Modern Critical Edition

Oxford Edition by W. J. Craig (1914)

Oxford Edition 1914

synopsis

ACT I ACT II ACT III ACT IV ACT V
Scene I Scene I Scene I Scene I Scene I
Scene II Scene II Scene II Scene II Scene II
Scene III Scene III Scene III
Scene IV Scene IV Scene IV
Scene V Scene V
Scene VI
Scene VII

 Though seemingly a contradiction in terms, the presence of a modern edition (the 1914 edition by Craig) within a thoroughly nineteenth-century context may be accounted for on grounds of its prompt readability.
To a twenty first-century reader, the 1914 edition acts as a basic reference enabling us to understand the various cuts and rearrangements introduced by the nineteenth-century prompt-books and acting versions.
These texts were characterized by great instability, due not only to the continuous process of theatrical revision and adjustment, but also to the fact that the Folio version itself had no scene division and limited textual portions could easily be attributed to one act or the other. Scenes were introduced by Rowe in his 1709 edition of the Shakespearean works; Craig’s edition then helps the current reader identify those textual portions marked by the above-mentioned mobility.
The prompt-books by J. P. Kemble, C. Kean and H. Irving cover about three quarters of the nineteenth century; over this considerable span of time staging conventions such as scene-painting and lighting and the acting style obviously varied and affected the way Shakespeare’s plays were revived. Apart from those differences in para-textual elements detectable in the various acting versions, these prompt-books also display a different scene division.

J. Ph. Kemble Acting Ed. (1796)

Marked as in Drury Lane Th.

synopsis

Act I Act II Act III Act IV Act V
Scene 1 Scene 1 Scene 1 Scene 1 Scene 1
Scene 2 Scene 2 [Scene 2] Scene 2 Scene 2
Scene 3 Scene 3 Scene 3  Scene 3
Scene 4 Scene 4 Scene 4
Scene 5 Scene 5
Scene 6
Scene 7

J. Ph. Kemble (1804-1807)

acting ed. 1800 prompt. 1807 Covent Garden

synopsis

 Act I Act II Act III Act IV Act V
 Scene 1 Scene 1   Scene 1  Scene 1 Scene 1 
 Scene 2   Scene 2   Scene 2   Scene 2   Scene 2
 Scene 3   Scene 3  Scene 3   Scene 3
 Scene 4    Scene 4  
 Scene 5      Scene 5  
       Scene 6  

 

Ch. Kean 1840 Haymarket Th.
Ch. Kean 1859 Princess’s Th.

synopsis

Act I Act II Act III Act IV Act V
Scene 1 Scene 1 Scene 1 Scene 1 Scene 1
Scene 2 Scene 2 Scene 2   Scene 2
Scene 3   Scene 3   Scene 3
Scene 4        
Scene 5        

H. Irving 1874 Lyceum Th.
H. Irving [1878] Lyceum Th.

synopsis

Act I Act II Act III Act IV Act V
Scene 1 Scene 1 Scene 1 Scene 1 Scene 1
Scene 2 Scene 2 Scene 2   Scene 2
Scene 3   Scene 3   Scene 3
Scene 4        
Scene 5