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Shakespeare's Maimed, Deformed, and Perfect Books in the First Folio’s Epistle “To the great Variety of Readers”

Published inShakespeare-Jahrbuch, vol. 160, p. 19
Publication date2024-02-01

With a focus on the rhetoric of the address ‘To the great Variety of Readers’ in the First Folio (1623), this essay offers a new approach to persistent prefatory tropes which have long been dismissed as merely conventional, and shows that these conventions do nuanced literary work in printed English playbooks. It argues that prefaces enabled printed plays to inscribe themselves within the literary corners of the trade not only via the fact of their presence, but through the common conceits of which they partake. The essay elucidates common prefatory conceits of deformity and perfection within their wider early modern contexts, and concludes that the collection participated in the construction of self-consciously literary lexicons which were emerging for the purpose of promoting printed drama as reading material.

  • Shakespeare
  • Drama
  • Disability
  • Paratexts
  • Readers
Citation (ISO format)
SINGH, Devani Mandira. Shakespeare’s Maimed, Deformed, and Perfect Books in the First Folio’s Epistle “To the great Variety of Readers”. In: Shakespeare-Jahrbuch, 2024, vol. 160, p. 19.
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Article (Accepted version)
  • PID : unige:174365
ISSN of the journal0080-9128

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