Both of these dramas, which were not printed at the time but were widely circulated in manuscript, are of the type which preceded the Shakespearean age - they are allegorical and all the characters are types.
Another question with which the textual critic of modern authors must be prepared to deal is the relative importance of different editions, each of which may have a prima facie claim to be considered authentic. Thus Shakespearean criticism must decide between the evidence of the first folio and the quartos: the critic of Shelley's poems must consider what weight is to be attached to the readings in the posthumous edition by Mrs Shelley, and in unpublished transcripts of various poems. Where there is great or complicated divergence between the editions, as in the case of Marlowe's Faustus, the production of a resultant text which may be relied upon to represent the ultimate intention of the author is well-nigh impossible.
As early as 1727 Warburton had corresponded with Theobald on Shakespearean subjects.
Theobald's superiority to Warburton as a Shakespearean critic has long since been acknowledged.
When she met Dr. Furness, the Shakespearean scholar, he warned her not to let the college professors tell her too many assumed facts about the life of Shakespeare; all we know, he said, is that Shakespeare was baptized, married, and died.