Category Archives: Shakespeare

Macbeth: The State of Play

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 […]

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What happens in Hamlet?

We perform digital analysis on literary texts not to answer questions, but to generate questions. The questions digital analysis can answer are generally not ‘interesting’ in a humanist sense: but the questions digital analysis provokes often are. And these questions have to be answered by ‘traditional’ literary methods. Here’s an example. Dr Farah Karim-Cooper, head […]

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Shakespeare’s mythic vocabulary – and his invisible grammar

Universities in the UK are under pressure to demonstrate the ‘impact’ of their research. In many ways, this is fair enough: public taxes account for the vast majority of UK University income, so it is reasonable for the public to expect academics to attempt to communicate with them about their work. University press offices have […]

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The very strange language of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I just got back from a fun and very educative trip to Shakespeare’s Globe in London, hosted by Dr Farah Karim-Cooper, who is director of research there. The Globe stages an annual production aimed at schools (45,000 free tickets have been distributed over the past five years), and this year’s play is A Midsummer Night’s […]

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Finding the Sherlock in Shakespeare: some ideas about prose genre and linguistic uniqueness

An unexpected point of linguistic similarity between plot-driven mystery fiction and Shakespeare plays lead to a consideration of textual similarities that remain invisible in the normal process of reading.

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