WordHoard: overcoming the adversity

Sweet are the uses of adversity, which like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.

How better to describe my experience of using Word Hoard to analyze Hamlet, then to use the words of Shakespeare himself? Although I, as well as my group members, faced some difficulties when trying to use WordHoard, the results were worth it.

One major grievance for myself was that every time I wanted to connect to WordHoard, I got the following message.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I could open the program after the second, third, maybe even the fourth time, but unfortunately I wasn’t that lucky. I did finally get to the database but only after I (1) uninstalled WordHoard, (2) downloaded it once again and (3) saw the above message two more times. By this point I wasn’t very happy with the WordHoard creators.

Once I finally connected to the database and chose my literary text and Act, I found that I was completely and utterly lost. Although I had attended the workshop on WordHoard and even read the “Getting Started” article, I had no idea where to start. Word Hoard has countless options when it comes to analyzing a text; so many that one would almost prefer having a program that’s limited but more straight forward and easy to manage.

My original objective was to analyze Hamlet’s anger towards his mother by finding a difference in his speech when they are alone or in public with others. My thoughts were that his true emotions would be revealed by comparing the words he uses to describe his mother in Act 3 to other Acts. Instead what happened is that I got sidetracked by the many other functions of WordHoard.

One of them happened to be the function where you can take a word, any word, and find out how many times it comes up in Hamlet as well as other Shakespeare plays. I found this very interesting as I tried to figure out WordHoard. Unfortunately the occurrence of ducat was insignificant to my objective.

I’m quite happy that I got WordHoard as the program that I get to work with because regardless of some of its difficulties and my wandering thoughts, I believe our group will get interesting results from our analysis. Once I better understand the majority of the functions in WordHoard it will be a lot easier to direct my analysis.

2 thoughts on “WordHoard: overcoming the adversity

  1. I had the exact same issue with the error message when trying to load the program. Not sure what’s up there because even trying to uninstall it and reinstall it on my computer didn’t seem to help. I think for the purpose of this program it’ll be beneficial to write down exactly what we want to search (be it nouns, adjectives, certain speakers, etc.) before we even open the program to keep us focused on what we need because as you mentioned there are endless options.

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