The First Folio of Shakespeare

Here are two well-known passages from Shakespeare, printed in the style of the earliest versions. The text, layout, spelling and punctuation, are almost exactly as they appear in The First Folio published in 1623. This was the very first ‘official’ version of his plays. Before that, there were many other versions including forgeries and actors’ own interpretations. The style I have used here is based on the Norton facsimile of the First Folio published by W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1996 (ISBN 0 393 03985 4).

I have used a special font (typeface) called 17th Century Record Print. It is an authentic copy of fonts used at the time. It is produced by the company which made fonts used in the Harry Potter movies! You can find out how to obtain it by going to the Links page.



Compare these versions with those in your own copy of Shakespeare’s plays. You’ll find slight differences. The versions of the plays we now use were developed in much more recent ti

There is more about Shakespeare and the development of English on my other website, The Brain Rummager Too. You will find it on the Links page.

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