Introducing “Social Identity In Early Modern Print: Shakespeare, Drama (1514-1662) and EEBO-TCP Phase I”

Today I am enormously pleased to introduce my PhD thesis, entitled “Social Identity In Early Modern Print: Shakespeare, Drama (1514-1662), and EEBO-TCP Phase I”. It investigates how Shakespeare’s use of terms marking for social identity compares to his dramatist contemporaries and in Early Modern print more generally using the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary and the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership Phase I corpus.

Here are some facts about it: It ended up being 267 pages long; without the bibliography/front matter/appendices it’s 51,399 words long, which is about the length of 2 ⅓ Early Modern plays. There are 5 chapters and 3 appendices. It’s dedicated to Lisa Jardine, whose 1989 book Still Harping on Daughters: Women and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare changed my life, getting me interested in social identity in the Early Modern period in the first place. I am so grateful for Jonathan Hope and Nigel Fabb’s guidance. My examination is scheduled to be within the next two months, which is relatively soon. I’m excited to have it out in the world.

In lieu of an abstract I have topic modelled most of the content chapters for you (I had to take out tables and graphs, and some non-alphanumeric characters; I’m sure you will forgive me). For the unfamiliar, topic modelling looks for weighted lexical co-occurance in text. You can read more about it at this link.

A note on abbreviations: The SSC (“Standardized Spelling WordHoard Early Modern Drama corpus, 1514-1662”, Martin Mueller, ed. 2010) is a subcorpus of Early Modern drama from EEBO-TCP phase I which use to set up comparisons between Shakespeare and his dramatist contemporaries. It generally serves as a prototype for Mueller’s later Shakespeare his Contemporaries corpus (2015). EEBOTCP is Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership phase I and HTOED is the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary. Wordhoard is a complete set of Shakespeare’s plays, deeply tagged for quantitative analysis.

1. play act suggests titus scene time bigram tragic iv strategy naming change setting hamlet shift iii downfall beginning serves construction established lack direct tamora revenge hero moment modes cleopatra andronicus
2. forms similar considered general categories surrounding directly position multiple common found listed contexts illustrates examples plays contrast concept variant sample kinds small included covering past perceived suggested thinking variety investigated
3. concordance search query view plot title instance queen lines cqpweb plots image string process line antconc average regular aggregated queries images normalized imagemagick size page length produce expressions bible adjacent
4. gentry status figures table models classes social high members nevalainen raumolin upper archer brunberg model nobility part identifying explicitly servants references presented clergy commoner account commoners noble nobles system ranking
5. england make acts paul writing true thou evidence back primary conversion festus thee threat noble art long sermon doctor christianity madde effect john audience speak verse church apostles truth argument
6. man lady generally native understood men latinate positive good beauteous virtuous character contrast register night proper adjectives poor takes lost love stylistic day raising formal gentle sweet honourable qualities dream
7. social class vocatives status titles specific marking vocative comedies identify tragedies histories indicative feature busse absence broadly pattern courteous moments middle start markers visualisation names individuals world finish amount presence
8. characters plays character title necessarily number total play mistress high roles list speaking rank comedy considered minor remains duke romeo ephesus syracuse juliet marriage analysis attendants lords measure merchant taming
9. social historical study literary language identity linguistic features studies culture evidence primarily feminist sociolinguistic criticism thesis claims community cultural approach methods scholars personal identify research previously renaissance understand central jardine
10. part discuss question bedlam stage represent order shown socially shakespearean describe honest invoking earlier ford duchess run discussion instability neely husband alongside ridge acting issues bellamont put accounts considers whore
11. woman collocates lady register knave nouns lower wench man terms unique term binary negative low lord high status variation show describe gendered collocate lexical semantic higher describes formality individuals noun
12. individual lord ways include reference sir politeness set result king henry applied strategies referenced parts address othello court philaster semantically marker due master wife introduce kind cardinal correlation question structures
13. female male characters gender women means dialogue patterns feminine find fewer marked idea role objects masculine grammatical race dependent skewed understood heavily ambiguous distinctions body rackin finally century negation interest
14. shows figure compared million authors instances unlike difference clear difficult contemporary specifically previous usage frequency comparatively ssc picture rest consistently shakespeare begin strong scenes times john place possibility england thomas
15. shakespeare plays show contemporaries larger chapter variation compare history dramatists relationship dramatist genre attention observe writing compares style divide edited internal exceptional assigned studied cover challenge correlate finding worthy lear
16. mad sanity actions phrase claim religious reason threatening face gram suggest establish dangerous prove suggesting potentially claims orleans biting attempts state explored evidence accusations grams justify corvino recurring circumstances accused
17. corpus corpora section ssc spelling included including making full range data meaning genres author frequently identify drama represents wider investigation comparisons nature side discussions observe metadata wide separate dialogues smaller
18. present hand http made oed malvolio works project head makes ii complete issue end fool ability thesaurus www requires illustrate kay dictionary org gutenberg hope oxford referencing initially house uk
19. early modern tcp eebo drama english phase period print online books creation widely playwrights partnership focus limited handful short jonson pronouns catalogue publication diachronic selected initiative recently years markedly norm
20. words examples frequent function highly word potential table left phrases node analysis ranked span pronoun content unclear multi lexical keyword context sense luna verbs collocate count finds unit highlights large
21. dramatic structure narrative action characterization model outlined freytag shakespearean visible work understanding point argues schmidt end tragedy jockers genre introduced constructions construct plausible description sudden suggest neuberg fiske climax reasons
22. texts text information based digital lists wordhoard personae dramatis mueller editions printed view folger selection designed source finally print includes burns ultimately discussing machine nameless edition readable time critical provided
23. madness terms mental htoed synonyms relevant illness form crazy melancholy historically health person related synonymous brained symptoms insanity scientific physical medical dement linked term relating semantic crazed variations definition discussed
24. test lemma collocates probability results likelihood collocational information analysis log dice lemmata top specific tests coefficient collocation based squared method frequency mutual relationships conditional chi appears phi produce methods wordhoard
25. form texts speaker culpeper discourse speech world context category spoken constructed kyt hearer addressee al biber analyses interaction writing written lutzky interactions fictional imaginary relevant circumstances addition person people real