As this project progresses I find that it is changing the way that I view text and how it can be interpreted. By reading through Act 4 on my own and taking notes on it, I discovered that while the digital tools offer some assistance in breaking down the text into pieces and analyzing them as such, I still much prefer simply taking out the literature by itself and reading it on its own. Referring back to the forest and the trees metaphor I used in my last blog, by using the digital tools I find that you are staring so closely at the text that all you can see is the cells that make up the tree and the singular tree itself. However, by moving back and examining the entire forest you can look at how the different trees make up an ecosystem and look at other factors of the environment that have shaped the development of the forest and the individuals trees. Which view you prefer is an entirely personal choice, and it certainly exists on a sliding scale. My main experience that I am going to take out of this course is one of balance and appreciation that I have been introduced to these new tools. Â I will use the traditional method to examine text and if I feel that digital tools could be used to further examine the text I am certainly not adverse to any additional context they could provide to the whole.
Now moving on to the project itself. The TaPOR member of my group Â and myself have begun to collaborate using out tools to examine Act 4. Using the ‘Extract Text’ tool in TaPOR she will be able to extract only the speech of the characters using a much her program. This expedites the process quite nicely as the last time I edited a text it took far longer then it should have and I shudder to think how long it would have taken me to repeat the process on an entire Act as opposed to a singular scene. Once she has completed that, then I will be able to examine characters separate speeches and differentiate between the speaker and the spoken of. I have thought of examining the differences and similarities between Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the way that Hamlet and Laertes act as foils to one another, (both lose their father under mysterious circumstances etc.) and examining Gertrude’s speech when Hamlet is with her and when Hamlet is not present within the same room. Hamlet’s back and forth with Claudius after he has hidden Polonius’ body is another interesting piece of the text to examine. Hamlet uses quite a lot of symbolism and metaphor in this scene and some have taken his patterns of speech to mean he is mad. When I originally read the speech I merely thought he was being witty and did not detect madness unit brought up to me by my then English teacher. At this point in this project myself and my group members are still feeling out one anthers tools and working on collaborating with one another. Hopefully we can comprehensively analyze Act 4 without becoming too lost in the trees and loose sight of the larger picture.