Unediting the Renaissance: Shakespeare, Marlowe, Milton

By Leah S. Marcus | Go to book overview

3

PURITY AND DANGER IN THE MODERN EDITION

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Was will das Weib?

Sigmund Freud

The Merry Wives of Windsor has always held a curious status among Shakespeareans. It is Shakespeare’s only “English comedy,” almost entirely in prose and centering on small-town life as opposed to the more momentous business of marriage or war among aristocrats. Yet it is the Shakespearean comedy most closely associated with a court through the persistent anecdote (first promulgated in the early eighteenth century) that its author wrote it in two weeks or less to satisfy Queen Elizabeth I’s desire to see Falstaff in love. Since the early eighteenth century, the anecdote has taken root—witness its concretization in David Scott’s striking but historically inaccurate 1840 painting Queen Elizabeth Viewing the Performance of the ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’ in the Globe Theatre;1 witness likewise the fact that most editors of the play have not only accepted the anecdote but embroidered upon it, despite its shaky historical basis.

Within The Merry Wives of Windsor, there is additional material linking the play to the court through the elaborate references to Windsor Castle, the Order of the Garter, and a “radiant” Fairy Queen who “hates Sluts, and Sluttery” (F TLN 2528). The dominant editorial view at present is that the play was in some way connected with the Garter ceremonies of 1597, at which Shakespeare’s patron Lord Hunsdon was installed in the order; indeed, Shakespeare himself, along with other members of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, may well have served among the spectacular retinue of three hundred gentlemen and men expected to attend Hunsdon at Windsor. 2 If Merry Wives was in some way connected with the Garter events of 1597, the most likely date for its performance, editors agree, was St George’s Day, April 23, 1597, at the Feast of the Garter before the queen at Westminster.

Not the least part of this play’s attraction and vexation for critics is that, like Doctor Faustus, it exists in two widely divergent early texts. A quarto version was published in 1602 under the engaging title A Most pleasaunt

-68-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Unediting the Renaissance: Shakespeare, Marlowe, Milton
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Preface and Acknowledgements ix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Textual Instability and Ideological Difference 38
  • 3 - Purity and Danger in the Modern Edition 68
  • 4 - The Editor as Tamer 101
  • 5 - Bad Taste and Bad Hamlet 132
  • 6 - John Milton’s Voice 177
  • Notes 228
  • Index 263
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 268

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.