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Home :: Archive :: 1992 :: December ::
Shakespeare as Himself (Con't)
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 370. Friday, 11 December 1992.
 
(1)     From:   John T. Aney <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Dec 92 11:05:27 EST
        Subj:   RE: SHK 3.0367  More Rs: Shakespeare as Himself
 
(2)     From:   William Proctor Williams <TB0WPW1@NIU.BITNET>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Dec 92 18:40 CST
        Subj:   Himself
 
(1)---------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John T. Aney <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 11 Dec 92 11:05:27 EST
Subject: 3.0367  More Rs: Shakespeare as Himself
Comment:        RE: SHK 3.0367  More Rs: Shakespeare as Himself
 
Anyone else interested in this question of "Shakespeare as Himself" should
check out the October 1991 issue of The Atlantic.  In the midst of a detailed
debate on the authorship question of Shakespeare's work, there is an article
about computer analysis of Shakespeare's "voiceprint", i.e. using the computer
to try and determine a "statistical fingerprint" that is unique, they say, to
every author, and apply this print of Shakespeare's work various theories about
the Bard.  By determining this voiceprint, and comparing it against the
voiceprints of the most oft-mentioned pretenders to the Bard's throne (Bacon,
Marlowe & Sir Edward Dryer) the analyzers (a political science professor and a
computer programmer at Clarence McKenna College) determined that there were no
matches...Shakespeare's voiceprint was different from any of theirs.  However,
to throw a digital monkey-wrench into the works, they also discovered
Shakespeare's voiceprint closely matched that of Queen Elizabeth...
 
Back to the "Shakespeare as Himself" topic...the article also mentioned work
done by Donald Foster, professor of English at Vassar.  Foster posits that by
analyzing WHEN Shakespeare uses certain words rarely, and how, statistically,
these rare words show up.  What he discovered, is that when these rare words
show up in two plays which are seperated chronologically, the later play will
have these words equally distributed among characters, and, in the earlier
play, the words would be focussed primarily on one role.  The hypothesis is,
that these roles which had the rare words in them were the roles Shakespeare
himself was playing, since"the words that Shakespeare the writer had at the tip
of his pen were the ones he had been reciting as Shakespeare the actor."
 
This analysis is actually backed up by the evidence we have that tells us what
roles he plays, i.e. the Ghost in _Hamlet_ and Adam in _AYLI_.
 
Anyway, even though this winded message is really about some interesting
statistical analyses being done on Shakespeare, and gives us some idea of
Shakespeare THE ACTOR, and doesn't have anything to do with trying to find out
when Shakespeare himself is making statements to his audience, its still worth
checking into, if any of you have not yet.
 
Whew.
 
jta

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(2)---------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Proctor Williams <TB0WPW1@NIU.BITNET>
Date:           Friday, 11 Dec 92 18:40 CST
Subject:        Himself
 
I think Timmie may be, in part, right.  But the personae in +Hamlet+ is a
little too complex for such a reading.
 
William Proctor Williams                  TB0WPW1@NIU
 

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