Monday, September 20, 2010

Soliloquies in 'Hamlet' - a Wordle slideshow.

A handy way of looking at language in any play by Shakespeare is via Wordle (click here for our series of all the plays via this word-count app). The more often the word is used, the larger it appears in the Wordle. By applying Wordle to the vital soliloquies in Hamlet, we can see easily which ideas are most important. Below is a slideshow of 7 such images (or click here to go directly to the slideshow).

The easiest way to look at it would be by clicking the 'full screen' icon just to the left of 'Share' at the bottom. However, if you click on the slideshow link itself you can go on to hear several famous actors give the speeches by clicking on the 'hot-spots' in slides 2 to 6 (YouTube videos open in separate windows; if you are accessing on a smartphone without Flash via the QR code to the right, click on the actors names below instead).

Wordle slides in order:-
  1. The entire play, including names of characters speaking (not surprising which character dominates, considering he says more than any other in all Shakespeare's plays, but notice 'Lord' - this is a very deferential society...)
  2. Hamlet's first soliloquy, 'O that this too too solid flesh'. Actor - Kenneth Branagh.
  3. Hamlet's second soliloquy, 'O what a rogue and peasant slave am I'. Actor - Richard Burton.
  4. Hamlet's third soliloquy, 'To be or not to be'. Actor - David Tennant.
  5. Claudius's soliloquy, 'O my offence is rank'. Actor - Patrick Stewart.
  6. Hamlet's fourth soliloquy, 'How all occasions do inform against me'. Actor - Kenneth Branagh.
  7. All Hamlet's main 4 soliloquies put together.

No comments: