Tag Archives: Prospero

Though This Be Madness, Yet There Is Method In’t

To introduce this post, I would like to mention the inspiration for creating this experiment which is fairly dichotomous from what I have previously done.  Prof. Eric Raimy spoke with me about my work on this blog and, while remaining supportive of what I was doing, challenged me to look at my methods anew.  His argument against the ultimate realization of what I was doing was that it didn’t seem logical or realistic that I could get similar or the same results, even after eliminating a character or two from the play.  For what is it that we perceive as “Shakespeare” if the lines of a leading character are but a trifle?  Prof. Raimy told me that I needed to try the opposite of my subtraction experiments; that is, a multiplication experiment. Continue reading



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This Thing of Darkness

This post contains three smaller entries, each with their own direction of focus, hence the title.  First, I would like to respond to Prof. Witmore’s comments on my previous post.  Secondly, I would like to make a note about a program created for us by a graduate student at UW, Michael Correll.  Finally, I would like to close with an analyzed response to a post at WineDarkSea labeled Shakespeare Out of Place?

After finishing my last post, To Be or Not To Be a Romance, I discussed both my findings and my methods with Michael Witmore.  In doing so, I ended up realizing more than I had previously about the final image in the post.  Continue reading

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To Be or Not To Be a Romance

Whilst going over older materials I have stored, I came across an article by Witmore and Hope dealing with the Romances or Late Plays of Shakespeare.  It was a journal in Early Modern Tragicomedy (2007), the twenty-second installment of the “Studies in Renaissance Literature” series.   In it, Witmore and Hope write that John Fletcher’s “definition of genre not only specifies what must be in a play to qualify it for membership in a genre, but also what it must lack”.  Fletcher’s postulation of what must be present, but also not present, to belong to a genre is similar to what I tested in my last post by adding and removing the characters that plays were named after.  In review, it was a mixed bag of results leading towards both the idiolects of the play’s main characters and the texture of plays themselves as the primary reasons for clustering.  However Witmore and Hope’s article sparked a new thought process in my head.  Since readers and critics as far back in time as Fletcher have noted the peculiar differences between the Romances and the rest of Shakespeare’s corpus, does that mean by following Fletcher’s formula that adding or subtracting characters will affect a play’s genre classification?  One of Witmore’s earliest views from Docuscope was a simplified dendrogram noting a genre specific clustering result from an unbiased word tagging program.  I have since noticed particular genre related movement in the Romeo and Juliet post, but I am now trying to combine a three hundred year-old literary critic’s mind with a modern machine’s processes.  In sum, I wish to determine if the idiolects of the main characters assist the Romances in clustering differently from the rest of Shakespeare’s corpus and whether or not the isolation of these particular characters’ lines from the whole play reacts with the genre specific clustering already present. Continue reading


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