Questions for Act 5 presenters

This morning (Wednesday, April 4th), at the close of Phase 2, we heard an oral presentation on Act 5.

Put your questions for the presenters in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “Questions for Act 5 presenters

  1. Dane used Wordseer to compare uses of “death,” “hate,” “kill,” and “villain” in Act 5 of Hamlet versus Act 5 of other tragedies. Only “death” appears in Hamlet’s Act 5!

    • So I wonder if it might have been more effective to choose other words, the most frequently used words in Hamlet Act 5, to do a stronger comparison with those other tragedies. Then you could compare the ends of those tragedies (or other plays in other genres!) more directly with Hamlet’s final act.

  2. Nicole exploring Jesse’s question for the Act 4 presenters: What sense can you get of a play you’ve never read, by doing word searches and displaying them as a graph?

    • Dr. Ullyot,
      Personally, I get a sense of an unread text from the use of my tool through experience with my tool. Without the experience and an idea of how Voyeur tends to display information, looking at a text through the lens of the tool (or any tool) would be like looking at a map without knowing rudimentary geography or cartography.
      That being said, looking at say… “love” and “death” within the context of a specific play wouldn’t you also assume a play would be more love related if the word concentration was favouring “love” over “death” than the opposite? Or suppose there was a relatively equal disbursement of both “love” and “death” in the word frequencies chart or if the words occurred at relatively the same time in Bubblelines or Knots? Wouldn’t that allude to a tragic theme?
      Essentially, after playing around with the tools as much as I have, you can read the plot of a story from charts almost as easily as you can read it from the text itself.

  3. Nice comparisons of “love” and “death” at the ends of Hamlet, Macbeth, Troilus, Lear, and Timon of Athens. Interesting to note that Troilus and Timon are among the “problem plays” (i.e. hard to classify).

  4. You noted in your presentation that Hamlet is not a typical tragic character, possibly due to the lack of a tragic flaw. I was wondering if Hamlet’s constant questioning of life could be seen as his flaw (seeing as it distracts him from completing his action against the ‘villain’)? Does anyone have any other thoughts on the matter?

    • Kira,
      I’m not entirely convinced any of Shakespeare’s character’s are without flaws, let alone Hamlet. If he was without a tragic flaw, why would he have a self-titled play that would turn out to be one of Shakespeare’s most renown?
      I agree, his contemplation (to the degree in which he does) could very well be his tragic flaw and probably more precisely: is inability to act (as I addressed in the ‘Voyeur’ segment of the Act V presentation.) This inability/inactivity lead to the death of more than just himself, including and especially the people he loved. Any extreme whether it is rashness or over-contemplation could no doubt be viewed as a character flaw. Perhaps the reason why Hamlet is viewed as 50% as a comedy through MONK is because although he is flawed, all conflicts reach the desired resolution(s)?

  5. Dr. Ullyot,
    Personally, I get a sense of an unread text from the use of my tool through experience with my tool. Without the experience and an idea of how Voyeur tends to display information, looking at a text through the lens of the tool (or any tool) would be like looking at a map without knowing rudimentary geography or cartography.
    That being said, looking at say… “love” and “death” within the context of a specific play wouldn’t you also assume a play would be more love related if the word concentration was favouring “love” over “death” than the opposite? Or suppose there was a relatively equal disbursement of both “love” and “death” in the word frequencies chart or if the words occurred at relatively the same time in Bubblelines or Knots? Wouldn’t that allude to a tragic theme?
    Essentially, after playing around with the tools as much as I have, you can read the plot of a story from charts almost as easily as you can read it from the text itself.

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