Scene 9 Folio Differences

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This page shows the notable differences that appear in the First Folio publication of Hamlet as compared to the Second Quarto publication, in Scene 9, with analysis of those differences. These Folio Difference Notes are coordinated with the regular Notes on the Scene page.

For an introduction to this material, see the page About the Folio Differences.


trippingly on the tongue, but if you mouth it as many of {our} [your]

Return: Scene 9#09-002


may give it smoothness; oh, it offends me to the soul, to {hear} [see] a

Return: Scene 9#09-007


Where thrift may follow {fawning} [feigning]. Dost thou hear?

BOOKMARK for me, mention "dear (deer) soul" in the next line, re "fawning"

Return: Scene 9#09-053


Even with the very comment of {thy} [my] soul

Return: Scene 9#09-070


Neptunes salt wash, and Tellus {orb'd the} [Orbed] ground,
orbed the

The plain meanings are not the same. The F1 phrasing, "Tellus' orbed ground," means the globe of the earth. "Tellus's spherical earth." That is correct.

The Q2 phrasing indicates Tellus going around the earth, like the moon, equating Tellus with Phoebus. That is wrong. Shakespeare knew that is wrong. Q2 has an error.

Further, the F1 difference is crucial for misleading Claudius about what the actor said.

Claudius, not knowing who Tellus is, thinks the actor said "tell us." He thinks the actor is talking to the ground, the dirt. The Q2 phrasing, in addition to expressing an incorrect idea, does not accommodate that.

F1 is the correct wording, from Shakespeare's hand.

{The Folio editor found the authentic authorial language, and he correctly used it.}

(In performance, orbed can be played with a circular motion of the hand and forearm - a "wheel," providing, in action, an instance of the Wheel of Fortune Theme in the play. Since Hamlet told the actors to do the play with moderation, that action should not be done with a full arm extension. The actor must conclude with a downward sweep of the arm, toward the ground, in connection with misleading Claudius that he means the dirt around his feet.)

Return: Scene 9#09-138


Which now, {the} [like] fruit unripe, sticks on the tree,

Return: Scene 9#09-174


If once {I be} a widow, ever I be {a} wife.
I be and a

Return: Scene 9#09-208

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