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Shakespeare Text

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Shakespeare's Hamlet: The First Quarto, 1603. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1931.
Call Number: (SPL)(SHAK) PR 2750 .B07 1931
Shakespeare Research Collection, Golda Meir Library

A number of Shakespeare's plays were first printed in quarto versions: so it was with Hamlet. The First Quarto (here a facsimile of an original in the Huntington Library) happens to be a "bad" quarto, probably a memorial reconstruction of the play pieced together by a group of actors, some of whom probably played minor roles in the Globe production. Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy amply illustrates the corruptions that generally mark pirated versions.

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Prepared by Christopher Barth, Virginia Haas, and Sarah McDaniel