THE FIRST PART OF HENRY THE FOURTH

THE FIRST PART OF HENRY THE FOURTH

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In addition to the notes below, and so you will *NOT* think all the spelling errors introduced by the printers of the time have been corrected, here are the first few lines of Hamlet, as they are presented herein: Barnardo: Who’s there? Fran: Nay answer me: Stand & vnfold your selfe Bar: Long liue the King As I understand it, the printers often ran out of certain words or letters they had often packed into a “cliche”. . .this is the original meaning of the term cliche. . .and thus, being unwilling to unpack the cliches, and thus you will see some substitutions that look very odd. . .such as the exchanges of u for v, v for u, above. . .and you may wonder why they did it this way, presuming Shakespeare did not actually write the play in this manner. . . .The answer is that they MAY have packed “liue” into a cliche at a time when they were out of “v”’s. . .possibly having used “vv” in place of some “w”’s, etc. This was a common practice of the day, as print was still quite expensive, and they didn’t want to spend more on a wider selection of characters than they had to.
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