Authors are trumps

What do repeated phrases or n-grams tell us about how distant from or close to each other pairs of early modern plays are?  Do n-grams provide  dependable measures of distance, and can we learn from them about the weight of various factors that differentiate between...

extravagant, summons, platform, and beckon

The word ‘extravagant’ combines with ‘beckon’, ‘platform’, and ‘summons’ to establish an odd link between Hamlet and Othello. Horatio refers to the disappearing ghost as an “extravagant and erring spirit”...

crowner

‘Crowner,’ Shakespeare’s word for ‘coroner’ appears in two plays, and on both occasions it is associated with death by drowning.  It appears in the discussion of the two gravediggers about the cause of Ophelia’s death in the...

Shakespeare’s dislegomena

Shakespeare’s dislegomena are lemmata that occur in only two of his plays. I use ‘dislegomenon’ in a specialized sense to refer to document rather than collection frequency.  For instance, the lemma ‘Laertes’ occurs once in Titus...