“Is this the period of my blisse?” Commas, ends and utterance in Solyman and Perseda

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Ian Roger Burrows


In this paper I consider the appearance of speech-ending commas and their effects in early editions of the play Solyman and Perseda. Offering evidence that such commas were used in the Edward Allde print shop deliberately and to denote a particular kind of interruption, I offer considerations for how those interruptions might shape a reading of the play as a whole. In compiling the textual evidence that suggests a deliberate policy of pointing at work in the Allde print house, this essay teases out some of the implications for editorial theory and and the practice of “modernisation”, while also bringing those concerns to bear on vexed critical issues such as the formulation of individual dramatic character and interiority.


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