Shakespeare's Badass Quarto

Ron Rosenbaum in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

So the Bad Quarto, like the Ghost in Hamlet, once again is stalking the battlements of Shakespeare scholarship. Despite its popular image of pedantry, textual scholarship can be dramatic and enlightening. Texts, you sometimes come to feel, develop characters of their own. Scholars now prefer to call the Bad Quarto "Q1," but I like calling it the Bad Quarto — as in delinquent, disobedient, disruptive. The Badass Quarto.

For do but note a wild and wanton herd,Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud, Which is the hot condition of their blood; If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound, Or any air of music touch their ears, You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze By the sweet power of music: therefore the poet Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones and floods; Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage, But music for the time doth change his nature. The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night And his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

(The Merchant of Venice Act V Sc. 1)

On the supposed illiteracy of scientists

"A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?" (C.P. Snow: "The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution")

The motive-hunting of motiveless Malignity

From the marginal notes of Coleridge's copy of Othello: "The triumph! again, put money after the effect has been fully produced.--The last Speech, the motive-hunting of motiveless Malignity -- how awful! In itself fiendish -- while yet he was allowed to bear the divine image, too fiendish for his own steady View. -- A being next to Devil -- only not quite Devil -- & this Shakespeare has attempted -- executed -- without disgust, without Scandal!"