We have a new chapter on the language of Macbeth which appears in this book from Arden. The chapter surveys previous work on the language of the play, and then offers some new analysis we’ve done, chiefly using WordHoard. Along the way, we consider the role of word frequency in literary analysis, and especially the word ‘the’ in Macbeth (we also think about word frequency in this post). Of course you are going to buy the book, which is currently (February 2014) available at a reduced price at the link above, but here is a pre-print of our chapter.
UPDATE: ‘the’ is attracting a lot of attention. Here is Bill Benzon discussing Matt Jockers’ discussion of it in Macroanalysis, and here is Mark Liberman responding, with references to other work on different rates of ‘the’ in language.
Notes and Queries Concerning the Text of Macbeth Anthony B. Dawson
Dwelling ‘in doubtful joy’: Macbeth and the Aesthetics of Disappointment Brett Gamboa
HISTORY AND TOPICALITY
Politic Bodies in Macbeth Dermot Cavanagh
‘To crown my thoughts with acts’: Prophecy and Prescription in Macbeth Debapriya Sarkar
Lady Macbeth, First Ladies and the Arab Spring: The Performance of Power on the Twenty-First Century Stage Kevin A. Quarmby
CRITICAL APPROACHES AND CLOSE READING
‘A walking shadow’: Place, Perception and Disorientation in Macbeth Darlene Farabee
Cookery and Witchcraft in Macbeth Geraldo U. de Sousa
The Language of Macbeth Jonathan Hope and Michael Witmore
ADAPTATION AND AFTERLIFE
The Shapes of Macbeth: The Staged Text Sandra Clark
Raising the Violence while Lowering the Stakes: Geoffrey Wright’s Screen Adaptation of Macbeth Philippa Sheppard
The Butcher and the Text: Adaptation, Theatricality and the ‘Shakespea(Re)-Told’ Macbeth Ramona Wray