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-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

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Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 432
NOTES ON OTHELLO

to me that Shakespeare must have felt this; and it is difficult to me to think that he ever made the lines,

In the due reverence of a sacred vow
I here engage my words,

follow directly on the one word 'Never' (however impressive that word in its isolation might be). And as I can find no other 'omission' in Q1 which appears to point to a subsequent addition, I conclude that this 'omission' was an omission, probably accidental, conceivably due to a stupid 'cut.' Indeed it is nothing but Mr. Swinburne's opinion that prevents my feeling certainty on the point.

     Finally, I may draw attention to certain facts which may be mere accidents, but may possibly be significant. Passages (b) and (c) consist respectively of six and seven lines; that is, they are almost of the same length, and in a MS might well fill exactly the same amount of space. Passage (d) is eight lines long; so is passage (e). Now, taking at random two editions of Shakespeare, the Globe and that of Delius, I find that (b) and (c) are 6 1/4 inches apart in the Globe, 8 in Delius; and that (d) and (e) are separated by 7 3/8 inches in the Globe, by 8 3/4 in Delius. In other words, there is about the same distance in each case between two passages of about equal dimensions. The idea suggested by these facts is that the MS from which Q1 was printed was mutilated in various places; that (b) and (c) occupied the bottom inches of two successive pages, and that these inches were torn away; and that this was also the case with (d) and (e).

     This speculation has amused me and may amuse some reader. I do not know enough of Elizabethan manuscripts to judge of its plausibility.

 

NOTE K.

OTHELLO'S COURTSHIP

     It is curious that in the First Act two impressions are produced which have afterwards to be corrected.

     1. We must not suppose that Othello's account of his courtship in his famous speech before the Senate is intended to be

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