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Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 451

     I postpone discussion of the several passages until I have called attention to the fact that, if these passages are genuine, the number of scenes which end with a soliloquy is larger in King Lear than in any other undoubted tragedy. Thus, taking the tragedies in their probable chronological order (and ignoring the very short scenes into which a battle is sometimes divided),1 I find that there are in Romeo and Juliet four such scenes, in Julius Caesar two, in Hamlet six, in Othello four,2 in King Lear seven,3 in Macbeth two,4 in Antony and Cleopatra three, in Coriolanus one. The difference between King Lear and the plays that come nearest to it is really much greater than it appears from this list, for in Hamlet four of the six soliloquies, and in Othello three of the four, are long speeches, while most of those in King Lear are quite short.

     Of course I do not attach any great importance to the fact just noticed, but it should not be left entirely out of account in forming an opinion as to the genuineness of the three doubted passages.

     (a) The first of these, I. v. 54-5, I decidedly believe to be spurious. (1) The scene ends quite in Shakespeare's manner

   1I ignore them partly because they are not significant for the present purpose, but mainly because it is impossible to accept the division of battle-scenes in our modern texts, while to depart from it is to introduce intolerable inconvenience in reference. The only proper plan in Elizabethan drama is to consider a scene ended as soon as no person is left on the stage, and to pay no regard to the question of locality -- a question theatrically insignificant and undetermined in most scenes of an Elizabethan play, in consequence of the absence of movable scenery. In dealing with battles the modern editors seem to have gone on the principle (which they could not possibly apply generally) that, so long as the place is not changed, you have only one scene. Hence in Macbeth, Act V., they have included in their scene vii. three distinct scenes; yet in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III., following the right division for a wrong reason, they have two scenes (viii. and ix.), each less than four lines long.
   2One of these (V. i.) is not marked as such, but it is evident that the last line and a half form a soliloquy of one remaining character, just as much as some of the soliloquies marked as such in other plays.
   3According to modern editions, eight, Act II., scene ii., being an instance. But it is quite ridiculous to reckon as three scenes what are marked as scenes ii., iii., iv. Kent is on the lower stage the whole time, Edgar in the so-called scene iii. being on the upper stage or balcony. The editors were misled by their ignorance of the stage arrangements.
   4Perhaps three, for V. iii. is perhaps an instance, though not so marked.

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