Social identity in Shakespeare's plays : a quantitative study

  • Heather Gayle Froehlich

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

This thesis takes three major claims made by literary scholars about Shakespeare’s use of language regarding issues of social identity. Each chapter introduces a critical perception of Shakespeare’s language - madness (Neely 1991), whorishness (Stanton 2000, Stallybrass 1986, Newman 1986) and questions of race, ethnicity and nationality (Loomba 2000, Hall 1992) – and applies a quantitative approach to the claims they raise. In doing so, I illustrate how digital resources such as the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (Kay et al 2015), the Folger Digital Texts (Mowat, Werstine, Niles and Poston 2014) and corpus analysis software including AntConc (Anthony 2014) and Ubiqu+ity can be applied to a closed-set collection of plays understood to be written by Shakespeare (Wells and Taylor 1987, 109-134) to test claims laid out by literary critics. This thesis therefore shows how quantitative evidence can lead to a more complex and robust analysis of Shakespeare’s language than qualitative evidence is able to.
Date of Award1 Jan 2015
LanguageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
Supervisor (Supervisor)Nigel Fabb (Supervisor)

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