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Symbols and Abbreviations Used in

Explanatory Notes

Families of Editions

Shakespeare's Plays

Shakespeare's Poems

Symbols in Textual Notes (TNI and TNM)

Explanation of three-part structure of Commentary Notes (CN)

Symbols used in Commentary Notes (CN)

Symbols in second line of CN


* Many of the symbols derive from our work on the New Variorum Hamlet edition, in process, for which we acknowledge the general editors and the New Variorum Handbook.
1 Reach CN by clicking on line number in the Browse section of the web site or in the Enfolded Hamlet.
2 Date of publication or writing of note; when the date is uncertain, a minus sign before a date means before and including the date, while a minus sign after the date means the given date and after.
3 The siglum (plural sigla), or code name of the edition.
4 The siglum repeated in hanging style; the absence of other sigla means that Fiebig’s note is original, as far as we know. This second line offers a rough genealogy of the CN’s descent, or genealogy.
5 Through Line Number of CN (see Enfolded Hamlet, “Introduction”).
6 The lemma, the word or phrase at issue. The bracket after it indicates that it comes from Q2, our basic text. A lemma without a bracket indicates that it comes from Q1 or F1 or later edition.
7 The full surname of the editor. Double click on the name for a record of all the occurrences of that name in CNs. See editions bibliography (not yet available) for publishing information.
8 (ed. 1857): this CN is from a Hamlet edition published in 1857.
9 The quotation marks indicate an exact quotation. We sometimes paraphrase entries after 1877.
10 Colon after siglum in 2nd line indicates that the author refers to another work or writer.
11 No lemma means that the note concerns the whole line.
12 The absence of small caps indicates the source is not an edition.
13 The note concerns a range of lines; if the range does not include whole lines, the first and last words concerned in the note are given,
14 Most works that are not editions have page references. Exceptions are dictionaries and works arranged by topic. Forthcoming are an alphabetically arranged bibliography, a bibliography of bibliographies, and a bibliography of dictionaries and glossaries.
15 When there is more than one page reference in a CN, the beginning <p. 184> and end </p. 184> of pages are indicated so that users who quote the material may refer to correct pages.