WordHoard: Meant for Something Bigger

When I first started using WordHoard, I was excited. Who wouldn’t be when it came to using a program with so many possibilities? As I mentioned in my previous blog, WordHoard has numerous functions which break down even further to other functions which give very specific results for analyses. This concept of subdividing from a major function was implemented into our group analysis.

Our group took the broad question: what is Hamlet’s relationship with Gertrude and came up with more specific questions which each group member would analysis using WordHoard. I took on the task of analyzing the question; does Hamlet blame Gertrude for the murder of his father? My initial plan was to search Hamlets speech for words and phrases which show resentment towards Gertrude and phrases where Hamlet tries to make Gertrude feel guilty for what had transpired between the king and Claudius. This line of thought was not easy to analyze.

Before I list my endless problems with WordHoard, I will begin by explaining what the main purpose of WordHoard is; the collection of words. WordHoard is great for someone who is searching for the amount of times Hamlet says love or the number of times Ophelia uses the term madness. This is great for someone who is analyzing different plays of Shakespeare and comparing the results of the two, but it doesn’t compare just the one act or scene from the play; this my friends, is one of my major limitations.

While doing my research I tried unsuccessfully to analyze Hamlets speech in 3.4; this was unsuccessful because WordHoard either (1) takes the reference play and compares it to another Shakespeare book or (2) compares the wording throughout the one play. I believe that our program would be great if we took Hamlet and compared it to Romeo and Juliet or Othello. Trying to compare the tone change within the one scene is unfortunately unavailable.

Going back to my research, I decided to see how many times Hamlet actually uses the term mother when referring to Gertrude; the result wasn’t very insightful for my purposes. Instead of the information I was looking for I got the following data for the historical occurrence of mother in all of Shakespeare’s tragedies.

WordHoard is a great program for people who want to search up a specific word and compare it between two separate texts. It will easily show which words are nouns and verbs or when they were first used; unluckily it will not explain why the character uses the word or the tone in which he delivers his lines. In order to start my analysis I had to look up the lines I wanted to study from my text and then search them up on WordHoard.

WordHoard is still, at least in my view, a great program which should be used for broader research. In phase 2 I believe our program will be more effective when we must analysis the entire text.



One thought on “WordHoard: Meant for Something Bigger

  1. Great post! It’s too bad that WordHoard is giving you problems. My group seems to be having a similar issue when it comes to just looking at one single scene within Hamlet, and will compare the entire play instead of just 3.4. It sounds like WordHoard has some great functions, especially finding the frequency of certain words. I agree with you and think when we begin Phase Two all the tools will prove to be useful in different ways.

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