Pericles was one of the most popular plays in the Jacobean theatre, and it has regained much of that popularity in the modern theatre. In a wide-ranging introduction, Roger Warren draws on his experience of the play in rehearsal and performance to explore the reasons for this enduring popularity. Unfortunately Pericles survives only in a corrupt text, the Quarto of 1609: many passages are nonsensical, others appear to be missing altogether. Earlier editions have merely published a cleaned-up version of the Quarto, leaving crucial differences unaddressed; but this edition offers a conjectural reconstruction of what the original play might have been like. It is based on that published in the Oxford Complete Works of 1986, modified in the light of its use in several productions since then. It draws upon George Wilkin's narrative The Painful Adventures of Pericles (1608) to emend some of the Quarto's errors and to supply some of the missing material. It does so in the belief that the play is a collaboration between Shakespeare and Wilkins himself. The case for this is fully argued in the Introduction, which also explains the complex textual situation for the general reader.
The entire Quarto text is reprinted in an appendix, together with the passages from Wilkin's narrative that have particularly contributed to the reconstruction, so that readers can see for themselves how the reconstruction has been made. It is hoped that this treatment of the play provides a much more comprehensive edition than has so far been available, making it more useful for actors, students, and the general reader.
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(223mm x 144mm x 23mm)
Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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