Abstract

Shakespeareans often deploy the jingle "page to stage" to telegraph the movement from print to performance. The neat rhyme obscures the fact that page and stage are different locations - even different temporalities. The incompatibility between page and stage vexes the editorial project in particular, and nowhere more evidently than when editors attempt to "locate" a scene in the bibliographical apparatuses that accompany editions of Shakespeare. "Dislocating Shakespeare" traces the evolution of scene locators from Nicholas Rowe's 1790 edition of Shakespeare to today's many and varied complete works of Shakespeare. Rowe largely relied for his sense of location from contemporary productions, but modern editions' scene locators are largely beholden to the work of a later eighteenth-century editor, Edward Capell. His 1768 edition of Shakespeare was the first to ignore preceding editions and "scenical locators" attempted to access Shakespeare's imaginary conception of fictional space for his readers, a standard that seemingly operates in today's collected works. Like eighteenth-century fossils embedded in twenty-first-century texts, each scene locator has a history to tell. These histories demonstrate that no scene locator is self-authorized but is rather the product of peculiar editorial and theatrical decisions. Awareness of this history may help us to understand how often arbitrary if not illogical are these indices of geographical place, and how we might re-evaluate the way we treat location on the page and on the stage.

Keywords

Scene locators,Scene markers,Edward Capell,Nicholas Rowe,Nahum Tate,Alexander Pope

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-1427
Print ISSN
0748-2558
Pages
pp. 1-19
Launched on MUSE
2006-06-12
Open Access
No
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