Unique Lines and the Ambient Heart of Q1 Hamlet

in Critical Survey
Laurie Johnson University of Southern Queensland

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Study of the Q1 Hamlet (1603) has been characterised by analysis of its degree of similarity to the Q2 and Folio versions. Detailed consideration of the unique lines in Q1 – that is, lines for which there is no analogue in Q2 or F – has been ignored, with discussion of Q1 focusing instead on whether it ‘cuts’ or ‘remembers’ any lines from Q2 or F. This article demonstrates the consistent presence of a key image – the heart – in association with the character of Corambis in unique Q1 lines. This consistency means that whichever model of transmission one accepts, some account is needed of the prospect that unique lines were either cut or added systematically in conjunction with the change of name of the King's counsellor.

Contributor Notes

Laurie Johnson is Professor of English and Cultural Studies at the University of Southern Queensland. He is author of Shakespeare's Lost Playhouse: Eleven Days at Newington Butts (2018), The Tain of Hamlet (2013) and The Wolf Man's Burden (2001), and editor of Embodied Cognition and Shakespeare's Theatre: The Early Modern Body-Mind (with John Sutton and Evelyn Tribble, 2014) and Rapt in Secret Studies: Emerging Shakespeares (with Darryl Chalk, 2010). He is President of the Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association and a member of the editorial board of Shakespeare journal (Taylor & Francis).

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