Textual Criticism

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First Quarto title page of The Taming of the ShrewTextual Criticism is concerned with the study of textual development from production to the present and a large part of textual criticism is gauging the accuracy of textual transmission. Textual Critics are therefore concerned with the existence of a 1594 edition of another play titled The Taming of A Shrew. This play is thought to be a quarto version of Shakespeare’s play, which was constructed by actors who had performed in the play and who used their parts of the script and their memories to assemble a printable version of the play. Alternatively, The Taming of A Shrew may be an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, written either by the playwright himself or someone else. 
Textual critics have studied both plays to explore their similarities and their use of shared sources from Italian comedies such as Lodovico Ariosto’s I Suppositi to popular English ballads and folklore. Structural, verbal and dramatic parallels are also explored by textual critics to discover the development of The Taming of the Shrew from production to reception.
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