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Begging to Differ

Modes of Discrepancy in Shakespeare

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David Thatcher

The frequent inconsistencies in Shakespeare's work, particularly in plot and characterization, have long attracted the attention and even ire of his commentators. Based largely on four plays - Hamlet, Measure for Measure, The Winter's Tale and Henry V - this study is a detailed exploration of some modes of discrepancy as they relate to three specific areas of Shakespeare's dramaturgy: plot and narrative; language and text; and reasoning and proof. Professor Thatcher examines the nature and causes of real and apparent inconsistencies and suggests whether or not they may be seen to have artistic or dramatic justification. Begging to Differ includes the first comprehensive treatment of a neglected topic, discrepant quotations within Shakespeare's text.