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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: January ::
Re: Line Length List
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0031.  Friday, 10 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Don Rowan <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Jan 1997 14:13:07 GMT-400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0028  Q: Line Length List

(2)     From:   Phyllis Rackin <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Jan 1997 14:19:51 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0028  Q: Line Length List

(3)     From:   Rick Jones <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Jan 1997 15:47:31 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0028 Q: Line Length List

(4)     From:   Christine Jacobson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Jan 1997 16:30:32 -0700
        Subj:   Jan.9, 1997 posting - Character Lines List

(5)     From:   David J. Kathman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Jan 1997 22:28:58 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0028  Q: Line Length List

(6)     From:   John Velz <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 Jan 1997 01:26:26 +0200
        Subj:   Length of Roles


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Rowan <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Jan 1997 14:13:07 GMT-400
Subject: 8.0028  Q: Line Length List
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0028  Q: Line Length List

Page 31 of the Complete Pelican Shakespeare (1969) should give you a start.
Happy New Year! Don Rowan

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Phyllis Rackin <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Jan 1997 14:19:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0028  Q: Line Length List
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0028  Q: Line Length List

There are probably a number of places to look, but one that I've used is
Spevack, M. *A Complete and Systematic  Concordance to the Works of
Shakespeare*. Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1968.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rick Jones <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Jan 1997 15:47:31 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.0028 Q: Line Length List
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0028 Q: Line Length List

Chris Stroffolino asks about who has the most lines in Shakespeare.  One
problem, of course, is that no two counts will agree: someone will use Folio,
someone else Quarto.  And various folks will have various opinions about how to
count prose lines vs. verse lines.

That said, there is a "comparative analysis" in my old Pelican Shakespeare
which lists the three largest roles in each play, with a line count for those
over 500 lines.  I have no idea by what means whoever created the list did so.
In any case, by their count, those over 500 lines include:

Hamlet                  1422
Richard III             1124
Iago (Oth)              1097
Henry V                 1025
Othello                  860
Vincentio (MM)           820
Coriolanus               809
Timon of Athens          795
Antony (AC)              766
Richard II               753
Brutus (JC)              701
King Lear                697
Titus Andronicus         687
Macbeth                  681
Rosalind (AYLI)          668
Leontes (WT)             648
Cleopatra (AC)           622
Prospero (Temp)          603
Falstaff (2H4)           593
Pericles (PPT)           592
Berowne (LLL)            591
Romeo                    591
Falstaff (1H4)           585
Portia (MV)              565
Petruchio (TS)           549
Hotspur (1H4)            545
Claudius (Ham)           540
Hal (1H4)                535
Imogen (Cym)             522
Faulconbridge (KJ)       520
Juliet                   509

Of course, these divisions are by individual play, not total.  Hal and Falstaff
would probably have the most lines if we were to look at the entire corpus at
once.

Rick Jones

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Jacobson <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Jan 1997 16:30:32 -0700
Subject:        Jan.9, 1997 posting - Character Lines List

Try Penguin Classics "The Complete Shakespeare" or McDonald's "The Bedford
Companion To Shakespere".  There is a chart included in these text books
indicating number of prose lines vs. rhyming verse and iambic verse Shakespeare
usually uses.  Pardon my terminology here, I'm a little foggy today and I don't
have the text with me.  Also included in the chart is a listing of the two
char- acters in each play with the most lines and the number of lines they
have. Salut!

Christine Jacobson.

(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David J. Kathman <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Jan 1997 22:28:58 +0100
Subject: 8.0028  Q: Line Length List
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0028  Q: Line Length List

Chris Stroffolino asked:

>One of the things I hear alluded to a lot, but that I've never been able to
>find in my years of interest in Shakespeare studies is the existence of a list
>of which characters have the most lines. For instance, I was told that the top
>three characters are Hamlet, Richard III, and Iago (tho maybe not in that
>order) and that Rosalind has the most lines of any female role--more than
>Cleopatra but less than Lear...but little else.
>
>Does anybody know of the whereabouts of such a list if one exists.

The Spevack Concordance gives the number of lines spoken by each character
(based on the Riverside edition), and I believe he even breaks it down into
verse vs. prose lines.  This info is given for each play, but I don't remember
if there's a master list for all the plays taken together. Anyway, that's where
I would look first.

Dave Kathman

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(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Jan 1997 01:26:26 +0200
Subject:        Length of Roles

A convenient place to see the longer roles in Shakespeare tabulated is in the
Pelican Shakespeare frontmatter, 1969.  I think other editions have similar
tables.  Pelican gives all characters who have more than 500 lines. It turns
out that Portia has more than 500, more than 1/5 of the lines in *Merchant of
Venice*.  It is "her" play, not Shylock's, or even Antonio's. I remember once
being offered the role of Duke Vincentio in *Measure for Measure* and turning
it down after looking in the table in Pelican and seeing that it was (if memory
serves--my Pelican is otherwhere at the moment) more than 800 lines, the fifth
or sixth longest role in Shak.  I was teaching three Shakespeare courses at the
time and had a couple of dissertations cooking.  I had to step (way) down to
play Escalus, who does not get mentioned in these tables, but who was fun to
play.  The Duke has more lines than you would think likely for a character who
is "out of town."

Best wishes, Chris,

John Velz
 

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