When does the OED3 think "Hamlet" was written?

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Fri Apr 25 08:40:09 UTC 2014

From: Joel S. Berson
Under "Polack, n. and adj.", updated September 2006, there are two
quotations from "Hamlet":

1603   Shakespeare Hamlet II. ii. 63   His nephews leuies..a
preparation gainst the Polacke.  (Under A. n. 1.)
1604   Shakespeare Hamlet V. ii. 330   You from the Pollack warres,
and you from England Are heere arriued.   (Under B. adj.)

Did it take Shakespeare a year to write Acts III, IV, and V, after he
published Acts I and II?



"His nephews leuies" appears in both Q1 (The Bad Quarto -- 1603) and Q2 (The
Good Quarto -- 1604).  "the Pollack warres" occurs only in Q2 (and
presumably the Folio of 1626 -- I didn't bother to check that).

But Joel's right -- the OED could have made the situation clearer.

(The date of performance of the play is presumably earlier -- maybe 1601.)

Transcriptions and facsimiles of all three witnesses to Hamlet here:


Robin Hamilton

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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