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TOPIC: Various editions

Various editions 9 years 5 months ago #1187

  • William Shakespeare
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Here are a few other editions which may or may not include the entire canon:


Applause First Folio Editions
Applause Shakespeare Library
Bantam Classics
Bedford Shakespeare Series
Cambridge
Folger Shakespeare Library
Pelican
Penguin
Signet
Picture This Shakespeare
Prestwick House Shakespeare
Simply Shakespeare
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Various editions 8 years 9 months ago #1778

  • paulrobertwagner
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The Complete Pelican Shakespeare, edited by Stephen Orgel and A.R. Braunmuller (2002) contains all 36 plays from the First Folio, plus Pericles, Prince of Tyre. There are also three (!) versions of King Lear: the 1608 Quarto and 1623 Folio texts side by side, followed by a conflated text "substantially prepared by Alfred Harbage for the former Pelican edition."

Shakespeare's nondramatic poetry is placed at the beginning of the book and includes The Sonnets, Venus and Adonis, Lucrece, The Phoenix and the Turtle, The Passionate Pilgrim and A Lover's Complaint.
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Various editions 8 years 9 months ago #1784

  • BamaFlum
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We use the Folger Edition of Shakespeare's RJ, Macbeth, and Hamlet.
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Various editions 8 years 9 months ago #1787

  • Tue Sorensen
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To understand the text to the max, I much prefer editions with as much annotation as possible, and referencing as many different points of view, and avenues of interpretation, as possible. The Arden leads the way, and there are several other editions with almost as much annotation, like for instance the New Cambridge Shakespeare (which even has an Edward III edition, which Arden doesn't yet) and the Oxford Shakespeare. As a rule, the scholarship of the Arden editions, which are edited by reputable Shakespeare scholars from around the world, seem the freshest, clearest and most reliable. Many other "complete series" editions tend to rather "play it safe", being dominated by more conservative and somewhat "establishment" scholarship. There are exceptions, of course. A few New Cambridge editions may be better than the equivalent Arden editions, but generally speaking Arden is definitely *the* edition for the serious student of Shakespeare.

Not that I'm a great authority on different editions; I have basically followed the prevalent recommendations and focused on the Arden editions. I have a complete set of Arden 2, and only lack three or four books from the (still ongoing) Third Series. Of other editions, I only have a humble smattering. But I intend to eventually acquire a full set of New Cambridge Shakespeares, and more examples of other series as well.
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Various editions 8 years 9 months ago #1789

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Interestingly, higher education institutions like the OU in the UK tend to vary the editions they use a lot more than schools - they seem to prefer 'less' annotation - so people can make up their own minds more.

Maybe it is a function of the UK education system where exposure to the language tends to make Shakespeare more readable to ordinary undergraduates?

Also it is worth noting the RSC rarely used Arden - not suggesting the directors didn't crib from it - they were fond of the Penguin Shakespeare which is still the preferred edition of the National Theatre.

:?
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Various editions 8 years 9 months ago #1791

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akfarrar wrote:
Interestingly, higher education institutions like the OU in the UK tend to vary the editions they use a lot more than schools - they seem to prefer 'less' annotation - so people can make up their own minds more.

To make up your own mind about Shakespeare's raw text is to retread ground that millions have o'vertrodden before. Maybe such exercise is all the average student needs. But if you want to be on the cutting edge of scholarly thought, and maximize your understanding of the greatest literature ever written, you need to know what gems the greatest Shakespeare critics have laboriously dug up from the text.
akfarrar wrote:
Also it is worth noting the RSC rarely used Arden - not suggesting the directors didn't crib from it - they were fond of the Penguin Shakespeare which is still the preferred edition of the National Theatre.

Yes, well, theatre people and literature people are sworn enemies! :-) For scholarly purposes - having your nose in the books, analysing double meanings (while actors need to choose one meaning or the other) - the Arden is superior. For play-acting, well, I'm tempted to say that any old edition will probably do. The Penguin Shakespeare is rather low-weight, and thus easier to handle when you need a version to read from on your feet. I imagine, perhaps a bit scoffingly, that's a main reason for its use.
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Various editions 8 years 9 months ago #1797

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"To make up your own mind about Shakespeare's raw text is to retread ground that millions have o'vertrodden before"

Heard this argument so many times - usually from people who could never look with fresh eyes (although i make no such acqusation in this case) - 're-inventing the wheel' they say: Yep - and the fastest most effective way into the text for a fully satisfying reading is to add yourself (after all, that is precisely what the text was written for and why the plays only really get worthwhile interpretation in the theatre).

Most of the 'gems are already found to be cut glass by the time they are in print - and date even faster.

With the top higher educational institutions using the Penguin as a text of choice (with highly respected Shakespearean scholars teaching the courses) and with the British National Theatre using it - I suspect the 'low-weight' comment reveals more of the author than intended.
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Various editions 8 years 9 months ago #1799

  • Charles Pecadore
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akfarrar wrote:
Heard this argument so many times - usually from people who could never look with fresh eyes (although i make no such acqusation in this case) - 're-inventing the wheel' they say: Yep - and the fastest most effective way into the text for a fully satisfying reading is to add yourself (after all, that is precisely what the text was written for and why the plays only really get worthwhile interpretation in the theatre).
On the other hand, anyone that approaches the plays in a studious or scholarly fashion will find the detailed foot and long notes of most Arden editions extremely valuable. Harold Jenkins, editor of the 2nd Arden Hamlet, has provided us with an exceptional text whose value is equivalent to, imho:
RICHARD III:
Wedges of gold...heaps of pearl, Inestimable...jewels

Regards, Charles
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Various editions 8 years 9 months ago #1803

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"Infamy, infamy, they've 'all got it in f' me'."

Indeed, the Arden is a worthy thing - although its usefulness in the real world of play production is limited - and, as I indicated, it would be used as ONE edition amongst many in the UK. Quite possibly for a particular play it is the most suitable edition for the scholar to use.

But in the field of Shakespeare the academic and 'scholar' is a sad thing. They remind me of the astrologers of Shakspere's time - creating fantastic systems on a dated and already falsified premise: Bears are easily fantasised from bushes and coincidence elevated to god given linkage.

As an almanac for such fantastic flights the Arden can certainly hold its own.

:twisted:

But to suggest (in a sneer vaguely reminiscent of the attacks on Shaksper by the university educated in Elizabethan England) that the Penguin edition is something 'low' is to question the choice of people like (the Cambridge educated) Ian MacKellen; and to suggest an academic could come anywhere near to as deep an understanding of the plays as someone like Jonathan Miller (another Cambridge graduate) when directing is quite frankly risible (love that word and been wanting to use it for ages).

No, time the Arden was seen for what it is - a quaint (and therefore fond) reflection of the old glory of the British Empire when a certainty was a certainty and Shakespeare was a painful experience.

:lol:
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Various editions 8 years 9 months ago #1805

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Obviously I have to disagree with that attitude. Shakespeare's fame would be negligible indeed if it wasn't for the classic status that academics have elevate the works to through intelligent analysis. I know many, even most, Shakespeare fans believe that the real Shakespeare is best represented in the theater, but I don't believe the theater can never give you more than a superficial impression of the works. The self-referential structures of double-meanings can ever be retained when you need to choose one interpretation instead of having several all at once. As you have no doubt heard, and which is still to be proved many times yet, there is more to Shakespeare than meets the eye - and more than most people can imagine.
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