William Shakespeare


Excerpt from Othello: A Tragedy, in Five Acts

The Tragedy of Othello, was entered at the Stationers' by Thomas Walkley, "under the hands of Sir George Buck and of the Wardens," October 6, 1621, and was published in quarto the next year. It was also included in the folio collection of 1623, and was printed again in quarto in 1630. These three copies differ more or less among themselves: in particular, the folio has a number of passages, amounting in all to some hundred and sixty lines, that are wanting in the quarto of 1622. On the other hand, the latter has a few lines that are wanting in the folio; while the quarto of 1630 seems to have been made up from the other two. On the whole, the text has reached us in a pretty fair condition; though there are a few passages where the reading stands much in question, and gives little hope of being altogether cleared from doubt.

Until a recent date, this great drama was commonly supposed to have been among the latest of the Poet's writing. But, within the last fifty years, two alleged manuscript records have been produced which would quite upset the old belief.

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