Abstract

Since the rediscovery of the first Quarto of Hamlet in 1823 there has been uncertainty among scholars about its relationship with the second Quarto, and about the priority of the quartos. However, there is agreement that the primary underlying source for Hamlet is Belleforest’s Histoires Tragiques. This detailed three-way comparison between the three texts reveals the borrowings of plot, character, language, and, critically, the evolution of ideas originating in Belleforest. Two points emerge: the shorter text, Q1, borrows proportionally more than Q2, and some borrowings appear to evolve from the source through Q1 to Q2, suggesting that Q1 is anterior.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 83-105
Launched on MUSE
2012-08-08
Open Access
No
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