The hundredth psalm to the tune of "Green Sleeves": Digital approaches to Shakespeare's language of genre

Jonathan Hope, Michael Witmore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this essay, Hope and Witmore explore the linguistic matrix of Shakespeare's dramatic genres by using multivariate statistics and a text-tagging device known as DocuScope, a hand-curated corpus of several million English words (and strings of words) that has been sorted into grammatical, semantic, and rhetorical categories. Starting with Heminges and Condell's designations of the Folio plays as comedies, histories, and tragedies, the authors offer a portrait of Shakespearean genre at the sentence level, showing how identifying frequently iterated word combinations (in either their presence or absence) allows new ways to study the integrity and fluidity of Shakespeare's genres. Calling this approach "iterative criticism," they situate their critical practice within both Shakespearean criticism and humanities-centered protocols of reading, concluding with a genre map of Shakespeare's plays compared to nearly three hundred other early modern dramas. Hope and Witmore do not seek to replace subjective, humanistic reading with something more "objective." Rather, they use digital, iterative methods in order to be "consistently subjective" - to extend interpretative strategies across quantities of texts and frequencies of feature that could otherwise not be accommodated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-390
Number of pages34
JournalShakespeare Quarterly
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

William Shakespeare
Language
Psalms
Criticism
Multivariate Statistics
Designation
William Shakespeare's Plays
Fluidity
Folio
Comedies
Tragedy
Modern Drama
Strings
English Words
History
Critical Practice
Tagging
Integrity
Humanistic
Rhetoric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

Cite this

The hundredth psalm to the tune of "Green Sleeves" : Digital approaches to Shakespeare's language of genre. / Hope, Jonathan; Witmore, Michael.

In: Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 3, 01.09.2010, p. 357-390.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

@article{9ade46abf41b4e5b8c23191d70fca8da,
title = "The hundredth psalm to the tune of {"}Green Sleeves{"}: Digital approaches to Shakespeare's language of genre",
abstract = "In this essay, Hope and Witmore explore the linguistic matrix of Shakespeare's dramatic genres by using multivariate statistics and a text-tagging device known as DocuScope, a hand-curated corpus of several million English words (and strings of words) that has been sorted into grammatical, semantic, and rhetorical categories. Starting with Heminges and Condell's designations of the Folio plays as comedies, histories, and tragedies, the authors offer a portrait of Shakespearean genre at the sentence level, showing how identifying frequently iterated word combinations (in either their presence or absence) allows new ways to study the integrity and fluidity of Shakespeare's genres. Calling this approach {"}iterative criticism,{"} they situate their critical practice within both Shakespearean criticism and humanities-centered protocols of reading, concluding with a genre map of Shakespeare's plays compared to nearly three hundred other early modern dramas. Hope and Witmore do not seek to replace subjective, humanistic reading with something more {"}objective.{"} Rather, they use digital, iterative methods in order to be {"}consistently subjective{"} - to extend interpretative strategies across quantities of texts and frequencies of feature that could otherwise not be accommodated.",
author = "Jonathan Hope and Michael Witmore",
year = "2010",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1353/shq.2010.0002",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "61",
pages = "357--390",
journal = "Shakespeare Quarterly",
issn = "0037-3222",
publisher = "Johns Hopkins University Press",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The hundredth psalm to the tune of "Green Sleeves"

T2 - Digital approaches to Shakespeare's language of genre

AU - Hope, Jonathan

AU - Witmore, Michael

PY - 2010/9/1

Y1 - 2010/9/1

N2 - In this essay, Hope and Witmore explore the linguistic matrix of Shakespeare's dramatic genres by using multivariate statistics and a text-tagging device known as DocuScope, a hand-curated corpus of several million English words (and strings of words) that has been sorted into grammatical, semantic, and rhetorical categories. Starting with Heminges and Condell's designations of the Folio plays as comedies, histories, and tragedies, the authors offer a portrait of Shakespearean genre at the sentence level, showing how identifying frequently iterated word combinations (in either their presence or absence) allows new ways to study the integrity and fluidity of Shakespeare's genres. Calling this approach "iterative criticism," they situate their critical practice within both Shakespearean criticism and humanities-centered protocols of reading, concluding with a genre map of Shakespeare's plays compared to nearly three hundred other early modern dramas. Hope and Witmore do not seek to replace subjective, humanistic reading with something more "objective." Rather, they use digital, iterative methods in order to be "consistently subjective" - to extend interpretative strategies across quantities of texts and frequencies of feature that could otherwise not be accommodated.

AB - In this essay, Hope and Witmore explore the linguistic matrix of Shakespeare's dramatic genres by using multivariate statistics and a text-tagging device known as DocuScope, a hand-curated corpus of several million English words (and strings of words) that has been sorted into grammatical, semantic, and rhetorical categories. Starting with Heminges and Condell's designations of the Folio plays as comedies, histories, and tragedies, the authors offer a portrait of Shakespearean genre at the sentence level, showing how identifying frequently iterated word combinations (in either their presence or absence) allows new ways to study the integrity and fluidity of Shakespeare's genres. Calling this approach "iterative criticism," they situate their critical practice within both Shakespearean criticism and humanities-centered protocols of reading, concluding with a genre map of Shakespeare's plays compared to nearly three hundred other early modern dramas. Hope and Witmore do not seek to replace subjective, humanistic reading with something more "objective." Rather, they use digital, iterative methods in order to be "consistently subjective" - to extend interpretative strategies across quantities of texts and frequencies of feature that could otherwise not be accommodated.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=78049434301&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=78049434301&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1353/shq.2010.0002

DO - 10.1353/shq.2010.0002

M3 - Review article

AN - SCOPUS:78049434301

VL - 61

SP - 357

EP - 390

JO - Shakespeare Quarterly

JF - Shakespeare Quarterly

SN - 0037-3222

IS - 3

ER -