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In â€śThe History of King Lear,â€ť Stanley Wells points out that the play was first printed in 1608 in â€śThe True Chronicle History of King Learâ€ť and known as the First Quarto. The text resembles others believed to have been printed from the original papers in that it represents a manuscript intended for performance but bearing no indications of revision, or even annotation, as a result of performance. Wells says that all other versions adapted this, â€śmore or less radically, and none of the playâ€™s progeny could have existed without it.â€ť
Like all editions of Shakespeareâ€™s plays printed in his lifetime, KL is not divided into acts and scenes. This weekâ€™s words are from my recent reading.
1. quarto (KWAWR-toe)
A. a great work, the chief work of a writer
B. one-fourth of a play equivalent to Act I.
C. the last fourth of a play equivalent to the last Act.
D. a book size of about 9 and one-half by 12 inches, determined by folding printed sheets twice to form four leaves or 8 pages.
According to Wells, quarto is a technical term describing a book made up of a number of sheets of paper that have been folded twice, producing four leaves each.
2. heath (HEETH)
B. open and uncultivated land
C. an unfinished play
A storm rages on the heath and Lear is in it. B is the answer.
3. double entendre (DUHB-uhl ahn-TAHN-druh)
A. two actors on stage who forget their lines
B. a word or expression used in a given context so that it can be understood in two ways, especially when one meaning is risque
C. two doors
D. a pouting grimace
In double entendres the Fool expresses to Lear what a big mistake he has made in handing his kingdom over to two daughters who do not love him. B is the answer.
4. foppery (FOP-uh-ree)
A. the clothes, manners, actions
B. Christmas decorations
C. tree branches in front of windows
Edmond said, â€śThis is the excellent foppery of the world.â€ť
Aside from A, foppery means foolish character or action.
Last weekâ€™s mystery word was chivy.
This weekâ€™s mystery word to solve can be used as a verb, noun and adjective. According to Dictionary.com, as an adjective this word means â€śbeing faint for lack of food.â€ť It and the name of a character in the aforementioned play are homophones.
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