"Shakespeare is his text, and the way he uses it is just that. So if you want to do him justice, you have to look for and follow the clues he offers. If an actor does that, then he'll find that Shakespeare himself starts to direct him." - John Barton
But how do you know what “his text” is? That’s where the First Folio comes in.
Folio cuts through years of modernized rules of poetry, grammar, and spelling. This unaltered text, while it may look riddled with typos and misspellings, gives you the closest thing to what Shakespeare originally wrote and what was heard onstage 400 years ago.
But why does using “his text” matter? How does it make a difference?
Shakespeare was an actor, playwright, and a poet so he deeply understood how to get inside the mindset of a character and craft intriguing relationships. His characters cannot be confined to the page.
In the rhythm of the verse and the patter of the dialogue you can hear in your “mind’s eye” these rich characters laughing, crying, fighting, and falling in love simply by following what was written. Stray commas, long spaces, and all. Shakespeare’s plays align with the beating of your heart – this is intentional. Folio structure allows you to hear and feel the racing pulses, calculated breaths, and twitching eye of each character as they share their heated passions, heaviest emotions, and darkest desires with us.<