For my final blog post in phase two, I have broken down Act 5 into four parts.Â In keeping with my exploration of the tragic and comedic factors in this act (see my last blog post), I hypothesised that each of these parts is either more tragic or more comedic, and I wanted to figure out if the word frequencies supported my hypothesis.
The first part I looked at included Hamlet and Horatioâ€™s conversation with the gravediggers from the beginning of scene 1 up to the point where the King enters.Â Though there are many puns and jokes exchanged between the characters, I believe that the overall thematic elements concerning this scene are indicative of a tragedy.Â My results support this opinion.Â Tapor cannot identify the comedic play on language that Shakespeare uses, but based on the word frequency one will assume that the overall tone of the dialogue is very morbid.Â The central theme is death and even though the word itself is not said very often, there are many allusions to it (highlighted in black boxes) through the use of words such as â€œdrown,â€ â€œskullâ€ and â€œspade.” Â The many occurrences of these words sum up to 46 references to death in this one section alone! I think it is safe to say the the word usage in this part is consistent with a tragedy.
Part 2, spanning from the point that the nobles enter until the end of scene 1, is very different when compared to part 1.Â Though the theme of death is still present, it is no longer as frequently alluded to because it is now accompanied by â€œlove.â€Â My interpretation of this part is that particularly comedic like.Â Even though it can be considered a tense moment in the play, it largely consists of Hamlet and Laertes arguing as to who loved Ophelia more, an situation that is also seen in comedies such as AÂ Midsummer Nights Dream.Â Due to the difference in word frequencies between part 1 and 2, TAPoRâ€™s results also support this conclusion.Â Both the presence of love as a topic, and the plethora of verbs such as â€œmakeâ€ and â€œcome,â€ indicate a lighter tone when compared to the proceeding events.
Part 3 includes the beginning of scene 2 up to the point where the King enters.Â This part is one that I also consider comedic due to Osricâ€™s ridiculous speech patterns and the use of repetition by Hamlet to mock him.Â As a result, the word frequencies for part three are not that interesting, but they do suggest the lighter tone that is similarly prevailant through part 2.Â For instance, there are many positive adjectives like â€œgoodâ€ and â€œgreatâ€ used to describe the characters.Â However, as if in reminder of events to come, there are also 3 mentions of both nature and faith, which link to the fate of Hamlet and his realitives.
The fourth and final part contrasts to part 2 and 3, but resemble the first part in that it frequently uses lemmas of â€œdeathâ€ and alludes to the phrase through the words such as â€œdrink,â€ â€œpoison,â€ â€œhitâ€ and â€œshot.â€Â I also found it interesting that the words â€œspeakâ€ and â€œtellâ€ are mentioned five times each, making me think as to the theme of regret.Â Tragedies usually contain one character who, in the end, regrets his/her decisions and wishes to â€œspeakâ€ in order to explain themselves or apologize.Â Though in the case of Hamlet, the usage of these two words is concentrated near the end of the scene where Hamlet wishes Horatio to stay alive and recount his tale, perhaps to avoid this mayhem in future circumstances.
Overall this exploration had been interesting. Â It seems that Act 5 begins and ends with diction that suggests tragic elements, while comedic word usage prevails throughout the middle to break the tension.