chapter
Sophonisba
WithWilliam Kemp
Pages 53

The text offered here is an old-spelling critical one; it is an effort to present Marston’s play so that he would regard this as the definitive edition of Sophonisba. For that reason, accidentals are not modernized; systematic modernization would at some point distort the author’s meaning because in many small ways Renaissance syntax—and thus Renaissance punctuation—is quite different from modern syntax. But I have not slavishly reproduced the punctuation of the Quarto either, because often that punctuation seems to be compositorial and therefore unauthoritative. Where that seems to me to be the case, I have made the simplest emendation possible, not trying to resurrect in some mysterious way a Marstonian punctuation I have never seen but simply trying to restore the passage to sense. In particular, the following punctuational emendations occur frequently: sentence endings are marked with a period or a question mark where the sense obviously calls for it; periods and question marks are interchanged where the sense obviously calls for it; and commas are introduced into series where they are necessary to avoid syntactic confusion. All such emendations are recorded in the textual notes.