As my initial process with Voyeur comes to a close (or rather a newÂ beginning) I can now securely say that I have entered into the world of digital humanities and embraced a new way of analyzing text. Â Referring back to Katy’s first blog post of the traditional “cookie-cutter” method of analyzing text (go to Katy’s blog post here:\”Momentary Panic and Gradual Acceptance\”), I felt a little uneasy venturing into this unknown world of digital humanities. Â I had no faith in my computer skills or how any of these tools would help me analyze text. Â Now looking back, I have realized that suffering the long and tedious process of going through a text with only a pen or pencil in hand, is not the only option! Â I find it ridiculous that I actually thought that the traditional method was easier. It was only easier, in my mind, because it was all that I knew. Â I tested the water of digital humanities first with Wordhoard and was intrigued that I now possessed a single program on my computer that would instantly take me to any Skakespearean play I needed.
Don’t need to carry you around anymore! Ha Ha! :
But, I never took the time to make new discoveries about WordHoard and found it visually unappealing. Â I gave up just as easily with the other tools; I assumed they would be just as uninteresting – and of lesser use. Â Surprisingly, I ended up with Voyeur as my tool, which I knew least about. Â Like I said in my previous blog post (check out my first blog post here!: “Initial Responses to Voyeur“), I thought it was only a bubbleline chart. Â Yet now I was forced to look at this tool, figure out its purpose, and find a way to use Voyeur to help me discover new things about Hamlet. Â And it wasn’t easy – until I let it be that is. Â Once you find the right browser (avoid using Chrome and Safari – for Mac users) and get over the glitches of Java (as Nicole, my fellow group member will tell you, “it’s not your fault, it’s Java’s”) Voyeur has become one of the most useful online tools I have ever come across.
One of the major discoveries that I came across with Voyeur was that I realized it will take me to direct themes within the play. Â My favourite tools became the Word Cloud, Word Trends frequency chart, and the Words in the Entire Corpus tool:
I began to correlate these three tools into finding different themes within Hamlet and how the terms were related according to how many times they occurred together or apart and so on. Â When I was fiddling around with the program, I was inspired by Katy’s idea of taking a modified version of 3.4 and uploading it onto Voyeur. Â I decided to go onto Sparknotes and then proceeded to create a copied and pasted document of 3.4 in the modern text version (check out No Fear ShakespeareÂ for Hamlet). Â I then compared the major terms in both versions, and also uploaded both at the same time and compared the two. Â I am still looking deeper into this but what I have concluded so far is that the concept of “good” versus “evil” is a more evident theme in the modern text including the words “virtue”, “heaven”, and “devil”.
When you notice the repetition among certain terms and how they interlace you can then start asking deeper questions like I did by comparing the original and modern texts. Â TAPoR is another tool that isÂ similarÂ to Voyeur where there is a word count (and other things I don’t know about yet until the group presentations!) but without the visual components. Â For me, as a visual learner, the visual components are what make Voyeur special and interesting to play around with. Â However, there are definitely some tools on Voyeur that areÂ unnecessary. Â If you didn’t see my previous post called “Are these necessary?” (check it out here!: “Are these necessary?“), I will explain – some of the tools are quiteÂ repetitiveÂ and appear almost “complicated” because Voyeur already has other tools that do the same thing in a more clear manner. For example, these tools (Word Fountain, Lava, and Knots):
all seem hard to read and understand. Â Some of the comments I received on my previous post about these tools said they are visually appealing (maybe) but agreed that they are hard to understand. Â So why have them? Â Perhaps I should keep an open mind but so far I don’t see their significance! Â As a group, we Voyeurans (can that be a word now?) found little use for not only the above tools I just mentioned but also some other visually confusing and also repetitive tools on Voyeur. Â There is always room for improvement when it comes to technology.