Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Which version of King Lear?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    54

    Which version of King Lear?

    I've never read it before, and my complete Shakespeare (the Pelican) includes three versions; the 1608 Quarto, the 1623 Folio, and a conflated text. Which one should I read? Is any of them generally considered the best?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    A rural part of Sweden, southern Norrland
    Posts
    2,193
    You can look all this up on the internet. Here is one from Wikipedia:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Lear

    The modern text of King Lear derives from three sources: two quartos, published in 1608 (Q1) and 1619 (Q2)[11] respectively, and the version in the First Folio of 1623 (F1). The differences between these versions are significant. Q1 contains 285 lines not in F1; F1 contains around 100 lines not in Q1. Also, at least a thousand individual words are changed between the two texts, each text has a completely different style of punctuation, and about half the verse lines in the F1 are either printed as prose or differently divided in the Q1. The early editors, beginning with Alexander Pope, simply conflated the two texts, creating the modern version that has remained nearly universal for centuries. The conflated version is born from the presumption that Shakespeare wrote only one original manuscript, now unfortunately lost, and that the Quarto and Folio versions are distortions of that original.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamwoven View Post
    You can look all this up on the internet. Here is one from Wikipedia:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Lear

    The modern text of King Lear derives from three sources: two quartos, published in 1608 (Q1) and 1619 (Q2)[11] respectively, and the version in the First Folio of 1623 (F1). The differences between these versions are significant. Q1 contains 285 lines not in F1; F1 contains around 100 lines not in Q1. Also, at least a thousand individual words are changed between the two texts, each text has a completely different style of punctuation, and about half the verse lines in the F1 are either printed as prose or differently divided in the Q1. The early editors, beginning with Alexander Pope, simply conflated the two texts, creating the modern version that has remained nearly universal for centuries. The conflated version is born from the presumption that Shakespeare wrote only one original manuscript, now unfortunately lost, and that the Quarto and Folio versions are distortions of that original.
    But that only lists the differences, what I'm looking for is opinions about which version is the best.

  4. #4
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Beyond nowhere
    Posts
    5,000
    I should start reading the conflated version, that seems to be the universally accepted one. I never knew anything about the two other.
    If you are reading it for a paper or even for pleasure but want to have a more genetic outlook (have an idea about how the different manuscrits of a literary work evolve and succeed each other, what is added, what left out and what is changed) you can then proceed to compare it with the earlier ones.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    A rural part of Sweden, southern Norrland
    Posts
    2,193
    Leopard, there is no single true version, all opinions are judgements. Which do you think is the best?

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    I should start reading the conflated version, that seems to be the universally accepted one. I never knew anything about the two other.
    If you are reading it for a paper or even for pleasure but want to have a more genetic outlook (have an idea about how the different manuscrits of a literary work evolve and succeed each other, what is added, what left out and what is changed) you can then proceed to compare it with the earlier ones.
    I'll probably read that one, though I'm a bit wary of it since Shakespeare likely never intended for them to be mixed like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamwoven View Post
    Leopard, there is no single true version, all opinions are judgements. Which do you think is the best?
    I haven't read any of them, which is why I'm asking other people which they would recommend.

  7. #7
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Beyond nowhere
    Posts
    5,000
    By very ancient texts it happens more frequently as one knows, that the universal version is not necessarily the original one.
    Have you ever paused to think how many different versions of the Bible exist? Which of them is most faithful to the original, if there is only one original? Which is the best one? I donīt know.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 01-17-2017 at 08:21 AM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    A rural part of Sweden, southern Norrland
    Posts
    2,193
    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    By very ancient texts it happens more frequently as one knows, that the universal version is not necessarily the original one.
    Have you ever paused to think how many different versions of the Bible exist? Which of them is most faithful to the original, if there is only one original? Which is the best one? I donīt know.
    You make a very good point here, Danik.

Similar Threads

  1. King Lear
    By Kathrynesk in forum King Lear
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-01-2009, 02:21 PM
  2. King lear ..... help
    By Chritic in forum King Lear
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-07-2008, 07:27 PM
  3. Shakespeare vs King James I via King Lear
    By YesAnastasia in forum Shakespeare, William
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-12-2006, 09:30 PM
  4. King Lear
    By candyland in forum King Lear
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-07-2006, 03:22 PM
  5. King Lear
    By The Sloth Man in forum King Lear
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-24-2005, 06:07 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •