Concept

Crux (literary)

Summary
A crux is a textual passage that is corrupted to the point that it is difficult or impossible to interpret and resolve. Cruxes are studied in palaeography, textual criticism, bibliography, and literary scholarship. A crux is more serious or extensive than a simple slip of the pen or typographical error. The word comes from Latin crux, Latin for "cross", used metaphorically as a difficulty that torments one. Cruxes occur in a wide range of pre-modern (ancient, medieval, and Renaissance) texts, printed and manuscript. Shakespearean examples Though widely exposed to readers and scholars, the texts of William Shakespeare's plays yield some of the most famous literary cruxes. Some have been resolved fairly well. In Henry V, II.iii.16-7, the First Folio text has the Hostess describe Falstaff on his death-bed like this: ...his nose was sharp as a pen, and 'a Table of green fields. Lewis Theobald's editorial correction, "and 'a [he] babbl'd of green fields", has won almost universal
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