The Cruces of Measure for Measure and EEBO-TCP

Matthew Steggle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article records textual research undertaken in the course of preparing a text of Measure for Measure for the third edition of the Norton Shakespeare. The matters it considers-questions of interpretation, meaning and emendation-belong to an ongoing conversation about the play's text, which goes back into the eighteenth century and the earliest scholarly editions of Shakespeare. However, the current project has been able to make use of a resource not available to previous editors of the play, in the form of EEBO-TCP, the computer database generated by the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership. Specifically, this article documents fresh observations on five textual problems in the play, in all of which EEBO-TCP seems to provide examples of analogous usages. Of these five discussions, three defend the substantive readings of the Folio text, one defends an existing emendation and one is a new emendation, supporting evidence for which is provided by EEBO-TCP. These extended textual notes, then, cast light upon the text and interpretation of Measure for Measure. In addition, they raise wider methodological problems about the possibilities and practicalities of EEBO-TCP as a tool for textual criticism.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberhgt120
Pages (from-to)438-455
Number of pages18
JournalReview of English Studies
Issue number270
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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