayes. By his Maiesties seruants playing vsually at the Gloabe on the Bancke-side. LONDON, Printed for Nathaniel Butter, and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Church-yard at the signe of the Pide Bull neere St. Austins Gate. 1608.

    On November 26, 1607, the play had been entered in the register of the Company of Stationers:

    Na[thaniel] Butter / Io. [John] Busby. Entred for their copie vnder thandes [the hands] of Sr Geo[rge] Buck knight & Th[e] wardens. A booke called Mr William Shakespeare his historye of Kinge Lear as yt was played before the kinges maiestie at Whitehall vppon St Stephans night at christmas Last by his maities servantes playinge vsually at the globe on Banksyde.

    A second quarto of Shakespeare's King Lear was published in 1619, falsely dated 1608 (Q2); see my discussion of this edition below.

    Both the title page of the Quarto and the entry in the Stationers' Register conveniently record the first known performance: St. Stephen's Day (26 December), 1606. It would probably have been performed earlier at the Globe. The generally agreed date of composition is some time in 1605, after an somewhat fallow period in Shakespeare's writing career; it must have been written after the publication of Samuel Harsnett's engagingly entitled A Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures in 1603, since from this work Shakespeare took the names of the "fiends" Edgar, as Poor Tom, mentions. The much earlier anonymous play The Chronicle History of King Leir (published by our sibling organization, the Queen's Men Editions) was printed in 1605; though somewhat dated in style it may have been revived before publication and may have been the stimulus that directed Shakespeare towards his radical rewriting and restructuring of the plot.

    5The second version of the play appeared in 1623 in the First Folio (F), where the title was changed to accord with the division of the Folio into the genres of comedy, history, and tragedy: "THE TRAGEDIE OF KING LEAR" (Folio plays have no title pages). The two versions are significantly different in more than their titles: depending on the method of counting, Q1 includes approximately 285 lines not in F, and F records about 102 lines not in Q1. In addition there are a large number of individually varying readings in words, phrases, and speech assignments. Sonia Massai elegantly discusses the editorial history of the play, showing how varying social and ideological pressures have shaped the way editors have understood the texts ("Working"; see also Urkowitz, "'Base,'" Holderness "Introduction," and Halio Tragedy 65ff.). From the earliest editions to the late twentieth century editors assumed that Shakespeare had written a single play, which for various reasons had been garbled or corrupted in the two surviving versions; there were thus general attempts to re-create what was thought to be the closest possible approximation to Shakespeare's imagined original by conflating the two editions and making more or less eclectic decisions on which variant reading to adopt.

    Two late twentieth-century theoretical discussions significantly complicated this deceptively neat solution. As our understanding of the processes of the theater, print shop, and the creation of theatrical manuscripts has deepened, we have become more keenly aware of the production of a work such as King Lear as a social and collaborative activity; a corollary of this awareness is that scholars have become increasingly interested in looking at each version as a separate snapshot of a play that was in continuing change both on stage and in varying manuscript manifestations. The most important result of this revaluation has been a sustained argument that Shakespeare himself revised the play, and that the Folio version reflects this revision. Following early work by Michael Warren ("Quarto and Folio King Lear") and Steven Urkowitz (Shakespeare's Revision), Warren and Gary Taylor published The Division of the Kingdoms: Shakespeare's Two Versions of King Lear (1983), a collection of essays that argued strongly that the Folio Lear represents a conscious revision by Shakespeare. Three years later the new Oxford Complete Works edited by Taylor and Stanley Wells (1986) published two separate versions of Lear, one based on Q1, the other on the Folio. Since this important publication the debate about the legitimacy of a conflated text has continued and has been extended to include Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida, Othello, and other plays where Quarto and Folio versions differ significantly. Single-text editions of Quarto and Folio texts have appeared for many plays.

    Grace Ioppolo put the case against conflating King Lear trenchantly:

    Any edition of King Lear which conflates the Quarto and Folio texts, . . . produces an inconsistent treatment of themes such as war and familial conflict, a confused presentation of the play's structure and form, and, most important, a falsely conflated version of Cordelia and so many other characters, creating a counterfeit and non-Shakespearean foundation upon which only the most limited literary interpretation and meaning can be built. (Revising 181)

    However, not all scholars agree that deconflation is desirable or even possible. Richard Knowles uses the Quarto as his base text for his monumental Variorum King Lear (2018, forthcoming); his views are discussed further below. Brian Vickers in The One King Lear argues, in a curiously polemical tirade, that King Lear is really a single version where even the Folio additions can be explained; and Peter Blayney, in a generally critical review of Vickers's work, reveals that he regards the Folio text as a non-Shakespearian "adaptation" of the Quarto ("Quatrat" 64, 101).

    Whatever their views on the relationship between the two versions, editors of King Lear are squarely in the firing line. Ernst Honigmann points out astutely that even those editors who attempt to produce a "pure" modern text of Q1 or F end up, in effect, conflating, since they invariably use readings from the other text in their solutions to various cruxes: "Conflation appears to be unavoidable: the question is not whether to conflate or not, but rather how much to conflate" ("The New Bibliography" 87-8). R. A. Foakes's edition for the Arden 3 series prints a conflated version with variant readings and passages from Quarto and Folio clearly indicated by small superscript letters; Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine's Folger Lear uses variously shaped brackets to distinguish the origin of different readings. The most recent Norton Shakespeare (Third Edition) includes parallel texts of each version of the play, together with what the editor, Grace Ioppolo, terms a "scars-and-stitches" version—similar in may respects to my extended Folio text; the previous version, which used the separate Oxford texts for Quarto and Folio, also provided a conflated version for the sake of convenience in teaching the play. In each case, the editors acknowledge the importance of providing readers with a version of the play that includes the widest possible range of information about what Shakespeare wrote, however different the extant versions may be. In a choice that echoes the Arden 3 edition of Hamlet where Q2 is privileged by having the first volume to itself, the New Oxford Modern Critical Edition (2017) provides its readers with a text of the Quarto only (King Lear and his Three Daughters, edited by John Jowett). The rationale for this choice gestures towards the same need for a reading text that is as inclusive as possible: the Quarto has been selected because it is "the longest early text" (2350).

    10The question of the audience for any new edition of King Lear will be at the forefront of a publisher's mind, but will not necessarily be a primary concern for the scholar. At the core of the problem is the question: given the complex variation between the two versions of the play that have survived, what is Shakespeare's King Lear? In his remarkable experiment in multiple facsimiles and movable pages in the medium of print, The Complete King Lear, Michael Warren concludes the first paragraph of his General Introduction with this very fundamental question: "What is the work called King Lear?" (xi). Foakes picks up the same terminology in his Introduction, where he defines King Lear as a "work" divided into two separate versions: "there is every reason to think that we have two versions of the same play, not two different plays" (119). It does seem that scholars tacitly or openly acknowledge that culturally Lear is considered a single concept rather than two separate texts, even if this is the result of an editorial tradition that evolved many years after the play was written, rewritten, and published. Along these lines I have argued elsewhere that the variant texts of Shakespeare have acquired a "play-function" equivalent to Foucault's "author-function" (Best), with the result that an edition of King Lear that will actually be useful to those who consult it must in some fashion provide an accessible text that includes passages from both Q1 and F.

    A vital point has too readily become obscured by the debate on the causes of the differences between the versions: the network of alternative readings offers the reader remarkable riches. For the critic, the actor, or the student, it is both fascinating and teasing to consider the effect on mood, character, and tone implied by even minor changes, whatever their origin. Lear's opening speech is a useful example. This quotation privileges the Quarto text, highlighting variants in italics, with those of the Folio in square brackets (these are made more elegantly available by mouseover in both extended texts of this edition):

    The map there. Know we have divided
    In three our kingdom; and 'tis our first [fast] intent
    To shake all cares and business of our state [age],
    Confirming [Conferring] them on younger years [strengths].

    While state/age and years/strengths are clearly differentiated, the variants first/fast and confirming/conferring might be the result of some kind of error. Stone considers confirming a misreading and first/fast a "true" variant (178, 224; see also Foakes 160), but the resonance between the words possibly differentiated by accident remains interesting from a critical perspective: the Folio's fast is more authoritative than the Quarto's first, and confirming reinforces other indications in the text that the actual division of the kingdom has already been made, making the "love-test" a pageant rather than a competition; conferring (like fast) expresses the sense of power that Lear is exemplifying in his actions.

    The digital space is ideal for creating a comprehensive revisioning of the rich multiplicity that is generated by the two versions of Lear. All texts on the Internet Shakespeare site offer multiple levels of information: facsimiles of early printed editions, searchable transcriptions of those documents, and one or more modern-spelling editions generated from them. King Lear is one of the plays that requires more than one modern-spelling version, one each for Q1 and F; only Hamlet, with David Bevington's modern texts of Q1, Q2, and F demands more. The challenge is in finding a way to make the "work" that is King Lear readily available without asking readers to open multiple windows or trying to read two texts in parallel. With his long experience of the text to call upon, David Bevington's solution with Hamlet was to compile an "Editor's Choice" version, one that combines from the originary versions what he believes to be the most effective and complete text.

    My approach in this edition of King Lear is rather different. From the modern-spelling versions of both Q1 and F I have generated "extended" texts; each retains the integrity of the base text by leaving it unchanged, and clearly indicates material that has been added from the alternative version. There are, not surprisingly, some important passages where simply adding chunks from another source will radically change the nature of the base text, and where the two base versions differ in ways that addition will not signal. The climax of the play—Lear's last moments—provides a good example.

    15 Quarto 1, TLN 3279-86. Courtesy British Library, shelf mark BL C.34.k.18.

    Folio 1, TLN 3279-86. Courtesy Brandeis University.

    The passage includes single words that might possibly be added to each extended text. F has an extra "no" to Q1's "No, no life" (TLN 3277). Q adds an "Oh" before F's "Thou'lt come no more" (TLN 3279). In Q Lear says "never" three times, in F, five. Q alone records the dramatic moan of Lear's not-quite-dying moment, "O, o, o, o" (TLN 3281). The Folio substitutes the deeply moving addition of Lear's last vision, "Do you see this? Look on her. Look, her lips— / Look there, look there" (TLN 3282-3283). R.A. Foakes valiantly tries to conflate the texts while distinguishing which provides which section:

    King Lear ed. R.A. Foakes, 5.2.304-11.

    However, any editorial combination of these dramatically different sequences will confuse and diffuse the dramatic and critical effect of each original version of the passage. In the very few instances of this kind my solution is an enhancement of the often-used visual display of the two passages side by side. In the horizontal margin of each text are three tabs. The default shows the current base text; clicking on the second displays the alternative text for the given passage; and a third tab displays both passages in columns with the base text on the left. The result is a convenient and visually attractive reminder of variant passages, rather than a focus simply on variant readings. Horizontal tabs of this kind are used elsewhere in the edition, as I will discuss in the section below of editorial changes in lineation.

    The printing of the texts

    There is no doubt that Q1 King Lear is a difficult and puzzling publication. It remains so even after decades of intensive research, from Doran (1931), Greg (Variants, 1940), and Stone (1980), to the remarkably meticulous scholarship of Peter W. M. Blayney (1982). Blayney discovered a great deal about the practices of Nicholas Okes's printing house and about the process involved in printing the Quarto. He has established that the manuscript was sufficiently difficult to read that the compositors set it seriatim—page by page—instead of by the more efficient method of "casting off"—a process of estimating where pages would be completed so that they could be set in the order of printing rather than the order of reading. In addition, he has demonstrated that Lear was the first play Okes printed, with the result that his compositors were inexperienced in reading the characteristics of play manuscripts; two compositors were involved in setting the play, one very possibly an apprentice. The manuscript Okes was working from clearly puzzled his compositors: a collation of the twelve extant copies shows that there were an unusual number of "stop press" changes made as it was being printed (see Greg Variants, Blayney, Warren Complete). I use the word "changes" carefully, because some attempted corrections rather muddy the waters than clear them. Most improve the sense and appear to reflect the original more accurately, but some look more like sophistications—attempts by the proofreader to make sense of a passage, rather than the substitution of a correct reading from the original. The pervasive problem is that it is ultimately impossible to be certain which reading was the original, which the result of the stop-press change. At TLN 1204 uncorrected Q1 has the nonsense word ausrent; in this instance it is more likely that the proofreader changed this to the plausible miscreant rather than the other way around (the whole phrase becomes "You stubburne miscreant knaue"). The Folio reading is probably the correct one: ancient.

    The consensus of recent scholarship is that the rather messy manuscript from which the Quarto was printed was an authorial draft in Shakespeare's own hand. Madeleine Doran first made the argument (1931) that the copy for Q1 was Shakespeare's rough draft, made difficult to read from corrections and revisions in the text. Steven Urkowitz (Revision, 1980) cogently supported and expanded her initial position. Blayney's detailed research has established a plausible bibliographical explanation for the unusually poor quality of the Quarto's text, essentially making it unnecessary to accept the more radical theories of transmission proposed by earlier scholars, that its imperfections were the result of some kind of memorial record of a performance or a reconstruction of a shorthand version of the play. Recent editors of the play have accepted the probability that an authorial manuscript was used by Okes in the production of the Quarto (Halio, Quarto 4-7, Taylor Textual Companion 510, Weis 3, Foakes 199-121, Wells 3, Jowett Reference Edition, New Oxford 1244-5).

    20Q1 became the basis for a second quarto (Q2) issued as one of the "Pavier" quartos of 1619. The fact that the title page falsely gives the date of publication as 1608 led Greg to argue that the group of plays published by Pavier were fraudulently published against the wishes of the players (Greg Folio 11-17); more recent consideration of the evidence has challenged this assumption (Johnson; Massai, Rise; Clegg). Massai argues that the false dating was intended to allow publication of the plays both individually and as a "nonce" collection; she also suggests that it may have been intended to provide advance publicity for the future Folio (Rise 112-21). While there is no certain indication that Q2 introduced any authoritative changes, it is valuable as a witness to the kinds of corrections a contemporary apparently found necessary and reasonable (See Massai, Rise, 121ff). It is striking that Q2 was printed by Jaggard, the printer of the First Folio; a copy was almost certainly available in Jaggard's shop at the time his compositors began work on King Lear in its Folio version.

    It is therefore not surprising that there is evidence that the Folio version of King Lear was in some form influenced by Q1, most probably through Q2, though the process by which the texts interacted is contested. Thomas L. Berger, in a review of the Oxford Works published in 1986, commented that "Just as we create fictions to get through the day, bibliographers and editors create fictions to get through texts" (161); fictions they may be, and editors would do well not to believe too much in them (see also Werstine "Narratives"), but some kind of fiction is inevitable as a guide to consistent editorial choices. There are two narratives that have gained some degree of currency: that the compositors worked from a version of Q2 that had been annotated by consultation with a manuscript used in the theater, or that they worked directly from such a manuscript, consulting Q2 where they ran into difficulties in reading it. Trevor Howard-Hill argues that the copy for the Folio was a manuscript rather than an annotated print copy of either Q1 or Q2; his preferred narrative is that a "collator" used a print copy of Q2 to clarify difficulties in the playbook he was asked to transcribe for the printer ("Problem" 23; see also Doran Text 112 and Halio Tragedy 73). An alternative, perhaps simpler narrative is offered by Richard Knowles ("Evolution"; see also Halio Tragedy 75). He suggests that Q1 was derived from foul papers that were copied by a scribe for the theater, and that this fair copy was then subjected to the usual process of evolution within the theater with cuts and revisions undertaken by Shakespeare or others; the final copy of this manuscript was used to set F, with the compositors referring with some frequency to Q2 to clarify difficulties in the manuscript.

    The crucial point in all these narratives is that each surviving text had some direct contact with Shakespeare's original draft or drafts. Q1 is very close to Shakespeare but is muddied by messiness in the manuscript and ineptitude in the printing house. F, in its turn, probably began its life in the theater as a scribal or authorial copy of Shakespeare's final draft, but it was subsequently modified by hands that might or might not have been Shakespeare's. Whatever the origin of the printer's copy for Q1, the modern editor must intrude to a significant degree to make the text accessible to today's reader and to find acceptable readings for many difficult passages. It remains true that the specific causes of many of Q1's obscurities remain unexplained, or, in many cases, capable of multiple, and conflicting explanations. The Folio text is a far better printed text than the Quarto, with fewer obvious errors, but it has been reworked in a number of important ways. The reviser, or revisers, cut some quite long passages, added a number of generally shorter passages, altered some speech assignments, changed a large number of individual words, and shifted the dramatic and critical effect of some passages through a series of smaller changes.

    Differences between the Quarto and Folio texts

    The nature of the changes between the two versions can be summarized thus:

    1. passages, phrases, and words that appear in the Quarto but not in the Folio;
    2. passages, phrases, and words that appear in the Folio but not in the Quarto;
    3. changes in lineation of verse;
    4. speech assignments that are changed between the two versions;
    5. restructuring of speeches and staging;
    6. cumulative changes to roles;
    7. words and short phrases that are different in the two versions.

    I have phrased points 1 and 2 in such a way that I make no assumptions about the priority of the two texts. In practical terms, however, it is simpler to think of most passages missing from the Folio to be cuts, and passages appearing in the Folio only, in most cases, to be later additions by person or persons undefined—though there have been arguments that propose alternative reasons for the differences.

    251. Cuts to the Folio text

    The changes least amenable to the identification of the agent who caused them are the many cuts. By their nature, however significant their effect on the structure of the play and the nature of the actors' roles, cuts leave no stylistic fingerprints; thus it is unfortunately impossible to subject cuts to any kind of authorial test. Cuts may be made for many reasons: to placate the censor, to shorten performance time, to accommodate changes in casting, or to adapt to changing tastes in the audience. Some short omissions may be the result of simple error. Given the gap of roughly eighteen years between the first performance of the play and its publication in the Folio, it is certainly possible that the cuts were made at different times and for different reasons.

    There has long been a debate concerning who made the cuts. Before the claims made by those in The Division of the Kingdoms arguing that Shakespeare himself was responsible for many of them, the general assumption was that they were made by the players, the book-maker, or the prompter. The understanding was therefore that the play had been corrupted by ignorant interference. There is indeed good evidence that authors from the period were pleased when they were able to publish plays in a form that was more complete than the versions in which they had been staged. Ben Jonson and John Webster both published versions of their plays in which the title page trumpets the fact that the printed version contains more than was ever acted on stage (see Rasmussen 442). The preface to the collected works of Beaumont and Fletcher (1647) by the printer, Humphrey Moseley, is especially informative:

    When these Comedies and Tragedies were presented on Stage, the Actours omitted some Scenes and Passages (with the Authour's consent) as occasion led them; and when private friends desir'd a Copy, they then (and justly too) transcribed what they Acted. But now you have both All that was Acted, and all that was not; even the perfect full Originalls wihout the least mutilation. (A4r)

    What is particularly fascinating about this passage is that it not only reinforces the comments of Jonson and Webster concerning cuts to their works, but that it also includes the parenthetical comment that the omissions were made with the author's consent. The implication is that the author might well be involved in the choice of cuts as well as the players. Since Fletcher was a collaborator with Shakespeare in at least two of his last plays, there is a distinct possibility that within the company that performed their plays there was a culture that involved some level of consultation, even collaboration, between author and actor. It is very much human nature for authors to want the complete sweat of their labors to be made available to their readers, and it is entirely possible, even probable, that Shakespeare would have had some fondness for the sections that were cut, however effective the changes. I do think, however, that there is reason to believe that the agents who made the cuts would have been far from blind to literary and dramatic sensibilities. The actors who made up the Chamberlain's Men/King's Men were a generally stable group, would have performed with Shakespeare, and would have become accustomed to his style. While there is no evidence that Shakespeare in any way "directed" the performances of his plays, the members of the company will have absorbed, if only by a kind of osmosis, a sense of the dramatic structures and overall emotional directions he embedded in his plays. If members of the company were those responsible for the cuts, there is no reason to believe that they were not to a significant degree in harmony with Shakespeare's overall vision for the play even if they did not actively consult with him. I discuss this issue further in the General Introduction.

    The net effect of all cuts and additions is to shorten the play by some 200 lines, a significant but not major reduction of the time required for performance. Some minor cuts and modifications (especially of stage directions) refer to the French army. They may have been made in order to soften the references to invasion, with the intention of making the battle between Lear and his sons-in-law seem more a civil war than a war between nations. It is not clear whether this change was made as the result of actual censorship, was an act of self-censorship intended to bring the politics of the play more into line with changing attitudes, or was intended to focus on the dangers of internal rather than external threats to political stability (see Taylor "Monopolies," Halio Tragedy 83, Worden).

    The two most significant of these changes involve Kent, as he chats in each case to a Gentleman. In neither instance is Kent instigating or advancing plots; he is simply reporting on them. In the more substantial change—Q scene 17, omitted entirely from the Folio—Kent passes on news that the King of France has returned to his country, leaving a lieutenant in charge, and he instructs the Gentleman to head to Dover to pass on news about Lear's current state. The main emphasis in the scene, however, is on the description of Cordelia's response to news of her father's distress. In the earlier scene (Q 8, F 3.1, TLN 1614), the first in which the French presence is mentioned, Kent informs the Gentleman of the division between the dukes and the presence of French spies in the country. He is more informative in the Quarto, and gives the Gentleman instructions on travelling to Dover to pass on the information; in the Folio he is more circumspect and indirect. This sequence is the only instance where a significant number of lines in one version are replaced rather than cut in the other; it is discussed more fully below.

    30In presenting their case for Shakespearean revision, several contributors to The Division of the Kingdoms rely on arguments that the Folio version was revised by Shakespeare specifically to improve stage-worthiness and to make deliberate changes in characterization. The critical debate about the relative theatrical value of the Quarto and Folio texts illustrates the way that arguments of this kind can be made to work in both directions (compare Urkowitz, and Clare "Who is it"). It might be unkind to point out that the argument that cuts were made to improve the play's effectiveness on stage could readily become an argument in favor of "the players" as the agents who cut sections of the play since their concern would presumably be in favor of heightening the play's dramatic force.

    Productions of the play have varied enormously in the kinds of cuts and modifications that directors have historically made; one actor's/director's/critic's high point is another's candidate for the axe. The empirical test of production over many years argues rather against the clear superiority of the Folio text in the theater, since only those directors who have deliberately decided to produce a Folio version have followed its cuts. Michael Dobson, in a review of the Bate/Rasmussen Folio Lear in the Royal Shakespeare Company Works, commented that "Even now Ian McKellen is performing King Lear in Stratford using a text including the mock-trial scene, here relegated to an appendix. . . . Perhaps Bate and Rasmussen would have preferred McKellen to perform the mock-trial scene in King Lear only as an encore." In all fairness, someone should have directed Dobson to Rasmussen's more strictly bibliographical discussion on the nature of cuts in F Lear ("Revision of Scripts"). The cut that deletes the mock trial is one of the longest (30 lines). Other than reducing performance time it is not easy to see why the lines were deleted. The shortened scene does still provide a suitably moving exploration of the nature of Lear's loss of mental control, but modern productions tend overwhelmingly to include the omitted passage, perhaps because our tastes favor its combination of black humor and pathos.

    Eric Rasmussen insightfully discusses the nature of cuts in Lear, comparing them to those in Hamlet and The Second Maiden's Tragedy, a play performed by the same actors at about the same time. The manuscript of The Second Maiden's Tragedy records cuts made for performance. Rasmussen points out that cuts in Hamlet and The Second Maiden's Tragedy are generally made in the middle of long speeches; from the point of view of the actors in the company, the advantage of this approach is that cue lines remain the same so that only one actor has to remember the change. In Lear, however, "lines are generally cut from the ends of speeches," and from the conclusions of scenes ("The Revision of Scripts" 445). One possibility is that the introduction of act breaks in the theater invited cuts at the end of two acts: nine lines of dialog between two servants commenting on Gloucester's blinding at the end of act 3 (3.7, TLN 2176.1-2176.9), and eleven lines at the end of act 4, when Kent and a Gentleman discuss the current state of affairs in the kingdom and the forthcoming battle (TLN 2843.1-2843.11). My analysis of 33 significant cuts/omissions in the Folio indicates that two-thirds (23) create new cue lines, two (possibly three) involving cues for entrances or exits. Only ten leave the cue lines unchanged. The equivalent figures for Hamlet are 20 cuts, half requiring cue changes and five involving an entry. Rasmussen rightly cautions that "we cannot conclude that one type of cut necessarily points to a revising author and that another points to a non-author" (446). A reviser conscious of actors' needs and aware of the relative convenience of leaving cue lines unchanged might focus more on cutting within speeches; an author might focus more on changes he wanted for dramatic or literary reasons; but Shakespeare was, or had been, actor as well as author.

    Longer cuts accumulate in the latter half of the play, principally in acts 4 and 5. Two significant cuts delete passages that provide glimmers of light in the growing darkness: the passage at the end of the scene of Gloucester's blinding where two servants react to the cruelty they have witnessed by deciding how best to help the old man (2176.1-2176.9), and the entirety of scene 17 (4.2a in the Extended Folio) between Kent and a Gentleman where they discuss the current state of affairs, focusing on the pathos of Cordelia's response to news of her father's predicament. In the General Introduction I suggest that some cuts follow the emotional trajectory Shakespeare began by creating a hard-edged tragedy from the romance plot he found in his sources.

    2. Additions

    If cuts leave no clear sign of the agent who did the cutting, additions are more forthcoming and may leave potential stylistic fingerprints. The extent of the additions, however, is modest, so evidence of authorship will of necessity be tentative. By studying the possible sources and the vocabulary of rare words in the added passages, Gary Taylor has argued that Shakespeare added the passages "between the completion of Coriolanus and the beginning of Cymbeline" ("Date" 428); Richard Knowles suggests that the rare words in the additions "suggest a reviser with an idiosyncratic vocabulary, perhaps in some cases reflecting a familiarity with the contemporary theater, but probably not Sh[hakespeare]'s lexicon (King Lear Variorum "Appendix," 183). Studies of rare words have long been suggestive, but are far from conclusive, especially in the present instance where the size of the text samples is very small indeed. Studies that look at an author's use of common words using large samples have made some important, if occasionally controversial, contributions to authorship studies (see, for example, MacDonald P. Jackson Defining, Taylor and Egan Authorship Companion), but the whole point of looking at rare words is that they occur in small samples. The textual analysis I find more persuasive on the issue of the authorship of the additions to the Folio is Arthur F. Kinney's "Transforming King Lear" (Craig and Kinney 181-201). Working with Hugh Craig, Kinney has taken the additions as a block of 900 words (902, to be precise) and compared them with the word usage of other writers of the period who have been proposed as possible authors: Massinger, Fletcher, Middleton, Jonson, Chapman, and Webster—and Shakespeare's other works. Using tests that look at blocks of 900 words in the various candidates for authorship of the additions, Craig and Kinney applied two tests: patterns of usage within common "function" words (the basic building blocks of sentences that authors use unconsciously), and one test that looks for common words and word forms one author favours but the other does not. Kinney and Craig find that the additions accord closely with Shakespeare's usage on both tests, but differ significantly from all the other candidates. The important feature of this approach is that the test samples are statistically large enough to rule out chance as the reason for the differences.

    35As with the cuts, additions that appear in the Folio text are of varying lengths and importance, and are very possibly the result of differing circumstances. Some probably record instances where the Quarto text was deficient and omitted short passages from the manuscript, either because of the messy manuscript or as the result of eye-skip: Albany's speech, "My lord, I am guiltless as I am ignorant" makes sense, but gains in clarity with the Folio's addition ". . . Of what hath moved you" (TLN 786-7); in contrast, Regan's speech in the final scene reads well with or without the additional line at TLN 3019, here italicized:

    Lady, I am not well, else I should answer
    From a full-flowing stomach. [To Edmund the Bastard] General,
    Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony.
    Dispose of them, of me. The walls are thine.
    Witness the world that I create thee here
    My lord and master. (TLN 3016-21)

    The line may have been omitted from the Quarto in error or added later to enhance the passage with a suitably martial image. There are several other instances, especially where a short speech has been interpolated, that may have been added to the Folio by either original omission or later revision: TLN 94-5, 176, 774, 1281, 1798, and 2243. The Fool's last speech in the Folio (TLN 2043) could possibly be another omission from the Quarto, and there may be others.

    Two more substantial additions to the Fool's role have long been considered interpolations, possibly by someone other than Shakespeare. The first of these, at TLN 1322-1327, according to Doran (Text 66) "appear[s] to have been an afterthought given to the Fool to enhance his part." Certainly the added passage is interpolated between two intense speeches by Kent and Lear, as Lear learns of his servant's treatment by Cornwall and Regan; whether this is seen as an enhancement of the tension or an irritating interruption to it is both a matter of critical taste and of stage direction. It certainly fits well into both the Fool's role elsewhere and the general tenor of the play:

    Winter's not gone yet if the wild geese fly that way.
    Fathers that wear rags
    Do make their children blind,
    But fathers that bear bags
    Shall see their children kind.
    Fortune, that arrant whore,
    Ne'er turns the key to th'poor.
    (TLN 1322-1327)

    The later, longer addition (TLN 1734-1750) when the Fool makes an enigmatic and parodic prophecy also fits to some extent as a commentary on a world turned upside down, but could possibly be the result of a star actor panting for more stage time. Kerrigan and Taylor ("Date" 396) defend both passages as Shakespearean. The statistical tests of Craig and Kinney cannot provide evidence one way or the other, because of the small size of the sample. The lines are certainly not the kind of improvisational language associated with clowns from an earlier period (see Stern, 245-52), though Rasmussen provides evidence for one way that material of this kind could be added to a theatrical manuscript ("Setting Down").

    If some of the additions I have been discussing can be explained as the restoration of passages accidentally omitted from Q, or as non-Shakespearean interpolation, there are some crucial and eloquent additions that were either written by Shakespeare or by someone who was good at Shakespeare pastiche. In the opening scene there are three telling and eloquent additions to Lear's speeches, giving additional motivation for his crucial decision to divide the kingdom and enriching his commentary on the nature of the lands he is planning to bequeath to Cordelia (TLN 45-50, TLN 54-55, TLN 89-91). The tenor of these changes is so consistent that it takes significant ingenuity to argue that they are somehow omissions from Q rather than additions to F—and therefore actual revisions. Further passages later in the play give Goneril an opportunity to establish stronger motivation for her actions (TLN 842-857), and heighten one of Edgar's soliloquies (TLN 2184-2187). Lear gains a powerful addition in the section where in his mental breakdown he achieves insight into the human condition (TLN 2608-2612); most strikingly, there is a brief addition to the scene of his death when he fleetingly believes, just before he dies, that he sees Cordelia alive.

    403. Lineation

    The Quarto

    The most obviously intrusive intervention required from an editor of Q1 Lear is the process of making sense of Q1's erratic typesetting of Shakespeare's verse. Many verse lines are simply set as prose, while others appear as a kind of "false" verse, where lines are set without justification and dutifully start with a capital letter, but create hypermetric lines with widely varying numbers of syllables. We can be confident that Shakespeare was writing in verse for most of the play; the Folio text and other plays from the period when he was writing King Lear are predominantly in verse. There is no simple answer as to why so many verse lines were set as prose or false verse. It is true that Okes's inexperienced compositors were working with a difficult manuscript, and it is also true that it was common for printers to try to save paper by scrimping on space in one way or another. The final page of the Quarto is a good example; four short speeches are recorded in the middle of a line rather on a new line and a substantial section of verse is set as prose; on the other hand the final large-font "FINIS" is set off by ample space before and after. Ironically, it is likely that the reason for this particular instance of space-saving was to keep the last page blank—a common but not universal practice. Vickers bases his fundamental argument for the "One King Lear" on the assumption that Okes underestimated the amount of paper he would need and therefore cut lines that later turned up in the Folio. Syme ("The Text is Foolish," III A Printer Abridges) and Blayney ("Quadrat" 86) dismiss Vickers's arguments, but agree that Okes's compositors tried to save space and may not fully have understood the manuscript they were working with.

    The inescapable conclusion is that editors of the Quarto version must intervene to a substantial degree if they are to provide a text consistent with Shakespeare's work at the time he was writing King Lear. Because the level of editorial intervention in creating verse from prose is substantial, I provide a visual method of seeing the difference between the original and the edited verse: horizontal tabs permit readers quickly to switch back and forth. Where it is relevant, a third tab shows the difference between the edited modern text and both Quarto and Folio line breaks. While this approach is almost arrestingly simple as a method of recording and visualizing differences in lineation, there are some limitations. Divided lines are not rejoined, and I have not modified capitalization to accord with the alternative line breaks. Variant lineation is not recorded in a tab when the length of lines in the two texts is significantly different because of additional material in one of them.

    These are the principles I have followed in lineating the Quarto text:

    1. I follow Q1 wherever its lines create reasonably regular verse, whatever the Folio does.
    2. 45I follow the Folio where Q1 makes prose of passages that are verse in F, preferably avoiding further smoothing of the rhythm. Paul Werstine has convincingly implicated compositorial intervention in modifying lineation from the copy used for the Folio ("Lineation" 111); thus Folio lineation may itself be sophisticated.
    3. In some passages (notably those of Lear's madness when he is speaking to Edgar and Gloucester in scene Q 20, F 4.5, TLN 2554) the editorial tradition has, since Johnson, been to set the prose as irregular verse; I follow this tradition with some reservations. Any verse that is created from the prose will be somewhat irregular; the question is where to break irregular lines without forcing the passages into a rhythmic straitjacket. In all such cases, however, the horizontal tabs permit the reader to see the extent of editorial intervention.

    The Folio

    I have followed the Folio's original lineation unless there is a clear case for emending it; there are several places where the compositor set short lines to fill up space, for example. As with the Quarto text, wherever I depart from the Folio, horizontal tabs recreate Folio line breaks. The Folio text also provides horizontal tabs that allow the reader to switch to Quarto lineation wherever it is reasonably regular but differs from the Folio; the intention is both to underline the uncertainty of editorial decisions (mine and those of the Folio compositors) and to offer additional rhythmic alternatives for actors, critics, and readers.

    4. Changes to speech assignments

    Many of the changes to speech prefixes are relatively minor: a Servant in Q becomes a Knight in F, a Gentleman in Q becomes a Messenger in F, a Doctor in Q becomes a Gentleman in F, and so on. Changes of this kind carry meaning and have an influence on staging and costuming, but they make no change to the major roles in the play. There are a total of 45 changes involving minor characters of this kind.

    50Speeches for major characters are changed on twelve occasions. All but two involve speeches of one line; one is of two lines, and the longest (the last speech of the play) is four lines. Some changes have relatively little effect: in the first scene Kent and Lear swap speeches, each of one line directed at the Fool. The remaining changes cluster in two scenes, both of which show signs of revision. In Q scene 7, F 2.2, where Goneril's arrival at Gloucester's residence is significantly revised, the query addressed to Regan, "Who struck [Q] / stocked [F] my servant?" is spoken in Q by Goneril, who is enquiring about Oswald's treatment, and in F by Lear, asking about Kent. The combination of the speech reassignment and the very significant variant radically changes the stage dynamic at this point. The second cluster, of six changes, is in the final scene of the play; all make changes both to roles and to staging.

    1. After Albany's strong response to Edmund, "I hold you but a subject of this war, / Not as a brother" (TLN 2999-3000), the line "That were the most, if he should husband you" (TLN 3012) is spoken by Goneril in the Quarto, by Albany in the Folio. The effect in the Folio is to lessen Goneril's antagonism and to give further strength to Albany.
    2. In Q Edmund's further response is to threaten military action: "Let the drum strike, and prove my title good" (TLN 3026). In the Folio it is Regan who threatens, necessitating a rewording of the passage: "Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine."
    3. When Albany produces the incriminating letter retrieved from Oswald by Edgar, in the Quarto he demands of Goneril, "Know'st thou this paper?" (TLN 3118); she replies "Ask me not what I know." In the Folio it is Edmund who is confronted, and who replies in the same words.
    4. Towards the end of the scene, two important speeches are reassigned from Albany to Edgar. When Edmund confesses his plot against Lear and Cordelia, it is the Folio Edgar who urges speed (by Q's 2 Captain, F's Gentleman) in rescuing them; and in a radical switch of speakers, Edgar, rather than Albany, is given the last lines of the play.
    5. Perhaps the most surprising switch involves the last moments of Lear's life where what is in the Quarto Lear's last speech, "Break heart, I prithee break," is given to Kent. This sequence is discussed in the next section.

    5. Restructuring of speeches and staging

    Five sequences of varying length present particularly interesting challenges in the construction of the two extended texts of King Lear. In each case, the two versions differ in ways that generate significantly different experiences on stage, and any attempt to combine them will only create yet a third version. For this reason, my solution has been to provide readers with horizontal tabs that allow them to switch between the two versions, or to view them in parallel.

    1. When Lear arrives at Gloucester's castle (Q 7, F 2.2, TLN 1466-1484) he suffers two shocks. He sees his servant Caius (Kent in disguise) in the stocks, and, as he seeks to find an answer to this extraordinary situation, Goneril arrives ready to team up with her sister. In the two versions Oswald's entrance is signaled at a slightly different point, and Goneril then enters; in the Quarto she immediately asks who "struck" her servant; in the Folio she is silent and it is Lear who asks who "stocked" his servant, without noticing Goneril. Both versions are dramatic, and the textual differences seem minor—a speech reassignment and one of those strikingly near-pun variants (struck/stocked), but in the Quarto Goneril is given an opportunity to be once again assertive by seizing the opportunity to attack, while in the Folio, Lear, ironically oblivious to the entry of his now disowned elder daughter, attempts to enforce his dwindling authority by once again demanding an answer to the humiliation Caius/Kent has suffered.
    2. The two versions of King Lear diverge in an especially interesting way as Kent imparts news of recent events to a Gentleman (Q 8, F 3.1, TLN 1626-1638, discussed above in the section on possible censorship). The Folio sequence is somewhat shorter than the Quarto, but rather than a straightforward cut (or omission), it replaces the longer discussion in the Quarto of thirteen lines with a different, shorter speech of eight lines. In the Quarto, Kent mentions that French spies have been gathering information about the dissention between Cornwall and Albany and that an invasion is imminent. He accordingly sends the Gentleman to Dover to communicate the ill-treatment Lear has received at the hands of his daughters. In the Folio, Kent, in rather indirect language, discusses spies reporting to France (the king rather than the country) concerning rumors of the division between the dukes and their ill-treatment of Lear, but makes no mention of preparations for an invasion or of Dover. In both sequences, the general intention is to communicate that war between the sisters is threatened, and that France (and thus Cordelia) has been kept informed.
      Textual scholars have long debated the reasons for the change, which has presented editors wishing to conflate the two versions with a challenge, since simply to combine the two speeches in in some fashion leads to a rather awkward, somewhat repetitive speech. R.A. Foakes points out that the text "from the ending of 2.2 into 3.1 appears to have been subject to some deliberate reworking" (397); his solution is to replace some Quarto lines with those from the Folio, retaining the longer instructions to the Gentleman from the Quarto. Mowat and Werstine, on the other hand, combine both versions. In the process of summarizing the various arguments concerning the usefulness or vagueness of the two versions in terms of plot and language ("Revision Awry" 39-40), Richard Knowles (following Blayney) argues at length that the Folio version is "stylistically awkward if not unintelligible" (37). Arguments about the usefulness of Kent's speeches in either version in terms of plot seem curiously out of place in a play where both the passage of time and the landscape are more mythical than literal (see the General Introduction); the general purpose in each case is to provide the audience with both a sense of foreboding, in that conflicts are developing on two fronts, and a more comforting awareness that aid in some form is likely to be forthcoming. The Folio Kent's much-criticized indirection of language communicates, in addition, a deep sense of uncertainty and instability.
    3. In the final scene there are three occasions where the Folio text reworks the staging at especially dramatic moments. The first of these involves the trumpet calls to summon a challenger to answer Edgar's accusation that Edmund is a traitor (Q 4, F 5.3, TLN 3063-3067). In the Quarto, it is the Bastard who calls on the trumpet to sound, and there are no specific stage directions that indicate when the trumpet is to sound. The Folio is much clearer, with the Herald calling three times for the trumpet.
    4. The second reworking comes when a Gentleman (both texts) announces the offstage deaths of both Goneril and Regan (Q 4, F 5.3, TLN 3170-3178). The Folio version adds two short interjections from Edgar (TLN 3171, 3173), and heightens the suspense by momentarily delaying the revelation of the deaths.
    5. The final reworking of this scene is during the final moments of Lear's life (Q 4, F 5.3, TLN 3277-3286), in a passage discussed at the beginning of this introduction. The Quarto Lear asks for a bystander to undo a button, presumably to allow him to breathe more freely (a fascinating moment for the director, deciding who is the one to assist him), then groans; Edgar implores him to look up (another indirect stage direction), and Lear speaks again, "Break heart, I prithee break" (TLN 3285). Though the Quarto does not provide a stage direction, it is clear that the speech is followed by Lear's death. The Folio Lear, given additional, deeply moving lines where he believes he sees life in Cordelia, dies (there is a specific stage direction) immediately. Edgar's speech remains the same, as he hopes, no doubt, that Lear still lives, and then it is Kent who speaks the line "Break heart, I prithee break" (TLN 3285).

    6. Cumulative changes to roles

    The cumulative effect of cuts, additions, and speech reassignments has a significant impact on some of the actors' roles. I earlier expressed some doubt about the extent to which cuts do or do not improve the theatrical effectiveness of the play; in a similar vein, I am skeptical about arguments for consistent revision based on character rather than role. Character, as conceived in current criticism, is largely a construct of late nineteenth-century critics and twentieth-century acting traditions (see, for example the discussions by Slights and Holland). A number of arguments in favor of revision detail changes in characterization between the two versions. Many of these critics are subtle in their analyses, but I feel that their critical approach tends to over-value small changes in wording over the kinds of variation a good actor can instill into any passage by shifting emphasis. Lukas Erne astutely points out the profound influence that punctuation—of necessity very largely the responsibility of the compositor and/or editor—can have on meaning, and hence of the construction of character (Collaborators 18-19). In a modern production of Lear, a director can cut significant parts of a character's role without inducing changes in the interpretation of the character, since both the director and actor will have read the entire play (often in a conflated version) and can thus adduce motive to actions that are only obliquely referred to in the redacted stage version.

    Changes in roles, however, can be more reasonably explained as the result of revision. The roles of Kent, Albany, Goneril and the Fool are significantly changed in the Folio (Michael Warren, "Diminution"; Urkowitz, Kerrigan, Clayton; see also Hornback 337 on the possibility that the Fool's role was revised after Shakespeare's death to accommodate a new clown in the company); Cordelia's role is also sufficiently changed that Ioppolo finds evidence to suggest that she becomes a stronger character in F (Revising 167-83). The fundamental question remains: why were the changes made? Given (as I have suggested) that it is somewhat anachronistic to speak of character in its modern sense, how likely is it that Shakespeare, or someone else, decided specifically to make Cordelia a stronger character? Michael Warren provides a model in his essay on "The Diminution of Kent." He points out that even in the Quarto Kent's role in the play becomes progressively less important as others take over his role of supporting Lear in his distress—both Gloucester and Edgar care for him in the storm, then after his solitary madness he is sheltered and healed by Cordelia. Warren points out that Kent's diminution is almost wholly the result of the deletion of lines that provide "choric" (63), morally centered commentary on the events in the play. Warren's assessment of the rationale for the cuts is that they were made for theatrical reasons, to sharpen and speed up the action. So they do; but it is no less possible that audiences later in the seventeenth century lost their taste for this kind of meditative and poetic speech, and that the cuts were made more for the sake of this change in fashion.

    7. Changes to individual words

    Individual readings may provide more palpable clues to the question of revision. Many differing readings are trivial in their effect: changing words from singular to plural (kingdomes / Kingdome, TLN 7); changing similar words with similar functions (into / to, TLN 24); changing the order of words with little, if any effect on the meaning or meter (Sir a sonne / a Sonne, Sir, TLN 22), and many more. At the other extreme are individual words that are clearly distinct, modify the meaning of a passage in a significant way, and cannot reasonably be said to be the result of corruption: yonger yeares / yonger strengths (TLN 45). Between these two poles are a multitude of alterations that might be either the result of error or of deliberate change. Knowles sees no evidence of revision: "most of these changes are explainable as editorial, scribal, or compositorial error, correction, or sophistication," and he dismisses them as making "no practical difference. . . They are local improvements, not significant revisions" (Knowles, "Revision Awry" 32, 45). No doubt some of the non-trivial changes are indeed errors of the compositors, misreadings of the manuscript, or changes introduced by someone other than Shakespeare. But the sheer number of variants that carry distinct semantic meaning (anything from about 150 to 200, depending on the criteria) means that a great deal of ingenuity is needed in order to claim that the difficulty of the Q1 manuscript is a sufficient cause for the changes.

    55An important advantage of the digital edition is that it is possible to create unambiguous and accessible visual signals of textual variation using well-understood conventions associated with linking protocols. The two extended texts of Lear provide an ideal canvas for the display: each variant is indicated by a dotted underline; hovering the mouse over it triggers a pop-up with the variant reading and its source. A useful side-effect of this design is that it shows clearly on the screen the way that individual variants tend to cluster. To use an appropriately digital analogy, in a standard collation of variants, online or in print, one sees the pixels; on the pages of one of the extended texts we can see the image the pixels create. Each variant of the kind Knowles identifies as the result of error (editorial, scribal, compositorial) can be explained in one way or another; but if there is cluster of variants requiring different explanations it may well become more reasonable to establish a collective explanation. Perhaps a section of the manuscript was exceptionally difficult for some reason, or a compositor was hungry and wanted to finish quickly, or perhaps a reviser was "tinkering" with the text in some fashion (Kerrigan 195; see also Jackson 331).

    At the point in the play where Lear has realized that both his elder daughters are determined to strip him of his retinue and he has stormed off stage into the night, Gloucester, alone on stage, speaks sympathetically of the king's plight (Quarto text, Folio variants in square brackets):

    Alack, the night comes on, and the bleak [high] winds
    Do sorely rustle [ruffle]. For many miles about
    There's not [scarce] a bush. (Q 7, F 2.2, TLN 1603-1605)

    In the Folio, rustle becomes ruffle. It is easy to see that this change could be the result of a simple misreading in the Quarto manuscript, as Stone (180) suggests. But the context makes this less certain. In the previous line the Folio text also changes bleak to high, and in the following line not a bush becomes scarce a bush. It is difficult to see how either of these could be the result of misreading or compositorial error. Both passages are evocative. The Quarto passage provides support for the moody bleak wind with an image of sound, as it rustles through grasses or reeds, since the landscape is empty of bushes. The Folio passage is more intense, as the wind becomes stronger and the landscape, though less bare, is ruffled—disturbed and made uneven (OED I.1.a). Perhaps the most remarkable point about variants between the two versions is that few of them are necessary in any obvious way. While some, perhaps many, can be explained as errors of some kind, there are clear cases where someone decided to make some changes, to tinker with the wording, possibly, in this example, to heighten sympathy for Lear. And if that person happened to be a writer who was an inveterate player with words, the switch from rustle to ruffle could have been part of that process of tinkering (compare the change from fickle to sickly earlier in the scene at TLN 1473). Gloucester's speech follows soon after the reassignments of two speeches and another alteration difficult to explain as an accident (good/best, TLN 1601); somewhat earlier in this pivotal scene there is also some significant rearrangement of speeches, entrances, and individual variants as Goneril enters to join the fray.

    No single change in this cluster could be said to alter the play in any dramatic way. Even when they are taken together the difference does not substantially change the direction of the play or the roles within it. The important point, however, is that it is difficult to come up with a coherent explanation for the variants other than that there was some degree of conscious revision, even if it was only on the level of tinkering. And it is not easy to imagine an actor or compositor making these kinds of modifications. They are sensitive, and granular at the level of the word, such that the most likely candidate is a writer confident enough to make "pixel-level" changes in Shakespeare's text. The passage I have been discussing comes at the end of the long, painful scene where Lear discovers the truth that both Goneril and Regan are determined to strip him of his remaining powers. Though changes within this scene are patchy, there are several extended passages where there are clusters of multiple variants.

    It is also true that not all clusters of variants make particularly interesting or consistent changes. It seems very likely that the compositors had problems with the copy they was working with. In scene Q 6, F 2.1, there is a series of interesting, but quite possibly accidental variants of this kind: pretense/practise (TLN 1010), spurs/spirits (TLN 1013), Strong/Oh, strange (TLN 1015), strange news/strangeness (TLN 1026). Some variants seem to update or simplify the language: bussing/kissing (TLN 936), warbling/mumbling (TLN 999), caitiff/coward (TLN 999), rash/stick (TLN 2130), dearn/stern (TLN 2135). A constant problem in separating the accidental from the deliberate is that the general messiness of the Quarto creates a level of noise that makes it harder to discern an underlying signal; however careful an editor may wish to be, the process of distinguishing between noise and signal is ultimately a critical rather than an objectively bibliographical act. With this caveat in mind, it remains true that some clusters have the cumulative effect of suggesting strongly that a revising hand was at work, playing, at times almost punning with wording. In the opening scene we may dismiss equalities/qualities (TLN 9) as accidental, but first/fast (TLN 43), of our state/from our age (TLN 44) are difficult to explain in the same way; Confirming/Conferring and years/strengths (TLN 45) follow hard upon, and there are at least twelve similar pairs later in the scene. The same can be said of the passage in scene Q 6, F 2.1 and of the final scene of the play.

    60The question of revision: summary

    Richard Knowles, a deeply knowledgeable supporter of Q1 as the only reliable base text for King Lear, nonetheless comments: "The question is not whether there was revision—of course there was—but who did it, and when, and why" ("Two Lears?" 58). In the last forty years these three questions have elicited a wide variety of responses, and, as I have suggested above, a surprising level of passion. The truth, of course, is that none of the questions can be answered with any resounding confidence, and it takes a good deal of speculation and supposition to reach a consistent conclusion, especially concerning the why; any answer requires looking into the minds of those who might have been involved, all too often finding exactly what the enquirer is looking for. When the changes were made is interesting but not of overpowering importance: some could have been made almost immediately as Shakespeare prepared a fair copy for the company or read over a scribe's transcription of his draft, as Steven Urkowitz suggests (Revision 147); they could, as Taylor argues, have been made later when the play was being prepared for presentation at the indoors Blackfriars theater ("Date" 428); they could have been made when circumstances of some kind made it desirable that the French connection with the invasion of French forces headed by Cordelia be downplayed; or at some other time and for some other reason. The crucial question is who made the changes.

    Lying behind the whole discussion of the difference between the two versions of King Lear is a very simple question: was it likely that Shakespeare revised this, or any, of his plays? Two decades ago, Trevor Howard-Hill succinctly responded to this basic issue:

    . . . modern scholarship is disposed to entertain the conception of a Shakespeare whose compositional process was more usual than the conventional compliment of his colleagues Heminge and Condell suggests: if they "scarce receiued from him a blot in his papers" it was, we may assume, because having finished his rough draft . . . Shakespeare found it necessary to write out his play fairly (or, to have a transcript made). The preparation of a fair copy gave him an opportunity (or site) for second thoughts as well as to sort out certain unfinalized details in the first draft, that is, to tinker with forms of expression or rewrite certain speeches or parts of scenes. ("Two-Text" 32)

    Despite Paul Werstine's confident assertion that "the controversy over Shakespeare’s possible revision of his tragedies has largely passed" ("Authorial Revision" 301), the discussion continues, for the very good reason that no incontrovertible evidence has surfaced to show either that Shakespeare's hand was indeed involved in the changes to the Folio text, or that his hand was absent from those changes.

    If only some of the changes were made by Shakespeare, it means that the Folio in some measure records a later version of the play as he created it. My construction of a narrative to explain the variations between the two texts relies to a significant degree on a belief that the Folio, at least in some respects and in some passages, represents a conscious revision of the play by Shakespeare, though his is almost certainly not the only agency in the changes. The well-attested influence of a copy of Q2 on the Folio text sharpens the case for revision, since it would have been easier in the printing house simply to reproduce a version of Q2 than to work from manuscript or a heavily annotated print text; the motive for printing the modified text may have been that it was simply more current, but it is certainly possible that Hemminge and Condell chose it because they knew that it recorded more recent work by Shakespeare. It should be clear that I do not find it convincing or probable to assign all changes to the kinds of corruption and interference that Knowles lists ("editorial, scribal, or compositorial error, correction, or sophistication"); even he acknowledges that these errors cumulatively can only account for "most" of the changes.

    The evidence for revision rests on two kinds of differences between Quarto and Folio: a relatively small but arresting number of additions difficult to pass off as errors of omission or contributions by another hand; and demonstrable clusters of individual variants, with each group showing evidence of some variants that cannot readily be explained away and a multitude of others that could either be chronic error (not impossible, given the state of the Quarto text) or tinkering and touching-up by a writer who was habitually given to word play of one kind or another. The opening and closing scenes of the play combine both kinds of change—additions and changes to individual words—and there are sequences in scene Q 6, F 2.1, where there are significant changes to staging coupled with clusters of variants. The incidence of changes suggest that whoever made them did so in a kind of "hit and run" pattern, focusing interest on specific sections, leaving long sections of the play unchanged.

    It is my conclusion that the Folio version of King Lear records some second thoughts by Shakespeare as he revisited the play at some stage after he originally wrote it. He tinkered with wording in passages that caught his eye and added some generally short passages to enrich or modify key passages. In some places his may have been the hand that reworked the staging of some sequences; I also think it likely that some minor additions to the Folio text were made by other hands. Though I do not believe that the cuts can with confidence be assigned to any specific agent, many of them create fascinating critical and staging questions. Collectively they have a substantial effect on the play, in some ways intensifying the kinds of changes that Shakespeare wrought on the old story of King Leir. Although the revisions by themselves do not make the Folio King Lear a significantly different play, they do, as I discuss in the General Introduction, change its patterns of meaning and emphasis in critically and theatrically interesting ways.

    65General editorial principles

    Despite my conclusion that the Folio preserves some Shakespearean revisions, my approach in editing King Lear, with the creation of two base and two extended texts, is effectively agnostic about the primacy of the two versions and makes no assumptions about the nature of the revision that created the differences between them. The one instance where I privilege the Folio over the Quarto is on the title page for this edition, where the "Quick start" link takes the reader to the Extended Folio version of the play, and the Folio texts are listed before those of the Quarto. Implicit in this choice is a belief that the Folio to a modest degree represents the most recent thoughts of the author. Readers of the Extended Quarto, however, will have access to a text in which Q1 is privileged.

    Quarto and Folio texts

    My aim has been with both base versions to create an accurate, sound, and readable text. Where the versions differ, I follow each text wherever possible so long as it makes reasonable sense; I do not, however, strain unduly with a difficult passage if the alternative text provides a clear reading. In my earlier discussion of the possible evolution of the texts, I pointed out that all narratives that attempt to explain the relationship between the texts agree that in some fashion each is in a position potentially to clarify the other. My intention is to use the digital medium in such a way that it visually distinguishes the components of the two composite—extended—texts, making the richness of variance immediately and intuitively available to the reader. For the student or teacher the play abounds in "teaching moments" where there is room for discussion about the cumulative effect of what seem to be small changes in wording or speech assignments. For the scholar and critic the interface facilitates the disambiguation of questions of characterization, imagery, and more general issues as they vary between the versions. For the actor or director there is a convenient way of choosing an eclectic acting edition, with each choice informed by its alternative.

    The extended texts

    Each extended text combines the base text with sections from the alternative text that do not appear in it; the extended text retains the structure and individual readings of the base text. Passages that are added from the alternative text are included with as little change to the base text as possible; I have made no attempt to relineate or adjust the base text to accommodate the additions other than occasional necessary changes in punctuation. In the extended texts I make no attempt to create rhythmically neat lines where there are added part lines or phrases. In other words, I have not provided metrical conflation when the alternative text adds material to the base text. The interface is designed to make clear at all times which text is the source of a passage, at the same time making readily available, and visually apparent, where there are potentially significant and interesting differences in individual readings.

    • The base text appears in the normal font.
    • Added sections appear with a light gray background; in each case the source text is noted on the right.
    • Sections that are unique to the base text are indicated with a vertical line on the right of the text, with the explanation "Not in [F or Q]"; when the mouse is hovered over the text or the note in the margin, the unique text is then highlighted in gray.
    • Where passages in the two versions differ in such a way that adding material from the alternative text would create a hybrid that would confuse rather than extend the text, the two equivalent passages can be viewed separately with the assistance of horizontal tabs, or in parallel. There are five such parallels, discussed above.
    • Notable variants between the texts are indicated throughout with a dotted underline; hovering the mouse over the word brings up a pop-up with the alternative reading and its source.

    In general, I include only phrases or longer passages from the alternative text. Thus, at TLN 115 where the Quarto reads "Well, let it be so" and the Folio "Let it be so" the Folio does not add the initial "Well." A more interesting case of a single word missing from one text is when a Doctor (Quarto) or Gentleman (Folio) informs Cordelia that her father has been sleeping, asking her to be near when he awakens; he then speaks of Lear's probable state of mind: the Quarto Lear will be calm ("I doubt not of his temperance"), the Folio Lear unpredictable ("I doubt of his temperance"). In this instance I have chosen to use the mouseover hover to indicate the alternative reading rather than adding "not" to the Folio extended text. See also TLN 315.

    The overall aims of the extended texts are twofold: to make available two ways of reading the complete work that is King Lear while retaining the integrity of the individual Quarto and Folio versions, and to make visually and intuitively evident the relationship between them. In the process, it is my hope that the extended texts will make evident some of the bones of the "social" network that produced the texts—the Folio especially—and stimulate exploration of the semantic and dramatic richness that the two versions, considered together rather than apart, make available.

    Speech prefixes

    In this edition I have departed from recent editorial practice by using more generic speech prefixes for two roles: Bastard for Edmund, and Steward for Oswald. The Quarto uses "Bast" for Edmund throughout; the Folio uses "Edm" only six times, "Bast" the remaining 67. Speech prefixes for the role of Oswald are roughly similar. In the Quarto his speech prefix is "Steward/Stew/Ste" except for two instances where they are "Oswald" and "Osw" just after he has been called by name (TLN 848FF); in the Folio he is "Ste" or "Stew" throughout. There are critical, as well as bibliographical, reasons to make the change from specific names to generic classes. Edmund's illegitimacy is strongly stressed in the opening scene of the play (unlike Don John in Much Ado, whose bastardy is only mentioned relatively late in the play), and Oswald's status as mere servant is highlighted both in his initial interaction with Lear and in the confrontation with Kent before Gloucester's castle. The question is, of course, a readerly matter, since on stage we learn names and roles by a kind of aural osmosis.

    70Individual readings

    Further discussion of individual readings will be found in the commentary. Collations record, where possible, the first editor who adopted a particular reading; in some instances where I have been unable to see an early edition myself I have relied on earlier editors for this information. In some instances I have included speculative emendations from early editors because of their interest in understanding the reception of his work.

    Q1 first; F1 fast (TLN 43)
    Q1's first may well be a simple misreading of fast, the reading of the Folio, but, as I have discussed above, it makes excellent sense as it stands and is retained in the Quarto text.
    F1 only forests and wide skirted meads (TLN 69-70)
    The additional text in the Folio may possibly have been omitted by eye-skip if it was in the Quarto MS, but the Quarto line makes sense and scans effectively; Halio includes the F1 material in his edition of the Quarto; Wells, Orgel, Ioppolo, and Weis, as here, omit it.
    F2 mysteries; Q1 mistresse; F1 miseries (TLN 117)
    Q1 records "The mistresse of Heccat," F1 "The miseries of Heccat." F2 gets it right, without the added information of the Quarto, reading "mysteries." See Halio, Quarto, 20.
    Q1 strayed; F1 strain'd (TLN 183)
    I follow Halio, Orgel, Weis, Wells, and Ioppolo in keeping the Q1 reading in the Quarto modern text, though it may well be a simple misreading of strain'd.
    75Q1 not been little; F1 been little (TLN 315)
    Randal McLeod (167-9) argues that the quieter effect of Goneril's speech in the Folio, where her omission of Q1's not implies that Lear's erratic behaviour is recent, fits well with her more measured suggestion that the sisters sit together rather than the more aggressive hit of the Quarto. In the extended modern texts the variant is indicated by a mouse-hover.
    Q, F modern to the legitimate; Q1 tooth'le-gitimate; F1 to'th'Legitimate (TLN 355)
    Although Capell's emendation, "top the" is attractive, the original readings of both Q1 and F1 make complete sense.
    Q1 [Exit a servant.]; F [Exit an attendant.] (TLN 539-540ff.)
    The exits and entrances from this point until TLN 606 are variously signaled by editors. The overall movement of characters/messengers is consistent in both texts, though wording differs.
    Q modern Lady the brach; Q1 Ladie oth'e brach; F1 the Lady Brach (TLN 642)
    Q1's reading is an odd one, difficult to explain. Halio points out that Hotspur refers to "Lady, my brach" (1H4 TLN 1780), providing solid support for Steevens's emendation, followed here. Taylor (Textual Companion 533) points out that omitting the "o" makes the reading clear. F1's reading is slightly variant but similar in effect.
    Q1 accent; F1 cadent (TLN 799)
    I follow Taylor (Textual Companion 512) and Halio, Quarto (131) in accepting the F1's cadent in both texts, assuming that a difficult MS led to a misreading.
    80Q modern thee; / Untented; Q1 (state 1) the vntender; Q1 (state 2) the vntented; F1 thee: / Th'vntented (TLN 819)
    Possibly the original read "the the" (Blayney, see Textual Companion 512); the Q1 compositor then omitted the second article, while F1 retains it as "thee / Th'."
    Q modern attasked; Q1 (state 2) attaskt; Q1 (state 1) alapt; F1 at task (TLN 867)
    Halio, Quarto follows Greg (Variants 153-5) in reading "ataxed." I accept the correction and leave F unchanged.
    Q modern This out-of-season, threatening; F modern Thus out of season, threading; Q1 Thus out of season, threatning; F1 Thus out of season, thredding (TLN 1062)
    Halio, Wells, and I follow Stone's conjecture (see 193-4). Halio suggests an evolution from a simple misreading in Q1 to an erroneous correction in the Folio to "thredding." Since the Folio reading makes good (and attractive) sense, it is unchanged.
    Q modern too entrenched to unloose; Q1 to intrench, to inloose; F1 t'intice, t'vnloose (TLN 1148)
    Q1's reading is clear (it lacks only a final "t") and makes good sense. F1 (as Halio points out) clearly revises the wording; it becomes a critical judgement to decide whether F1's intice (intrince—Malone) carries a richer meaning than Q.
    Q1 dialogue; F1 dialect (TLN 1185)
    The Folio's dialect has more immediate appeal, and emphasizes the play of language that Kent is apparently enjoying. But Q1's reading is defensible; the word is used by Shakespeare both in the sense of a formal dialogue between two people (a literary tradition of some weight), and in metadramatic reference to the dialogue of a play. For the first usage, see the Bastard's ironical dialogue with himself in King John: "Answer knows what Question would, / Saving in dialogue of compliment" (Jn TLN 205-6); for the second, see Ursula's reassurance that she knows her role in the baiting of Beatrice: "Fear you not my part of the dialogue." (Ado TLN 1119).
    85F1 ancient; Q1 (state 1) ausrent; Q1 (state 2) miscreant (TLN 1204)
    Q1's ausrent (state 1), was "corrected" in state 2 to miscreant, but the word is so different that it seems likely that the compositor simply found a word that makes more sense. F1's reading, whatever its source, is clearly more likely to be correct and is adopted in the Quarto.
    Q, F modern tomb; Q1 (state 1) fruit; Q1 (state 2) tombe; F1 Tombe (TLN 1409)
    Both the second state of Q1 and the Folio readings read naturally in the context. The oddity is state 1 of Q1, fruit. It's hard to see how one word could be mistaken for the other; Taylor ("Four New Readings" 122) suggests that the initial change was simply a plausible guess by the proofreader, and that the original word misread as fruit was scrine, a variant of shrine.
    Q, F modern depraved; Q1 (state 1) deptoued; Q1 (state 2) depriued; F1 deprau'd (TLN 1415)
    The Folio reading is very close to the second state of Q1. Wells argues for deplored (following Stone, 1980: 201) as a way of making sense of the Q1 reading without reference to F (see Wells 169).
    Q1 lamely; F1 tamely (TLN 1576)
    Editors have universally adopted the Folio's fiercer tamely as appropriate to Lear's anger and frustration. Nonetheless, lamely makes admirable sense if Lear's wish is that he not be inept in his rhetoric as he calls upon the gods to take his side. Shakespeare uses the word several times, most often referring to language or verse that is clearly awkward. Rosalind makes fun of Orlando's poems scattered throughout the forest. "the feet were lame, and could not bear themselves without the verse, and therefore stood lamely in the verse" (AYL TLN 1367); in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Speed responds to Valentines promise of poetry asking "Are they not lamely writ?" (TGV TLN 484). While the likelihood of a simple error or misreading is high, the advantage both of the two separate modern texts, and of the mouseover that indicates the alternative reading is that this possibility can be promoted from the commentary and collation to the text itself.
    F modern look [for]; F1 look, Q1 seek (TLN 1765)
    Most editions that use F1 as copy text retain look, glossing it as "look for" (or equivalent). Since it is probable that for was omitted in error, I include the missing word in square brackets.
    90F1 contentious; Q1 (state 1) crulentious; Q1 (state 2) tempestious (TLN 1786)
    The attempted correction of Q1 seems to have been made as an intelligent guess, with no direct reference to the MS. The Folio's reading very probably records the original accurately.
    Q modern and there, and there again; Q2 and there, and there againe; Q1 and there, and / and there againe; F1 and there / againe, and there (TLN 1842-1843)
    While the Q1 compositor may well have missed a second there at the turn of the line, the second and may be an accidental repetition. This text follows Q2 in omitting the second and.
    Q1 words iustly; F words Iustice (TLN 1861)
    See Foakes textual notes and annotation (276).
    F sesey; Q1 ceaese; Q1M Cease! (TLN 1880)
    See the collation for guesses. There seems little point in adopting Q1's reading in the Folio modern text or "correcting" what is clearly intended to be nonsense.
    Halio, (Quarto) Come, unbutton—; Q1 (state 1), come on bee true.; Q1 (state 2) come on; F1 Come, vn-/button heere. (TLN 1888-1889)
    There is no simple explanation of the relationship between the readings of the Quarto and Folio. The Q1 (state 2) reading is possibly a sign that the proofreader could not improve on the original compositor's attempt, but found it unlikely and chose to leave the line unfinished. Halio sensibly suggests that "on bee true" may have been an attempt to decipher a garbled or obscured "vnbutton."
    95Q modern Smolking; Q1 snulbug; F1 Smulkin (TLN 1919)
    The name Shakespeare would have found in Harsnett is Smolkin, very close to the reading of the Folio. Since, however the Q1 attempt includes a final "g" I have retained it in the Q text. See Halio, Quarto, 133.
    Q modern Importune him [once more] (TLN 1940)
    The missing words are provided from the Folio. Although the line makes sense without them, the context provides strong support for adding them, and they create a metrically complete line. I follow Halio (Quarto 133), who follows Blayney; see Halio's summary of Blayney's explanation of the mechanism by which the compositor could readily have missed the words as he set the type.
    Q1 (state 2) Take up the King; Q1 (state 1) Take vp to keepe; F1 Take vp, take vp (TLN 2054)
    Although Q1 state 1 might be a misreading of a repetition of "take up," as in the Folio, the correction makes good sense, and need not be dismissed as a guess by the proofreader.
    Q modern intelligent; Q1 intelligence; F intelligent (TLN 2070)
    With Halio, I adopt the reading from F1. Wells prefers Q1's intelligence, punctuating the line as an incomplete sentence, interrupted by his farewell to Goneril.
    Weis on his bowed; Q1 (state 1) of his lou'd; Q1 (state 2) on his lowd; F1 as his bare (TLN 2131)
    I accept Blayney's argument in favor of bowd as the word the proofreader was trying to decipher, but prefer to keep the preposition on recorded in both states of Q1, as does Weis.
    100Q modern parti-eyed; Q1 (state 2) parti,eyd Q1 (state 1) poorlie,leed; Q2 poorely led; F1 poorely led (TLN 2189)
    The single error of substituting a comma for a hyphen makes the reading of the second state of Q1 to be preferred. It also provides an appropriately shocking visual image, and suggests that Edgar was immediately aware of his father's blinding. Q2 and F1 do their best to make sense of the first state of Q1; since the result makes sense, I retain it in F modern.
    Q modern A fool usurps my bed, Q1 (state 2) A foole vsurps my bed; Q1 (state 1) My foote vsurps my body, Q2 My foote vsurps my head, F1 My Foole vsurpes my body (TLN 2297)
    The early editions provide the editor with a splendid array of scornful jibes from Goneril to choose from, each, in its way convincing and critically stimulating. In the face of such riches, I follow the proofreader of Q1 as the most likely to have contact with Shakespeare's original, however possible it is that he was guessing rather than deciphering. The Folio's body can then be seen as a possible revision, avoiding the near-euphemism of bed.
    Q modern benefited Q1 (state 2) benifited, Q1 (state 1) beniflicted (TLN 2303.14)
    While I find Taylor's argument for benefacted attractive ("Four Readings" 121-122), I follow the proofreader's choice, reserving the discussion of the alternative reading to the commentary.
    Taylor flaxen biggin threats, Q1 (state 1) slayer begin threats, Q1 (state 2) state begins thereat (TLN 2307.3)
    In this instance, the second state of this Q1-only phrase is most likely to involve some guessing on the part of the proofreader, whether or not he consulted the MS. I accept Taylor's emendation (see Division 488 and Stone 184).
    Q modern shows; Q1 (state 2) shewes; Q1 (state 1) seemes; F1 seemes (TLN 2309)
    F1 Follows Q1 (state 1) and Q2; Q1 (state 2) reads shewes, followed in this edition of Q1. In the Folio text, however, I retain the F reading, since it makes good sense.
    105Q modern Let pity not be believed; Q1 Let pitie not be beleeft (TLN 2347.30. )
    The typesetting at this point suggests some confusion by the compositor, a fact that has may have led to a number of attempts to emend the passage; most recently Taylor and Wells adopt piety for pity. Wells's gloss on the phrase, "Do not believe that filial piety exists (if this be true)," however, can just as readily be adapted to "Do not believe that pity (in any form) exists, if this be true." See Halio, Quarto 21-22, Textual Companion 520-521.
    Q modern And clamor-moistened her, Q1 And clamour moystened her (TLN 2347.32)
    Though the language is dense, it it not impenetrable, especially with the addition of the hyphen (Steevens). Some editors omit her, in order to regularize the meter. Emendations include And clamor mastered (Stone 184g).
    F modern A century send forth; Q1 a centurie is sent forth; F A Centery send forth (TLN 2356)
    Taylor and Wells (Textual Companion 521, and Wells 226) argue for The centuries send forth, but in this instance the reading of the Folio requires less tinkering with the text.
    Q2 Gent. Good Sir. (TLN 2640)
    This short interruption of Lear's speech appears for the first time in Q2, but appears in neither Q1 nor F. For this reason it appears only in the two extended texts. It is worth noting that in Q1 there are two consecutive speeches assigned to Lear, with the interpolation coming between them; one distinct possibility is that Q2 was set from a version of Q1 with a corrected leaf, now missing, that included the speech.
    F modern on speedy foot. The main descry / Stands on the hourly thought; Q1 on speed fort the maine descryes, / Standst on the howerly thoughts; F1 the maine descry / Stands on the hourely thought (TLN 2657)
    Taylor argues at length for the Oxford reading "on speedy foot, the main; descriers / Stands on the hourly thoughts" (Textual Companion 523), the Folio reading makes good sense, however, though the syntax is somewhat elliptical, and it seems unnecessary to undertake more forceful emendation.
    110Q modern The bounty and benison of heaven / Send thee boot, to boot; Q1 (state 2) the bounty and benizon of heauen to boot to boot; Q1 (state 1) the bornet and beniz of heauen to saue thee; F1 The bountie, and the benizon of Heauen / To boot, and boot (TLN 2673-2674)
    The oddity of the significant difference between the first and second states of Q1 is discussed extensively by Blayney (Texts, 250-2), and summarized helpfully by Halio (18). See also Halio Tragedy 231n, Greg Variants 176, Textual Companion 537; Blayney, Texts, 250-2; Foakes 344.
    Q1 I doubt not of his temperance; F1 I doubt of his temperance (TLN 2775)
    Although the omission of not may well be a simple accident of eye-skip on the part of the compositor, the line makes sense, and metrically will be a short line in any case since F1 also omits the following response by Cordelia recorded in Q1.
    Q modern injurious; Q1 iniurious; F1 Enemies (TLN 2784)
    As Halio points out, there is no need to emend the Q reading. Cordelia claims that even a dog that injured its owner would be better protected than her father on such a night.
    F modern goodyears; F1 good yeares; Q1 good (TLN 2966)
    Q1 has clearly omitted years. Taylor and Wells suggest goodyear, a phrase that "came to be used for 'devil'" (Oxford Q 258; see Taylor "Addendum" in Division, 488-9). Jowett returns to the simpler good years. Like Halio (246) I retain the plural, listed as a variant of goodyear in OED.
    Q modern Yet, ere I move't, / Where is; Q1 yet are I mou't / Where is; F1 Yet am I noble as (TLN 3075)
    Q1 makes good sense ("before I explain the reasons for my action"); F1 is most likely a revision. Halio, Quarto adopts F, substantively.
    115Q1 By right of knighthood; F By rule of Knight-hood (TLN 3101)
    Wells adopts "My right of knighthood" (see also Stone 69-70). I retain the original reading since it makes sense, though perhaps does not read as smoothly.
    Q1 being, F1 tongue (TLN 3099)
    Halio adopts F's tongue, taking being as a misreading of tong. See HalioQ 136, and Duthie 424.
    Q modern vices; Q1 vertues, F1 vices (TLN 3131)
    This seems to be an odd, but not unique, substitution by the compositor of a word's antonym. See Textual Companion 526.


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