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Shakespeare VerbatimThe Reproduction of Authenticity and the 1790 Apparatus$
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Margreta De Grazia

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198117780

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198117780.001.0001

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Situating Shakespeare in an Historical Period

Situating Shakespeare in an Historical Period

(p.94) 3 Situating Shakespeare in an Historical Period
Shakespeare Verbatim

Margreta De Grazia

Oxford University Press

Edmond Malone was involved in another project requiring authenticity, though this one was neither Shakespearean nor even literary. What will become increasingly clear, however, is the extent to which the notion of an historical period served Malone's project of protecting William Shakespeare from modification, his pressing ‘solicitude’, in his words, ‘to keep Shakespeare pure and uncontaminated from modern sophistication and foreign admixtures’. In this chapter, one shall see how the formation of an historical period similarly exempted Shakespeare from current standards of correctness and taste by attributing the ostensibly incorrect and distasteful to what was customary in Shakespeare's age. As the appeal to authenticity denied the variability of texts, so the construction of an historical period contained linguistic and cultural difference.

Keywords:   Edmond Malone, authenticity, historical period, correctness, William Shakespeare, solicitude

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