The End of a Beginning

I am writing on something that before this class I never knew about let alone expected to ever find myself writing about.  I have taken a class this past semester that teaches about the digital humanities as a method for literary analysis, but my reasoning for taking that class should be made clear, it is a requirement for an English degree that I must have before I am allowed to go into the field of education.  Because of my degree requirements, I have found myself taking a literary analysis class that was much more than I ever expected it to be.  I am writing about my first experience with something that is new to me and also happens to be useful and enjoyable, that is, the digital humanities.  In this post, I will be analyzing the feasibility of an idea that involves mixing together both the digital approach to the humanities and the traditional approach to the humanities for the sake of education.

Mixed Motives and Mixed Results

I have many motives for writing this extensive blog post, the fact that it is a requirement for English 203 is not the least of those motives but this is the only mention which that particular motive will receive.  First among my motives listed here is the fact that I intend to go into the field of education upon completion of my university education, so I must ask myself, how would the digital humanities affect or be affected by education.  My second motive listed is the fact that I was influenced at one time by an English professor to believe that, remaining realistic, there is no definite right or wrong way to analyze a text and therefore there is no definite right or wrong analysis of a text; so believing this has also allowed me to have an open mind concerning the humanities.  Therefore, I felt that the subject must be mentioned.  My third and final motive listed here, is the fact that I just wanted to compare the traditional aspects of the humanities to the more modern aspects of the digital humanities.  All of these motives together are why I picked the blog post from the Digital Humanities Now website that I did.  That particular blog post is one written about interdisciplinarity and curricular incursion that can be seen if you go to the following link,

My thoughts were that I wouldn’t find a better blog post to compare both aspects of the humanities as well as the effects that they have had on education and vice versa.


I intend to go into the field of education, because of this I feel that it would be good to know some of the proper approaches to the Digital Humanities in case I ever end up teaching something about them or having to introduce a course on the digital humanities to a school board or committee.  The idea of interdisciplinary actions in the curricular aspect of the humanities is essentially, new revolutions in the humanities and how they affect or are affected by pedagogy and that is what I am interested in.  The digital humanities are a new and different method of teaching English that may be viewed more receptively by students than the traditional approach to the humanities because it can be easier for some people to acquire an analysis of a text through some of the tools available.  The Digital Humanities may also be more appealing to a number of students because of the more relaxed writing style that is available through them.

Right and Wrong

I have the personal belief that there is no definite right or wrong approach to textual analysis which extends to the idea that there is no definite right or wrong approach to the humanities.  That particular belief is supported by the idea that each and every person analyzes a text differently.  Therefore, there are as many perspectives of texts as there are people.  Each person gains a different perspective of a text just by reading it and the tools available through the digital humanities have the capability to verify, expand and build upon those various perspectives.  Finally, I feel that the line between right and wrong analyses of a text is really blurry, therefore, who am I to judge whether or not a new method of analysis is definitively right or wrong.


I would like to compare what I have learned of the digital humanities to the information that is available to the world at large and to what I have learned about the traditional approach to the humanities.  Before starting the literary analysis course with Dr. Ullyot, I knew very little about the digital humanities, in fact, I went into the class thinking that it would be based on the classical literary analysis class where the students read the text, come up with a quantitative analysis of the text, write a paper on that analysis, and then when they are done with that, they proceed to rinse and repeat.  It is a good thing that my assumption was way off base, because a class that I expected to be dull was actually highly interesting as well as informative.  In the past, I have only ever approached the humanities in the classical manner and I have always been comfortable with the traditional method of textual analysis where a person reads the text and attempts to draw conclusions from it and prove those conclusions by writing an essay.  I was only a fan of this, however, because I am a relatively strong reader and it has always been easy for me to read a text and draw a decent quantitative analysis from it.  For me, the only problem with the traditional approach to the humanities lay in the aspect of having to write an essay, something that I am not very good at doing.  The Digital Humanities are really quite new to me; in fact, at the beginning of this past semester was the first time that I had ever heard of them, let alone studied them.  At first I was really skeptical of the idea of using technology to analyze texts as well as the idea of posting my findings on Twitter or a blog.  The reason for this was because of the fact that the only examples of either one that I had ever come across were pointless wastes of time with the people who wrote on them badly abusing the use of the English language.  After I realized that both Twitter and blogging could be extremely useful, I came to accept the idea of textual analysis using computers, to be honest, for me it was a journey of small steps.  I am still not entirely comfortable with the methods of textual analysis available through the digital humanities, but I will say that they are an amazing way to verify or prove my own quantitative analyses and make them qualitative.  I am also much more comfortable with the more relaxed writing style that is afforded to me through writing on blogs rather than a formal essay.  I feel that if the best of both aspects of the humanities could be mixed together, then there would be a truly excellent dynamo in place for the study of literature.

How it Was Done

Throughout the course of the semester, the people in English 203 learned about different tools available through the digital humanities and what those tools are capable of using a base text of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  First we learned how to operate one of five different tools, and second, we got together in groups with four other people who all used different tools and worked together to analyze a portion of Hamlet.  This exercise taught me much about one tool, a little bit about the other four, and a great deal about how the digital humanities work.  The idea or concept of having four other people working in concert with me on the same project being able to converse with them via email or blog really made things easy.  I learned through the use of the blog posts that we are required to do, that the digital humanities are entirely collaborative.  Any one person with access to the blog was able to comment on or contribute to anything that I chose to write about.  Because of this, anything written on a blog in the digital humanities is constantly exposed to public scrutiny, as well as any new developments in technology, which are constantly occurring.  The concept of putting your findings in a blog post is a new and highly effective way to keep your writing and information perpetually up to date.

Phase I

            I was given the Voyeur or Voyant tool developed by Stefan Sinclair and Geoffrey Rockwell to learn how to operate in order to analyze the text of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the first phase of our class programme.

By learning how to use it, I discovered that the Voyeur/Voyant tool is very easy to use, especially for someone like me who is not very technologically adept.  I also learned that Voyeur/Voyant has a very open user interface which makes it very easy to start out using, just input your text and go to town basically.

Between the Phases

I used the tool that I learned about earlier in order to study Hamlet and verify qualitatively my own quantitative analysis of the text.  As I mentioned before, I have very little trouble with reading a text and coming up with a quantitative analysis of it.  Therefore, I thought that it would be easier to use my tool in order to verify my own analyses and make them qualitative rather than use it to come up with entirely new analyses.  Because of this I used the Voyeur/Voyant tool as a hypothesis testing machine and achieved what I believe to be excellent results.  I am not saying that it is not a hypothesis or conclusion generating machine, because I believe that it can be used as such; what I am saying is it was more practical for me to use Voyeur/Voyant in the former capacity.

Phase II

Once I had a firm grasp of how to use Voyeur/Voyant, I was pooled into a group with four other people who had used different tools than my own in order to see how well our tools would interact; this was the second phase of the class programme.  Most of the members of my group agreed that their tools were extremely viable in the capacity of testing hypotheses.  In fact, we made a quantitative analysis of Act II of Hamlet regarding surveillance, and between the five of us and our tools we successfully proved our analysis.  Throughout the course of the second section of the class, I came to the conclusion that no matter how good my tool was on its own, it could always be boosted up or helped out by another tool’s unique functions.  In my case, the tool that helped my own out the most was the Wordhoard tool developed by Northwestern University, .  I found that Voyeur/Voyant wouldn’t actually count how many words a person said, only how often they spoke, where Wordhoard would do exactly what I needed in that respect.

The Rewards

            After taking Dr. Ullyot’s English 203 class as well as reading Ryan Cordell’s blog on interdisciplinarity I have come to the conclusion that there is a place in the humanities for technology, I am not saying that it will completely overtake the traditional approaches to the humanities, but that there is a place for it.  I feel that the opinion stated in Ryan Cordell’s blog that “for digital humanists to make a real incursion into the field of literary studies, we have to start presenting in non-DH panels” (  Even though not all people agree on the concept of the digital humanities, and not all of them communicate in the same way, in the words of Ryan Cordell, “we have to start actively seeking out colleagues who don’t know what we do—perhaps even those who don’t like what we do. We have to talk with colleagues who don’t tweet” (

My Experiences and Responses

I have been introduced to the digital humanities and learned about them through trial and error in Dr. Ullyot’s class.  Now that I have done that, I am far more comfortable with the digital humanities now than I was upon first hearing about them and I am far more receptive to the idea of using technology for the purpose of textual analysis.


Throughout the course of the semester, I have learned how to operate the Voyeur/Voyant program in concert with four other members of the English 203 class.  I have studied Act II with four other people who have all learned how to use different tools available through the digital humanities.  We discovered that the different tools in the digital humanities work better together than they do on their own.  When my Phase II group and I agreed that our tools worked better for them to verify their own findings rather than discover new things, I came to the conclusion that like the different tools in the humanities, maybe the two aspects of the humanities would also be able to work together in order to be much more useful and adaptable.

My Own Conclusions

My conclusions on the whole are that I accept the digital humanities as a new and improved method of testing hypotheses even though I am more comfortable with the traditional version of the humanities.  From my experience in both the traditional humanities and the digital humanities, I have come to the conclusion that both aspects of the humanities would greatly benefit from interaction with each other.

Meanings and Searches

So, I thought that I would be brilliant with this blog post and try to do something cool like look up the meaning of the word voyeur on the Oxford English Dictionary website.  In hindsight, it really wasn’t that smart, apparently voyeur doesn’t have a very flattering definition.

I knew about the existence of this less than flattering definition of voyeur before, but I really hoped that there would be a definition that was related more to viewing and less to sexual tendencies.  Seeing as there really isn’t one though, perhaps that is why the makers changed the name to Voyant, which when looked up on the Oxford English Dictionary website you get the following.

This is a name for this program that actually could have meaning, rather than making the user feel like a Peeping Tom.

Using the Voyeur/Voyant program, I have found that you really can see a lot of things about a piece of written material when utilising it, however, I find that the voyeur program is more capable of taking a qualitative analysis of a text and making it quantitative than it is capable of developing new ideas about the text.  Take for example the idea that love and madness could be related, that is a qualitative analysis of Act Two and actually one of the themes to that particular act of Hamlet.  Punching the words, Love and Mad into the word frequency tool on Voyeur, a researcher would see something like the picture below.

However, I have also discovered throughout Phase II that all of these programs do not work nearly as well on their own as they do in the company of others, particularly the WordHoard Program.  I can find out who says what, where they say it, what they say around it, and when they say it; but I cannot find out how much they say, for that I need to rely on a program like WordHoard and my counterpart in the Act Two group, Jennifer, to tell me things such as, if Polonius talks more about madness to Ophelia, the King, or Hamlet.

Knowledge and Knowing

Knowledge, in both its past and its present tense is a big topic in act two of Hamlet. Polonius is obsessed with the acquisition of knowledge about others, particularly Hamlet; on the other hand, Hamlet throughout a large portion of the play is seeking knowledge as to his uncle’s guilt relating to the death of his father, in fact his last soliloquy in act two ends with a plan that is intended towards the finding out of that same guilt. On this whole idea of knowledge and the gaining of it, the King and Queen also want to know something, what they want to know, is what exactly ails the young Hamlet.  The presence of surveillance and observation in Act II has been discussed a lot in my group and what after all is surveillance, but the gathering of information or knowledge.  Using voyeur’s Bubble Line tool I compared the words: Know, Known, and Knowledge; in doing this, I found out that the word know appears a lot more often than the other two do, it also appears in conjunction with itself in two points and in conjunction with knowledge in one point, whereas it is never in conjunction with known.  This leads me to believe that what is already known is not of the same importance as the desire to know things in Act II of Hamlet.

Above is the comparison of Know, Known and Knowledge using the Bubble Lines.

I also compared the same three words with the addition of the word, Unknown, using the word frequency chart, which in conjunction with the concordances tool on Voyeur is by far my favorite aspect of the program.  When I compared these four words I found that Known and Knowledge actually appear very close together near the beginning of the act.  I also found out the part of the act where the word Unknown is mentioned, none of the other three words that I searched for were mentioned.

Above is the Word frequency chart featuring the words: Know, Known, Unknown, and Knowledge.

From both the Bubble Line and the Word Frequency Chart, I have been able to glean that the word Know is used throughout the whole corpus of act II, showing that is definitely an important theme throughout the act and by its connection to the idea of surveillance and observation, I am fairly sure that it connects to my groups ideas regarding act II as well.

New Group, New Act

After our first meeting today, it hit home to me that although the Phase I and phase II are similar, this is not going to be the exact same as phase I.  This may seem like an obvious statement but, what I mean by it is, in phase I, we all worked on how to figure out our programs and to do so we used a very small piece of text from Hamlet.  In Phase II however, we are left to figure out a slightly larger, but still not very big, excerpt from Hamlet using the tools that we became proficient with in Phase I.  To me, this is the same assignment as before, but somehow opposite to what we did before at the same time.  In a cursory analysis of Act II, the thing that stands out the most to me is the fact that Polonius is a puffed up, arrogant, windbag.  According to Voyeur’s summary chart, Polonius has a whopping 68 different moments when he speaks, that is not counting his total lines, just moments when he speaks.  This compared to Hamlet who only speaks on 49 separate occasions in this act shows that Polonius talks a lot.

In discussing Act II with my group, we came to a few conclusions about the act together, among them were the idea that it is an act that involves a lot of Polonius’ bumbling and screwing things up, it is also an event that has a lot private moments that are made public, such as Ophelia telling Polonius about her scene with Hamlet.  There is also a lot of Surveillance and observation of other characters which lead Polonius to his fatal habit of hiding behind tapestries.  In comparing the four most commonly occurring words in Act II, which are: Lord, Good, Shall, and Say; I have noticed that all though all four of these words appear together in places, the words: Shall and Say appear together the most often and that all four of them appear together in the fourth section of act II scene 1.

I do not yet know if this will be overly helpful or if it is merely interesting, but it is what has been done so far by me in Phase II of this project.

Act II

Hey, seeing as we couldn’t get the extract text for Tapor to work out for us, here is a copy of act two that can be uploaded to Tapor or Voyeur.

Act 2, Scene 1


A room in Plns’ house.

Enter PLNS and RNLDO.


Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.


I will, my lord.


You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,

Before you visit him to make inquire

Of his behaviour.


My lord, I did intend it.


Marry, well said, very well said. Look you, sir,

Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris,

And how, and who, what means, and where they keep,

What company, at what expense, and finding

By this encompassment and drift of question

That they do know my son, come you more nearer

Than your particular demands will touch it:

Take you, as ’twere some distant knowledge of him,

As thus, ‘I know his father and his friends,

And in part him’ – do you mark this, Reynaldo?


Ay, very well, my lord.


‘And in part him,’ but you may say, ‘not well:

But, if’t be he I mean, he’s very wild,

Addicted so and so’, and there put on him

What forgeries you please. marry, none so rank

As may dishonour him – take heed of that –

But, sir, such wanton, wild and usual slips

As are companions noted and most known

To youth and liberty.


As gaming, my lord?


Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing,

Quarrelling, drabbing – you may go so far.


My lord, that would dishonour him.


‘Faith, as you may season it in the charge.

You must not put another scandal on him

That he is open to incontinency –

That’s not my meaning – but breathe his faults so


That they may seem the taints of liberty,

The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,

A savageness in unreclaimed blood

Of general assault.


But, my good lord –


Wherefore should you do this?


Ay, my lord,

I would know that.


Marry, sir, here’s my drift –

And, I believe, it is a fetch of wit –

You laying these slight sallies on my son

As ’twere a thing a little soiled with working,

Mark you, your party in converse (him you would


Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes

The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured

He closes with you in this consequence:

‘Good sir’ (or so), or ‘friend’ or ‘gentleman’,

According to the phrase or the addition

Of man and country.


Very good, my lord.


And then, sir, does ‘a this, ‘a does –

what was I about to say? By the mass, I was about to

say something! where did I leave?


At ‘closes in the consequence’.


At ‘closes in the consequence’, ay, marry.

He closes thus: ‘I know the gentleman,

I saw him yesterday, or th’ other day,

Or then, or then, with such, or such; and, as you say

There was ‘a gaming; there o’ertook in’s rouse;

There falling out at tennis’, or perchance

‘I saw him enter such a house of sale’,

Videlicet a brothel, or so forth. See you now

Your bait of falsehood take this carp of truth,

And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,

With windlasses and with assays of bias,

By indirections find directions out:

So by my former lecture and advice

Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?


My lord, I have.


God buy ye; fare ye well.


Good my lord.


Observe his inclination in yourself.


I shall, my lord.


And let him ply his music.


Well, my lord.



Exit Rnldo.

Enter OPLA.

How now, Ophelia, what’s the matter?


O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted.


With what, i’ the name of God?


My lord, as I was sewing in my closet

Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced,

No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled,

Ungartered and down-gyved to his ankle;

Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,

And with a look so piteous in purport

As if he had been loosed out of hell

To speak of horrors, he comes before me.


Mad for thy love?


My lord, I do not know,

But truly I do fear it.


What said he?


He took me by the wrist and held me hard,

Then goes he to the length of all his arm

And with his other hand thus o’er his brow

He falls to such perusal of my face

As ‘a would draw it. Long stayed he so;

At last, a little shaking of mine arm

And thrice his head thus waving up and down,

He raised a sigh so piteous and profound

As it did seem to shatter all his bulk

And end his being. That done, he lets me go

And with his head over his shoulder turned

He seemed to find his way without his eyes

(For out o’ doors he went without their helps)

And, to the last bended their light on me.


Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.

This is the very ecstasy of love,

Whose violent property fordoes itself

And leads the will to desperate undertakings

As oft as any passions under heaven

That does afflict our natures. I am sorry –

What, have you given him any hard words of late?


No, my good lord, but as you did command,

I did repel his letters and denied

His access to me.


That hath made him mad.

I am sorry that with better heed and judgement

I had not quoted him. I feared he did but trifle

And meant to wrack thee – but, beshrew my jealousy –

By heaven it is as proper to our age

To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions

As it is common for the younger sort

To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king:

This must be known which, being kept close, might


More grief to hide than hate to utter love.




Act 2, Scene 2


A room in the castle.




Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Moreover that we much did long to see you

The need we have to use you did provoke

Our hasty sending. Something have you heard

Of Hamlet’s transformation – so call it

Sith nor th’ exterior nor the inward man

Resembles that it was. What it should be

More than his father’s death, that thus hath put him

So much from th’ understanding of himself

I cannot dream of. I entreat you both

That, being of so young days brought up with him

And sith so neighboured to his youth and haviour

That you vouchsafe your rest here in our Court

Some little time, so by your companies

To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather

So much as from occasion you may glean,

Whether aught to us unknown afflicts him thus

That opened lies within our remedy.


Good gentlemen, he hath much talked of you

And sure I am two men there is not living

To whom he more adheres. If it will please you

To show us so much gentry and good will

As to expend your time with us awhile

For the supply and profit of our hope,

Your visitation shall receive such thanks

As fits a king’s remembrance.


Both your majesties

Might by the sovereign power you have of us

Put your dread pleasures more into command

Than to entreaty.


But we both obey

And here give up ourselves in the full bent

To lay our service freely at your feet

To be commanded.


Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern.


Thanks, Guildenstern, and gentle Rosencrantz.

And I beseech you instantly to visit

My too much changed son. Go, some of you

And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.


Heavens make our presence and our practices

Pleasant and helpful to him.


Ay, amen.

Exeunt Rsncrz, Gldstn, and some Attendants.

Enter Plns.


Th’ ambassadors from Norway, my good lord,

Are joyfully returned.


Thou still hast been the father of good news.


Have I, my lord? I assure my good liege

I hold my duty as I hold my soul,

Both to my God and to my gracious king;

And I do think, or else this brain of mine

Hunts not the trail of policy so sure

As it hath used to do, that I have found

The very cause of Hamlet’s lunacy.


O, speak of that, that do I long to hear.


Give first admittance to th’ ambassadors.

My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.


Thyself do grace to them and bring them in.

Exit Plns.

He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found

The head and source of all your son’s distemper.


I doubt it is no other but the main –

His father’s death and our hasty marriage.


Well, we shall sift him.

Re-enter Plns, with VLTMND and CRNLS.

Welcome, my good friends.

Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?


Most fair return of greetings and desires.

Upon our first he sent out to suppress

His nephew’s levies, which to him appeared

To be a preparation ‘gainst the Polack;

But, better looked into, he truly found

It was against your highness; whereat, grieved

That so his sickness, age and impotence

Was falsely borne in hand, sends out arrests

On Fortinbras, which he, in brief obeys,

Receives rebuke from Norway and, in fine,

Makes vow before his uncle never more

To give th’ assay of arms against your majesty.

Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,

Gives him threescore thousand crowns in annual fee

And his commission to employ those soldiers

So levied (as before) against the Polack,

With an entreaty herein further shown

Giving a paper.

That it might please you to give quiet pass

Through your dominions for this enterprise

On such regards of safety and allowance

As therein are set down.


It likes us well,

And at our more considered time we’ll read,

Answer and think upon this business;

Meantime, we thank you for your well-took labour.

Go to your rest, at night we’ll feast together:

Most welcome home.

Exeunt Vltmnd and Crnls.


This business is well ended.

My liege, and madam, to expostulate

What majesty should be, what duty is,

Why day is day, night night, and time is time,

Were nothing but to waste night, day and time;

Therefore, brevity is the soul of wit

And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes.

I will be brief: your noble son is mad.

Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,

What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?

But let that go.


More matter with less art.


Madam, I swear I use no art at all.

That he’s mad, ’tis true: ’tis true ’tis pity;

And pity ’tis ’tis true: a foolish figure!

But farewell it, for I will use no art.

Mad let us grant him then, and now remains

That we find out the cause of this effect –

Or rather say the cause of this defect,

For this effect defective comes by cause.

Thus it remains, and the remainder thus.  Perpend,

I have a daughter — have while she is mine –

Who in her duty and obedience, mark,

Hath given me this. Now gather, and surmise.


To the celestial and my soul’s idol, the most

Beautified Ophelia — That’s an ill phrase, a

Vile phrase, ‘beautified’ is a vile phrase, but

You shall hear – thus in

Her excellent white bosom, these, etc.


Came this from Hamlet to her?


Good madam, stay awhile; I will be faithful.


Doubt thou the stars are fire,

Doubt that the sun doth move,

Doubt truth to be a liar,

But never doubt I love.

O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers. I have not art

to reckon my groans, but that I love thee best, O most best,

believe it. Adieu. Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst

this machine is to him. Hamlet.

This, in obedience, hath my daughter shown me;

And more about hath his solicitings

As they fell out, by time, by means and place,

All given to mine ear.


But how hath she

Received his love?


What do you think of me?


As of a man faithful and honourable.


I would fain prove so. But what might you think

When I had seen this hot love on the wing –

As I perceived it (I must tell you that)

Before my daughter told me — what might you,

Or my dear majesty your queen here, think

If I had played the desk or table-book,

Or given my heart a working mute and dumb,

Or looked upon this love with idle sight,

What might you think? No, I went round to work

And my young mistress thus I did bespeak:

‘Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy star.

This must not be.’ and then I prescripts gave her

That she should lock herself from his resort,

Admit no messengers, receive no tokens;

Which done, she took the fruits of my advice,

And he, repelled, a short tale to make,

Fell into a sadness, then into a fast,

Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness

Thence to a lightness, and by this declension

Into the madness wherein now he raves,

And all we mourn for.


Do you think this?


It may be, very like.


Hath there been such a time – I would fain know that –

That I have positively said ‘Tis so

When it proved otherwise?


Not that I know.


Pointing to his head and shoulders

Take this from this if this be otherwise.

If circumstances lead me I will find

Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed

Within the centre.


How may we try it further?


You know, sometimes he walks four hours together

Here in the lobby?


So he does, indeed.


At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him.

Be you and I behind an arras then,

Mark the encounter: if he love her not

And be not from his reason fallen thereon

Let me be no assistant for a state,

But keep a farm and carters.


We will try it.


But look where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.


Away, I do beseech you both, away.

I’ll board him presently.  O, give me leave.

Exeunt King, Queen, and Attendants.

Enter HMLT, reading.

How does my good Lord Hamlet?


Well, God-a-mercy.


Do you know me, my lord?


Excellent well, you are a fishmonger.


Not I, my lord.


Then I would you were so honest a man.


Honest, my lord?


Ay, sir, to be honest as this world goes is to be

one man picked out of ten thousand.


That’s very true, my lord.


For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog,

being a good kissing carrion – have you a daughter?


I have, my lord.


Let her not walk i’ th’ sun: conception is a

blessing but as your daughter may conceive, Friend –

look to’t.



How say you by that? Still harping on

my daughter. Yet he knew me not at first, ‘a said I was a

fishmonger! ‘a is far gone; and truly in my youth I

suffered much extremity for love, very near this.

I’ll speak to him again. What do you read, my lord?


Words, words, words.


What is the matter, my lord?


Between who?


I mean the matter that you read, my lord.


Slanders, sir. For the satirical rogue says here

that old men have grey beards, that their faces are

wrinkled, their eyes purging thick amber and plumtree

gum and that they have a plentiful lack of wit together

with most weak hams – all which, sir, though I most

powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not

honesty to have it thus set down. For yourself, sir, shall

grow old as I am – if like a crab you could go




Though this be madness, yet there is

method in’t. – Will you walk out of the air, my lord?


Into my grave.



Indeed, that’s out of the air. How

pregnant sometimes his replies are – a happiness that

often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could

not so prosperously be delivered of. I will leave him and

my daughter. – My lord, I will take my leave of you.


You cannot take from me anything that I will

not more willingly part withal – except my life, except

my life, except my life.


Fare you well, my lord.


These tedious old fools.



You go to seek the Lord Hamlet? there he is.

Rsncrz [To Plns]

God save you, sir!

Exit Plns.


My honoured lord.


My most dear lord.


My excellent good friends. How dost thou,

Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do

You both?


As the indifferent children of the earth.


Happy, in that we are not ever happy.

On fortune’s cap we are not the very button.


Nor the soles of her shoe?


Neither, my lord.


Then you live about her waist, or in the middle

of her favours?


‘Faith, her privates we.


In the secret parts of fortune? O, most true –

she is a strumpet. What news?


None, my lord, but the world’s grown



Then is doomsday near – but your news is not

true. But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make

you at Elsinore?


To visit you, my lord, no other occasion.


Beggar that I am, I am ever poor in thanks, but

I thank you, and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too

dear a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own

inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come, come, deal justly

with me. come, come. nay speak.


What should we say, my lord?


Anything, but to th’ purpose. You were sent for,

and there is a kind of confession in your looks, which

your modesties have not craft enough to colour. I know

the good king and queen have sent for you.


To what end, my lord?


That you must teach me. But let me conjure

you, by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy

of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved

love, and by what more dear a better proposer can

charge you withal, be even and direct with me whether

you were sent for or no.


What say you?


Nay then, I have an eye of you. If you love me,

Hold not off.


My lord, we were sent for.


I will tell you why. so shall my anticipation

prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the King

and Queen moult no feather. I have of late, but

wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all

custom of exercises and, indeed, it goes so heavily with

my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth seems

to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy

the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament,

this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why it

appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent

congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man

– how noble in reason; how infinite in faculties, in form

and moving; how express and admirable in action;

how like an angel in apprehension; how like a god; the

beauty of the world; the paragon of animals. And yet to

me what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights

not me – nor women neither, though by your smiling you

seem to say so.


My lord, there was no such stuff in my



Why did ye laugh then, when I said man

delights not me?


To think, my lord, if you delight not in

Man what lenten entertainment the players shall recieve

from you; we coted them on the way and hither are they

coming to offer you service.


He that plays the King shall be welcome – his

majesty shall have tribute on me – the Adventurous

Knight shall use his foil and target, the lover shall not

sigh gratis, the humorous man shall end his part in

peace, and the lady shall say her mind freely or the

blank verse shall halt for’t. What players are they?


Even those you were wont to take such

delight in, the tragedians of the city.


How chances it they travel? Their residence,

both in reputation and profit, was better both ways.


I think their inhibition comes by the

means of the late innovation.


Do they hold the same estimation they did

when I was in the city? Are they so followed?


No, indeed are they not.


It is not very strange, for my uncle is King of

Denmark, and those that would make mouths at him

while my father lived give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred

ducats a-piece for his picture in little. ‘Sblood, there is

something in this more than natural if philosophy

could find it out.

Flourish of trumpets within.


There are the players.


Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your

hands, come, then! Th’ appurtenance of welcome is

fashion and ceremony. Let me comply with you in this

garb lest my extent to the players, which I tell you

must show fairly outwards, should more appear like

entertainment than yours. You are welcome. But my

uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived.


In what, my dear lord?


I am but mad north-north-west. When the

wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.

Re-enter PLNS.


Well be with you, gentlemen.


Hark you, Guildenstern, and you too – at each

Ear a hearer. That great baby you see there is not yet out

of his swaddling clouts.


Happily he is the second time come to

them, for they say an old man is twice a child.


I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the

Players. Mark it. – You say right, sir, o’ Monday

Morning, ’twas then indeed.


My lord, I have news to tell you.


My lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius

was an actor in Rome –


The actors are come hither, my lord.


Buzz, buzz.


Upon my honour,


– Then came each actor on his ass.


The best actors in the world, either for

tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical,

historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem

unlimited. Seneca cannot be too heavy nor Plautus too

light for the law of writ and the liberty. These are the

only men.


O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst



What a treasure had he, my lord?



One fair daughter and no more,

The which he loved passing well.



Still on my daughter.


Am I not i’ th’ right, old Jephthah?


If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a

daughter that I love passing well.


Nay, that follows not.


What follows then, my lord?



As by lot,

God wot,

and then, you know,

“It came to pass,

as most like it was.

The first row of the pious chanson will show you more,

for look where my abridgement comes.

Enter four or five Players.

You are welcome, masters, welcome all. I am glad to see

thee well. Welcome, good friends. O old friend, why

thy face is valanced since I saw thee last! Com’st thou to

beard me in Denmark? What, my young lady and

mistress! By’r lady, your ladyship is nearer to heaven

than when I saw you last by the altitude of a chopine.

Pray God your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be

not cracked within the ring. Masters, you are all

welcome. We’ll e’en to’t like French falconers – fly at

anything we see. We’ll have a speech straight. Come,

give us a taste of your quality. Come, a passionate


First Player

What speech, my good lord?


I heard thee speak me a speech once – but it was

never acted,or, if it was, not above once,for the play I

remember pleased not the million, ‘twas caviare to the

general. But it was, as I received it, and others whose

judgements in such matters cried in the top of mine, an

excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set down

with as much modesty as cunning. I remember, one said

there were no sallets in the lines to make the matter

savoury nor no matter in the phrase that might indict

the author of affection, but called it an honest method,

as wholesome as sweet, and by very much more

handsome than fine. One speech in’t I chiefly loved –

‘t was Aeneas’ talk to Dido, and thereabout of it

especially when he speaks of Priam’s slaughter. If it live

in your memory begin at this line – let me see, let me

see –

The rugged Pyrrhus like th’ Hyrcanian beast …

– ‘Tis not so. It begins with Pyrrhus.

The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms,

Black as his purpose, did the night resemble

When he lay couched in th’ ominous horse,

Hath now this dread and black complexion smeared

With heraldry more dismal, head to foot.

Now is he total gules, horridly tricked

With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,

Baked and impasted with the parching streets

That lend a tyrannous and a damned light

To their lord’s murder; roasted in wrath and fire,

And thus o’ersized with coagulate gore,

With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus

Old grandsire Priam seeks.

So, proceed you.


‘Fore God, my lord, well spoken – with good

accent and good discretion.

First Player

Anon he finds him,

Striking too short at Greeks. His antique sword,

Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls,

Repugnant to command. Unequal matched,

Pyrrhus at Priam drives, in rage strikes wide,

But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword

Th’ unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium

Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top

Stoops to his base, and with a hideous crash

Takes prisoner Pyrrhus’ ear. For lo, his sword

Which was declining on the milky head

Of reverend Priam seemed i’ the air to stick.

So, as a painted tyrant Pyrrhus stood

And like a neutral to his will and matter,

Did nothing.

But as we often see against some storm

A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still,

The bold winds speechless and the orb below

As hush as death, anon the dreadful thunder

Doth rend the region, so after Pyrrhus’ pause

A roused vengeance sets him new a-work

And never did the Cyclops’ hammers fall

On Mars’s armour, forged for proof eterne,

With less remorse than Pyrrhus’ bleeding sword

Now falls on Priam.

Out, out, thou strumpet Fortune! All you gods

In general synod take away her power,

Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel

And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven

As low as to the fiends.


This is too long.


It shall to the barber’s, with your beard. Prithee,

say on – he’s for a jig, or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps

say on, come to Hecuba.

First Player

But who – ah woe – had seen the mobled queen –


‘The mobled queen’!


That’s good.

First Player

– Run barefoot up and down, threatening the flames

With bisson rheum, a clout upon that head

Where late the diadem stood and, for a robe,

About her lank and all – o’erteemed loins,

A blanket in the alarm of fear caught up.

Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steeped,

‘Gainst Fortune’s state would treason have pronounced.

But if the gods themselves did see her then,

When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport

In mincing with his sword her husband limbs,

The instant burst of clamour that she made

(Unless things mortal move them not at all)

Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven

And passion in the gods.


Look where he has not turned his colour and

Has tears in’s eyes. – Prithee, no more!


‘Tis well. I’ll have thee speak out the rest of this

soon. [to Plns] Good my lord, will you see the

players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well

used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of

the time: after your death you were better have a bad

epitaph than their ill report while you live.


My lord, I will use them according to their



God’s bodkin, man, much better! Use every

Man after his desert, and who shall scape whipping? Use

them after your own honour and dignity – the less they

deserve the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in.


Come, sirs.


Follow him, friends. We’ll hear a play


Exit Plns with all the Players but the First.

Dost thou hear me, old

Friend? Can you play The Murder of Gonzago?

First Player

Ay, my lord.


We’ll ha’t to-morrow night. You could for need,

study a speech of some dozen lines, or sixteen lines,

which I would set down and insert in’t, could you not?

First Player

Ay, my lord.


Very well. Follow that lord – and look you mock

him not.

Exit First Player.

My good friends, I’ll leave

you till night. You are welcome to Elsinore.


Good my lord.


Ay so, God buy to you.

Exeunt Rsncrz and Gldstn.

Now I am alone.

O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!

Is it not monstrous that this player here,

But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,

Could force his soul so to his own conceit

That from her working all the visage wanned

– Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect,

A broken voice, and his whole function suiting

With forms to his conceit – and all for nothing –

For Hecuba?

What’s Hecuba to him, or he to her,

That he should weep for her? What would he do

Had he the motive and that for passion

That I have? He would drown the stage with tears

And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,

Make mad the guilty and appall the free,

Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed

The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,

A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,

Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,

And can say nothing. No, not for a king

Upon whose property and most dear life

A damned defeat was made. Am I a coward?

Who calls me villain, breaks my pate across,

Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face,

Tweaks me by the nose, gives me the lie i’ th’ throat

As deep as to the lungs? Who does me this,

Ha? ‘Swounds, I should take it. For it cannot be

But I am pigeon-livered and lack gall

To make oppression bitter, or ere this

I should ha’ fatted all the region kites

With this slave’s offal – bloody, bawdy villain,

Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain.

Why, what an ass am I: This is most brave,

That I, the son of a dear murdered,

Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,

Must like a whore unpack my heart with words

And fall a-cursing like a very drab,

A stallion! Fie upon’t, foh! About, my brains!

Hum, I have heard

That guilty creatures sitting at a play

Have by the very cunning of the scene

Been struck so to the soul that presently

They have proclaimed their malefactions.

For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak

With most miraculous organ. I’ll have these players

Play something like the murder of my father

Before mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks;

I’ll tent him to the quick. If ‘a do blench

I know my course. The spirit that I have seen

May be a de’il, and the de’il hath power

T’ assume a pleasing shape. Yea, and perhaps

Out of my weakness and my melancholy,

As he is very potent with such spirits,

Abuses me to damn me! I’ll have grounds

More relative than this. The play’s the thing

Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.


What Could Be Better Than This?

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I am not very technologically savvy, and because of that, I was very unsure about the use of technology in literary analysis.  For the first phase of our group projects, I managed to make what could be considered a terrible blunder by not attending the tutorial for voyeur, which happened to be the tool I am working with now.  Over the course of the last few weeks, I have discovered that Voyeur is an extremely user friendly tool that is very adaptable to the person using it.  I have discovered all that I have about voyeur with the help of my teammates, and simply by playing with the program and testing its boundaries.  The most common issue with voyeur amongst the people working on it is the redundancy of the tools in it.  Yes you have things like the word cloud called Cirrus and the bubble words which are basically the same thing except that Cirrus is much more visually appealing.  There are other similar examples of tools in Voyeur that are fundamentally similar, yet different, like the word knot and the word frequency chart, yes the Knot is more appealing visually, but the frequency chart is just easier to read for me personally.  The examples that I have just given may seem redundant, but they really are not, they are basically the same tool that has been altered so that it applies to different people and their respectively different ways of acquiring information.  However, I must agree with all of my colleagues regarding things such as the Lava tool or the Term Fountain.  I believe the sentiment was made in one of the comments on Ruby’s post that they look kind of like a piece of impressionist art.  It really is a valid idea that the makers of voyeur have attempted to put so much effort into visual learning that they have strayed beyond visual learning and into the field of art with something like this:

It actually makes little sense to me; there is no explanation of what the little bouncing dots mean, there is also no way to input parameters apparent to me unless you were to input a very precise file into the search box at the very beginning.  All in all, Voyeur is easily my favorite of all the programs with its simple interface right when you begin to use it; it has a very wide open site that is welcoming and pleasant right when you start.

I would have to agree with Dr. Ullyot’s sentiment that is kind of like Google, a simple search and go site right at the beginning.

From this point onwards, all a person has to do is enter a file in for them to search, and you instantly have several tools to analyze it right at your fingertips. What could be better than that?

Starting Out With Voyeur

I came into this class with little to no knowledge about the use of digital tools to analyze texts.  To be honest, upon hearing about the use of digital tools in the humanities, I was a little bit skeptical of the idea because I was rather unsure of my ability to understand these tools and my ability to use them.  In using the Voyeur/Voyant tool, I have discovered that it is very user friendly.  For someone such as myself who has difficulty understanding many things on the internet, Voyeur is a surprisingly easy and user friendly tool.

By experimenting and basically just playing with the tool to discover what it can and cannot do, I have found Voyeur to be a tool with many facets, there are a number of different tools that can be used in voyeur for the purpose of passage analysis.  Items such as the word frequency chart, and the knot tool among others are there for people who possess a more visually oriented learning style; on that not however, Voyeur is not limited to people who are visually oriented, it also has tools such as term frequencies for both corpus and documents, as well as document KWICs (Key Words In Context).

Above are examples of Voyeur’s capacities for both visual analysis and written analysis of a text, in this case I was using both of these tools to compare Hamlet and Gertrude’s reference to his father.  The top tool seen is the KWIC tool and it is showing the words surrounding the word father, showing the context around the word, and allowing for a quick and easy analysis by a person.  The bottom tool shown is the Word Knot and it is showing where the words, Thy, My and Father overlap.  The Word Knot is a useful tool, but overall, my group has found the frequency chart to do much the same thing and is also easier to grasp.  Due to the work done so far in phase 1, I have gone from being quite skeptical about the idea of digital analysis, to being willing to try it and finding that it is both useful and enjoyable.