Flushing Out a Thesis and Scalar Searches: Part 1

I’ve been wondering recently how I’m going to approach my final blog post, or final paper, for this class. I’m not sure what kind of questions I could be asking that would be important enough that it could make up an essay of up to 2500 words. It’s a daunting enough task to come up with a paper this big, but it also counts for a huge chunk of my grade, a chunk of a size I care not to see.

Thinking on what subject I could come up with I thought to simply build on the work I’ve done so far. This idea seemed simple enough, so I went on to look at the blog site and look back at and read my blogs again. Now, for those who’ve not seen my blog posts I’ve written a blog on the relations search in Wordseer, a blog describing the problems wordseer faces and things that can remedie them, and a blog describing the limiting aspects of in which contexts you look at a tool and how that affects the results you get.

Now, the idea behind this last blog post really interests me as a possible starting point for finding an argument to make in my last blog post. So now, through all the rest of my posts I’ll flesh this idea out a little bit more so that I can be prepared for my final paper / post / phase 3.

In Hamlet I’ve begun to experiment with this idea. I’ve searched the word ‘die’ in two different collections of documents of varying sizes. I start in the context of Act 3, Scene 1, which includes Hamlet’s “to be, or not to be” speech.

 Searching Hamlet 3.1 with Wordseer

In this scene I found 4 results, which does not offer a very wide opinion of how death and dying is viewed by Hamlet. Instead, this offers a result very specific to the point in time that Hamlet is saying these things. In this case, the results for death show that they are used with the word sleep twice. This is very useful for generating hypotheses or finding points to inspect heavily within Hamlet, but that is not the point here. For now it’s enough to know that these two uses of ‘sleep’ are used in Hamlet’s ‘to be, or not to be’ speech and give a clue as to how Hamlet is viewing death at the time he is giving the speech.

Now, I’ve searched this same word in the larger context of Hamlet, the play, as a whole, and I’ve come up with 17 results.

 

It is important to note that besides the fact that there are more results, and therefore more views on the word itself, there are far more varied results. These results can be used effectively to flesh out the views of death that Hamlet, the play, portrays with ease and with more accuracy. These varied results show more of a varied view of the play. Showing more aspects of the particular personality of the play allows someone to better and more easily come to understand the play.

Now, I’ve done more searches on the play than this, but I’ve run out of time to analyze them, instead I intend to come back to this subject in my next blog and I’ll better explain some of the differences that I’ve found while looking at different scales of a search.

One thought on “Flushing Out a Thesis and Scalar Searches: Part 1

  1. The “To be or not to be” is one of the most well known speeches with in Shakespeare. Even without knowing anything about Shakespeare, ask a person to say a line and that is the one that automatically is spoken. I like how you are looking into those specific words of “die” and “sleep”. It is fascinating to see how Shakespeare uses those two words interchangably with in the speech to get his point across. I can not wait to see what other things you will find once you analyze this speech.

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