An Uncertain Text: Reliving Shakespeare’s Creative Milieu in the Modern World

Abstract:

The production of online texts, especially within wikis, is far more similar to the creative processes of the Elizabethan stage than printed texts. Because Shakespeare continued to re-work his plays in conjunction with his actors and audiences, and these texts have been continually restaged to this day, they have never truly reached an immutable, teleological form. Thus, the collaborative tension between the multiple authors of a wiki article is more analogous to Shakespeare’s multi-layered, ever-shifting environment than the comparatively linear production processes of printed texts. This paper uses the text of King Lear and the “King Lear” Wikipedia article to demonstrate the similarities between Shakespeare’s dramatic world and online tools.

Full Article (PDF):application/pdf iconan-uncertain-text.pdf

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