Cacodemon Shakespeare

Welcome to Cacodemon Shakespeare! This project collects digital editions of Shakespeare’s plays, created by students in Professor Erika Boeckeler’s Introduction to Shakespeare courses at Northeastern University. Students in these classes work in groups to prepare a single page from one of Shakespeare’s plays; each group adopts an editorial stance and prepares their page accordingly, making decisions about annotation, contextualization, display, regularization, etc. Reading through a digital edition in this project will offer many different perspectives of Shakespeare’s works.

“Cacodemon” is a rare word occurring only once in Shakespeare’s plays, in Richard III. We have chosen this name to comment on the many different editorial “spirits” that take possession of Shakespeare’s words (although we hope to offer only benevolent possessions of the text!).

This project is still in its early stages, beginning with The Merchant of Venice in the spring of 2020. Over the years, we hope to complete a great many more plays, and so the site has space for all of the comedies, tragedies, romances, and histories.

We are publishing side-by-side digital editions with facsimile reproductions of early quartos (reproduced with our gratitude from the Boston Public Library’s collections on the Internet Archive) facing the students’ own versions of the texts. This enables readers to view a proxy for the original plays alongside the students’ experiments with digital editing.

We hope that you enjoy the collection!

This project was developed in partnership with Laura M. Johnson and Sarah Connell, as part of the Digital Integration Teaching Initiative at Northeastern University.