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Romeo and Juliet on Stage and Page: The Character of the Nurse in the First (1597) and Second (1599) Quartos

Published in Fischer, Andreas; Heusser, Martin; Jucker, Andreas. Mediality-intermediality. Tübingen: G. Narr. 2008, p. 45-57
Collection Spell : Swiss papers in English language and literature; 21
Abstract From the very beginning, Shakespeare's plays existed on the page and on stage, in the literate, printed text as well as the oral, staged performance, which is why they are usefully examined from the angle of mediality. A case in point is Romeo and Juliet, of which two versions were published during Shakespeare's lifetime, the shorter, more theatrical first quarto (1597) and the longer, more literary second quarto (1599). An analysis of the character of the Nurse yields intriguing differences between the two versions, which are best understood not in terms of quality – the “good quarto” versus the “bad quarto” – but as pertaining to the twin media in which the play circulated. This article thus suggests that mediality can make an important contribution to the current revival of interest in character in Shakespeare studies.
Keywords Bad quartoGood quartoOralityLiteracyMedialityCharacter
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ISBN: 978-3-8233-6457-3

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Deposited on : 2011-02-11

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