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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: January ::
Re: Line Length List
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0036.  Saturday, 11 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Tom Clayton <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 Jan 1997 08:51:48
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.0031  Re: Line Length List

(2)     From:   Jeff Myers <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 Jan 1997 14:19:45 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0031  Re: Line Length List

(3)     From:   C. David Frankel <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 Jan 1997 12:16:22 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0031  Re: Line Length List


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Clayton <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Jan 1997 08:51:48
Subject: 8.0031  Re: Line Length List
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.0031  Re: Line Length List

The problems of multiple-authoritative-text plays with their varying number of
lines (and of course words) in modern editions set aside, word count is a more
accurate reflection of the quantity of a character's dialogue than line length
is. the multi-volume Spevack gives word counts for each character as well as
line count.

Cheers,
Tom Clayton

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeff Myers <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Jan 1997 14:19:45 GMT
Subject: 8.0031  Re: Line Length List
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0031  Re: Line Length List

>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.

Another complication is the problem of doubling.  E.g., Posthumus from
_Cymbeline_ doesn't appear on the list, but if you consider that this part is
almost certainly doubled with Cloten, the combined number of lines is greater
than Imogen's, who does appear on the list.  I'm sure there must be many other
examples.

Jeff Myers

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           C. David Frankel <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Jan 1997 12:16:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0031  Re: Line Length List
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0031  Re: Line Length List

Others, I think, have made this point at other times, but number of lines does
not automatically equate to the part's prominence in the play as a whole.  In
MND, for instance, Theseus has the most lines, followed by Helena.  But I think
most audiences remember the lovers as a group but even more think of Puck or
Bottom as the most prominent players.

Silent characters may also make their mark, depending on how a scene is staged.
 So, in MND again, Hippolyta's role in the first scene may be quite a bit
larger than her single speech indicates.

cdf
 

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