bootlegging before google

“To be, or not to be, I there’s the point,
To Die, to sleepe, is that all? I all;
No, to sleepe, to dreame, I mary there it goes

It’s Hamlet’s greatest soliloquy, but not quite as we know it. The first published version of the play commonly regarded as Shakespeare’s best was yesterday revealed as a travesty of the drama that helped shape the modern English language.
The version of Hamlet known as the “bad quarto” is a salutary warning of the dangers of literary piracy. An entrepreneurial player in Richard Burbage’s company at the Rose Theatre, where Hamlet is believed to have been first staged, beat the Bard to the press with a version of the play he remembered from rehearsals and its first performances in 1600. ” Read on.

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