For the analysis of Hamlet 3.4, I have been tasked to work with the tool TAPoR in order to pull out some results. To be perfectly honest, I am not happy with this tool so far (as you may have guessed from the titleâ€¦). I suppose I should start by explaining that I am not a computer person; I prefer doing a close reading of a text with my own mind rather than with a tool. But then again it is nice to try new things, so I figure I may as well try. Granted, not all new things go over well. This is one of them. The limitations I am finding in the tool far outweigh the things it allows you to do. So far, the limitations I am noticing are:
- The obvious lack ofÂ the human imagination. Itâ€™s all data, data, data when it comes to a machine, meaning you will miss out on a sort of open minded analysis. I am noticing that the tool is pulling my focus away from the text I am analysing. I am focusing on the results I pull rather than pulling out my own ideas from the text. This makes me feel as if I have blinders on and Iâ€™m only able to view the text in this narrow frame of view, unable to grasp everything that is being saidÂ by the play.
- This is a tool which is very user unfriendly, making it a very frustrating thing to work with. I am not saying this simply because the layout is a tad bit dated, but it is sometimes incapable of processing the analysis you want, and instead gives you many error messages.
- When I am able to have results produced I amÂ unable to save them. I knowÂ saving is possible to do because there is a space on the work bench for saved results, but I canâ€™t find anyway of saving my results. What Iâ€™ve had to do so far is copy and paste the results into a document and save it like that.
The tools you are able to work with have their own problems, in that they do not do much in the way of analysis results.
- The tools I have been fiddling with are theÂ word cloud as well as a listing of words, both of which are useful in pulling out key words and themes, but that their extent. I am given a list of words and I am left sitting here thinking “okay now what do I do with these?” I would find it better to go through my text with a highlighter, where I could pull out the same results.
- The number andÂ distributionÂ with the list of words is lovely, but unfortunately it only shows aÂ distribution chart for the first few terms listed.
- Searching words is a tedious task, asÂ it does not search through lemmas. Rather, I have to search related words individually. Which, needless to say, is a pain. But Iâ€™ll say it anyway.
In general, TAPoR is very much a qualitative tool. It can analyse a text with various tools which produce a list andÂ number of words. With these words I am tasked to sort through the list and find similarities in usage. In the end, I must go to the text and pull out quantitative thoughts with what the text is saying. The one obstacle I have to overcome is that of shifting my mindset away from my own close reading, and letting the tool pull out the key terms for me. From there, I suppose I would go to the text with those results in mind and attempt to pull out a deeper meaning.
It is my plan in analysing scene 3.4 to use my tool toÂ answer two queries:
1. What is the mood and theme of this scene?
2. What is the relationship between Hamlet and Gertrude?
It is my task to figure out how I will go about answering these questions using my tool and hopefully it will produce results that are less frustrating than the tool itself. Wish me luck!