By Jenna Roy
|Final Year Project BA Digital Humanities and Information Technology |
Supervisor Dr Orla Murphy
University College Cork
Submission Date: 5th April 2019
Illustrating the consistencies between identity and geography in the works of Shakespeare will highlight the perpetuation of bias through literature. Adding in the consideration of preceding and proceeding texts which influenced and were influenced by Shakespeare fully highlights the timeline of information consumption, adoption of ideas, dissemination of assimilated information, and the consequent effects on literature.
Through the observance of TEI guidelines, proper XML tagging of words indicating place and identity will move the current state of digital Shakespeare scholarship towards identifying bias expressed by the author through his works.
I hereby declare that:
This is all my own work, unless clearly indicated otherwise, with full and proper accreditation; with respect to my own work: none of it has been submitted at any educational institution contributing in any way to an educational award;
with respect to another’s work: all text, diagrams, code, or ideas, whether verbatim, paraphrased or otherwise modified or adapted, have been duly attributed to the source in a scholarly manner, whether from books, papers, lecture notes or any other student’s work, whether published or unpublished, electronically or in print.
Illustrating the consistencies between geography and identity in the works of Shakespeare will uncover the perpetuation of bias through literature. Linking place to identity and consequently examining consistencies, I argue, will highlight the thoughts and opinions held by Shakespeare about a particular nationality, race, or political situation. Examination of sources from which Shakespeare drew informs us of where these ideas may have been gleaned; consequently, examination of texts that have been influenced by Shakespeare shows us how the bias has, or has not, gained traction.
Ideally this research would encompass all of the literature mentioned above; however, time does not permit such a thorough examination. This project presents a short sample of the current practices in digital Shakespeare scholarship and examines where this scholarship can be improved to better present an analysis around geography, or place, and identity. Consequently, XML texts were chosen as case studies to explore the exact level of TEI compliant mark-up in the public domain. I selected the Bodleian First Folio XML edition of Othello to mark-up and apply a deeper level of TEI compliant XML than was previously present. Duplicating this methodology across the works of Shakespeare, would comprehensively illustrate the bias held and perpetuated by the author. It could be said that the results of this methodology will present a level of fake news as perpetuated by Shakespeare through his dramatic works.
The BBC tracks the phrase “fake news” to 2016 when they uncovered “at least 140 fake news websites” all registered within a small geographic area (Wendling 2018). Though there have always been methods of spreading misinformation, the term fake news is a neologism specifically applied to incorrect information that is aided in its dissemination through social media and associated algorithms. During the 15th century, a new medium of dissemination was gifted to the world by Johannes Gutenberg, the printing press. This medium revolutionised the manner and speed at which information could be spread.
An early example of fake news being spread through the medium of print, is found in the story of the murder of Simoncino of Trent. Simoncino was found murdered in March 1475, and a “well-publicized, and well-documented trial” ensued (Zucker 1986). The murder was ascribed to the Jewish community within the town. In this case, anti-Semitic sentiment was preached from the pulpit and quickly spread. Hinderbach, the Prince-Bishop of Trent “encouraged many … to write poems, letters, and other compositions in both Latin and Italian in honor of Simon and against the Jews, and against those Christians who maintained friendly relations with them” (Kristeller 1993). While this is certainly not the first recorded instance of misinformation, deceit, or indeed anti-Semitism, it is a singular instance aided by dissemination though print. The works of Shakespeare were disseminated in print starting in 1593 and therefore this method of dispersing ideas of cultural significance, or of a political nature, were well established.
Shakespeare did not travel to the locations in which he set his
plays. Robinson accords it a miracle that Shakespeare “so seldom errs” in his geographical
representation of the world he portrays on stage (1946). He also notes that Shakespeare
was “an omnivorous reader” particularly “tales of travels” (1946); however, greatest
credence for Shakespeare’s accurate portrayal of location is given to the fact that
he is “building on an existing story” and “follows his main sources” (Robinson 1946).
This survey of literature investigates how, and if, the role of place and identity are represented by current practices in digital Shakespeare scholarship. The manner in which the Shakespeare corpus has been interacted with varies widely from image digitisation, to transcription, to pseudo mark-up and beyond. Digital Shakespeare projects do not always have place and/or identity at the core of their aims or methodology; however, these elements could easily be incorporated. Also included is a short discussion on the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) and the applications of the standards. The benefits of adhering to proper mark-up standards such as the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) and TEI are identified.
In 2006 Michael Scott produced a set of files containing the Shakespeare corpus. The plays are broken down into a hierarchy containing: genre, title of play, and, names of characters. Each character’s lines are contained in separate text files available for download, this comprises the main basis for exploration and analysis. The scope of Scott’s analysis is quite narrow in that it statistically analyses the proportion of speech per character per play. The location of the speech is noted by its presence within the Act and Scene, as well as noting “percentages indicating the relative position of the text segment within the entirety of the play” (Mahler 2018). Scott (2006) explicitly notes that this analysis was for his own research purposes, without any intention of working collaboratively with any one, or any institution; therefore, strict adherence to proper industry standards, such as the TEI standards, does not appear to be a priority.
Scott’s resource does not comply with TEI recommendations and so integration with other TEI compliant projects is not possible without a large scale overhaul. Not only does Scott deviate from recommended TEI standards, but Mahler also notes a deviation from pseudo XML (2018). This makes this resource inconsistent in its application of interoperable standards and therefore limits its reusability. Mark-up is minimal in this text, identifying only the location within the text and the speaker. There is no mark-up in relation to place.
The separation of characters’ speech makes it easy to identify the number of times a location or obvious mention of race is spoken by a single character. Querying the text is very much a manual counting exercise; for example, in Othello this simple analysis (see table below) can illustrate – on a very surface level – characters’ speech concerned with the politics of place and identity. Iago, feeling displaced by Othello both in rank and social position (Neill 2008 1.1.34), refers to Othello by the term Moor, thirty-two times. It must be noted that the term Moor was not at the time of Shakespeare strictly derogatory. It is a term that is used to identify race, origins, and skin colour (OED n.d.).
|Word||Number of times spoken by Othello||Number of times spoken by Iago|
|Black (in relation to race)||3||5|
|White (in relation to race)||1||2|
The value of this resource depends on the question being asked and unfortunately, due to the narrow range of mark-up executed in this project, the range of possible queries is also narrow.
Open Source Shakespeare offers a more sophisticated form of quantitative analysis, adding a graphical user interface (GUI), and quantifying results automatically without the necessity to manually count results. No in-depth explanation or instructions are necessary to make use of the tool. In very few steps, results show that across the works of Shakespeare, the word Moor is used in sixty-nine different speeches; however, the results do not display the actual number of times the word is repeated as in some instances the word is used three times in a single speech. Venice is mentioned in forty-six speeches and London in sixty-five speeches. There are ten plays set in London, and so the density of mention is understandable; however, considering there are only two plays (The Merchant of Venice, and Othello) actually set in Venice, there appears to be a heavy emphasis on the location. This signifies cause for further exploration.
This tool makes the source material freely available for non-commercial purposes and is easily downloadable. Behind the convenient GUI is a database of all the words used in the works of Shakespeare. Though there are obviously place names included in this database (see Figure 2), there is no categorisation of the words that would provide the ability to establish place and identity, or character traits; for example, see Figure 2: vengeful and Venice.
Hamlet says of himself “I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious” (Hamlet 3.1.125-6). These attributes, or traits could easily be included in the Characters > Description portion of the database (see Figure 3). Within the TEI recommendations, the XML tag <state> can be used to denote “a description of some status or quality attributed to a person, place, or organization often at some specific time or for a specific date range” (TEI n.d.), whereas the tag <trait> is used to specify a more enduring characteristic of a “person, place, or organization” (TEI n.d.).
With minimal additions to their database, the Open Source Shakespeare project, can better represent place and identity. This addition would work towards establishing grounds for further questioning and analysis of the text.
The University of Edinburgh houses a Digitised Shakespeare Collection as part of their Open Educational Resources (Digitised Shakespeare n.d.). The collection is made possible through donations from the Halliwell-Phillipps Collection, and The Shakespeare Quartos Archive – collaborative partners with the University of Edinburgh. Originally the Digital Imaging Unit (DIU) focused only on “Loves Labours Lost” and “Romeo and Juliet”. In expanding this collection, there was a requirement to update extensive metadata concerning these digital images. Correctly recorded metadata, in this case, ensures that the images appear in the correct order when presented on a webpage, and has also made the images more searchable online (Fletcher 2018). The metadata referred to by Fletcher indicates that there is little more than structural information recorded and there is no reference to an in-depth analysis of the content (2018).
The Digitised Shakespeare Collection is both visually appealing in the physical sense of the books as well as the digitised versions. The digitised collections are easy to navigate, and all images are available for download. The website offers options for embedding, printing, creating, and exploring further collections.
Within other collections, various digital images are tagged with Subject Place (see Figure 5). In the instances where Subject Place is recorded, there is an option to search for images recording that same place name; however, this is not the case with any of the digitised Shakespearean dramas.
Throughout the various collections, it would appear from the metadata labels in use that the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative standards (DCMI) are being adhered to. The DCMI standards allow for “Coverage”, “Location” or “Spatial Coverage” to be used in instances where a place name can be recorded (DCMI n.d.). Any one of these tags could easily be added to the existing data of the Shakespearean plays in order to enrich the tagging of the images. The addition of these tags, not only to texts as a whole, but applying them to individual digitised pages would allow a degree of searchability in relation to intertextual nature of place across and beyond the works of Shakespeare.
In 2001, Graham Jefcoate of the British Library Early Printed Collections wrote an article outlining the possibilities achievable through the digitisation of the British Library collection. The programme deliverables included “unprecedented access to the national collections for researchers and the wider public” (Jefcoate 2001). Jefcoate notes that digitisation efforts had already begun in 2001 and in 2004 Srivastava notes that the British Library “has an estimated four terabytes of digitised information”. As stated by Jefcoate and Srivastava, one of the main reasons for digitisation, is preservation of “fragile originals for future generations of researchers” (Srivastava 2004).
The British Library’s “Treasures in Full” collection boasts “107 copies of the 21 plays by Shakespeare printed in quarto before the 1642 theatre closures” (Goff 2007). Essays regarding important differences between the quartos and the folios are also readily accessible. The website allows users to access to digitised copies of Shakespeares first and second quartos along with faciliataing visual comparisons in a side by side view. The side by side comparison allows for satifactory physical comparison. The images do not appear to be high reslution, and the interface is basic. Instructions for comparing the texts, include an exhortation to “leaf through until you find the section you want” (Goff 2007). This could be a time consuming pursuit. It is not evident from the website whether transcription and in depth mark-up has been undertaken.
The British Library publishes their collection metadata through the “Data Services” section of their website (Collection Metadata Data Service 2015).
Catagorisation of the metadata contains twenty-nine divisions and is comprehensive with topics ranging from “Absurd” to “Zombie” (Collection Metadata Data Service 2015). The file pictured above (see Figure 6) contains metadata on 46,826 physical and digital items that relate to Shakespeare; however, this is meta mark-up and is limited to a broad overview of the text without meaningful consideration of its specific contents in relation to place and identity.
2.5 “To see or not to see – an interactive tool for the visualization and Analysis of Shakespeare’s Plays”
Burghardt, Wilhelm and Wolff (2013) published an article entitled “To see or not to see – an interactive tool for the visualization and Analysis of Shakespeare Plays”. For this project, they drew on the XML, TEI compliant, texts published by the Folger Digital Texts Library. Burghardt, Wilhelm and Wolff note that “it is due to ambitious annotation projects such as the Folger Digital Texts initiative … that we can study quantitative phenomena of Shakespeare beyond the level of mere word counts” (2013). The resultant tool is a colourful visualisation of the text (see Figure 7). The legend notes that the grey dots represent location; unfortunately, the level of detail committed to the location element is poor. In relation to place and identity, identity is represented by sex, and a brief role description – consistent with those used by the Folger Digital Collection, and there are three instances throughout the visualisation where location information is recorded. All instances record the location as “within” (Wilhelm, Burghardt, Wolff. n.d).
Admittedly, the legend does specify that the dots relate only to stage directions. This is another example where a deeper level of detail is so easily attainable, yet the creators have missed the opportunity.
Wilhelm, Burghardt, and Wolff note that their visualisation seeks to identify “quantitative aspects” of Shakespeare’s plays (2013), which they have done with a colourful, engaging, and easy to use tool. This is a perfect example of what can be achieved when making use of properly marked up literature adhering to TEI guidelines.
The Text Encoding Initiative Consortium, or the TEI, “is an international organization whose mission is to develop and maintain guidelines for the digital encoding of literary and linguistic texts” (TEI n.d.). The most recent TEI guidelines were published in 2007 and are updated every six months to incorporate “maintenance … and minor feature enhancements” (TEI n.d.). The TEI, is also more than a standard, or set of recommendations, it is a “thriving research community” which produces training and outreach material in order to “increase and support broad usage of the TEI Guidelines” (TEI n.d.). The TEI hosts a listserv discussion board and archive which allows users to post questions and discuss possible solutions as well as make recommendations for implementation in the next TEI update.
The answer to the question “Why TEI?” is in the application of its recommendations. Projects that comply with the TEI recommendations, have a greater ability to collaborate across institutions around the world. Burnard notes that “to facilitate interoperability, every TEI document uses components taken from the same mammoth schema, but most TEI projects use quite small subsets of it” (2014). The greatest archives and collections of Shakespeare’s works all mention key partners, for example, The Shakespeare Quartos Archive, The Bodleian Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the British Library, all draw on collaborative efforts, sharing resources and expertise, and each referring to the others as Affiliated Institutions. The flexibility of XML joined with the comprehensive recommendations of the TEI make an interoperable power couple.
In some areas of digital literature, the prevalence of adherence to the TEI standards is encouraging; yet, few projects venture past a purely structural mark-up of the text. Busch, Phillippi, Tretter, Schmid, Chandna, Krause, Canscheidt, Rapp, Moulin, and Stotzka are team members of the Ecodicology project, and they volunteer a list of questions that can be posed to a rich TEI compliant marked-up text (n.d.). While implementing a “quasi-empirical” analysis of the physical text, their list of possible research questions point to a more comprehensive use of the recommended TEI tags (Busch et.al. n.d.), pushing past a purely quantitative analysis; for example, their investigation includes a comparison between clerk hands and page layout which would lead to a greater understanding of the provenance of the text. While no such manuscripts of Shakespeare’s writings are in existence, it is encouraging to see the TEI recommendations being implemented beyond solely structural application.
The ability of a TEI document to represent information beyond physical format and structure is immense. As noted by Touhy “TEI is also used to encode information about people and places and events, as well as literary criticism, and linguistic analysis” (2007). The Shakespeare Quartos Archive extensively documents the project’s implementation of the TEI guidelines illustrating the scope of the recommendations (The Shakespeare Quartos Archive n.d.). Lisa Spiro notes that TEI compliant mark-up can “enable specialized searches, present different versions of the document, compare documents, provide context for terms, [and] make possible sophisticated textual analysis” (2008).
The “Why of TEI” in realtion to this project is simple; the comprehensive recommendations provide a framework dictating the manner in which literature can be marked up. This in turn supports the capability to collaborate across projects and institutions. Coupling deeply tagged TEI grade XML with the passion of the vast digital Shakespeare community will result in a greater opportunities for discovery, enquiry, and investigation into the layers of meaning in the works of Shakespeare. A single data set, one play, can only provide so much data; however, increasing that data set to include the Shakespeare corpus, results in an increase in understanding and context as data and information increase (See Figure 8).
The DIKW (Data – Information – Knowledge – Wisdom) pyramid (Ontotext n.d.) illustrates that a broad base of data supports solid contextualised information which underpins knowledge. Wisdom, or meaning, is then extracted from this gathering of material (see Figure 9). This project seeks to identify the gaps in digital Shakespearean scholarship in relation to identity and place, and consequently illustrate how those gaps can be filled in order to increase the resultant extractable meaning of future digital Shakespearean scholarship; in particular, distinguishing links between place and identity can produce a more comprehensive outline of the author’s assumptions about a particular location or group of people in that location.
In order to examine the current level of TEI compliant XML mark-up present in current digital Shakespeare practices, I have aligned with a ‘Case Study’ experimental methodology. Calhoun notes that “case studies are explicitly intended as part of comparative research” (2014). Elements of each case study have been inspected and compared against TEI standards.
In each case study, the quality of XML was measured by inspecting a specific excerpt from the text. Each case study focused on the same excerpt which includes examples of word, line and punctuation mark-up, as well as mark-up addressing character dialogue and stage directions. Using a separate excerpt common to all case studies, the role descriptions were also analysed. A summary of the front matter included in each case has been incorporated in this analysis. Non-conformance to TEI standards are noted, with suggestions of TEI recommended tags that may be more appropriate for use in specific contexts.
In order to focus the survey of these case studies on the inclusion or exclusion of place and identity, a short sample of tags that are lacking are noted. Each case study has, to some degree, marked up the structural elements of the text, however a deeper understanding of the text requires a more comprehensive exercise than has been executed.
Case Study A: University of Pittsburgh Greensburg
Case Study B: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Case Study C: Oxford University, Bodleian Digital Collection
Case Study D: Folger Digital Shakespeare Collection
The Case Studies referred to above are all XML versions of Shakespeare’s Othello. Case Study A and B were selected at random from search engine results in order to present a random survey of the quality of XML in the public domain. Case Study C was specifically chosen from the Bodleian Library Digital Collections due to the culture of excellence fostered at Oxford University. Case Study D was selected from the Folger Shakespeare Library due to its pre-eminence in the digital Shakespeare realm.
The focus of this project is to identify the consistencies between place and identity in the works of Shakespeare. Highlighting these consistencies, I argue, will uncover the opinion or bias of the author in relation to those places and people. On a macro level, some of this data has been presented by Folgerpedia. Laura Estill (2016) has compiled a list of Shakespeare’s plays that can be filtered by genre, city and country (See Figure 10).
To better illustrate the information presented by Estill (2016) I created data visualisations using Tableau, building on the information compiled by Estill (2016), and adding the historical latitude and longitude of cities provided by the Pleiades project (Costa, De Graauw, Dunn, Kaye and Vanderbily n.d.). These visualisations provide a broad overview of the main setting of the play; however, they do not account for identity as displayed by various personas throughout the play. The information hosted on Folgerpedia, coupled with the extra data from Pleiades project has resulted in interactive data visualisations which display, in a more impactful way, why critics should be analysing the role of place and identity in Shakespeare’s works. These visualisations, in static form, have been positioned in the Evaluation section of this report. Interactive versions of these visualisations are available at:
- Number of titles with a common country as its main setting
- Plays of Shakespeare, grouped by Genre and City
This section will present an analysis of four XML versions of Othello as described in the Project Design.
|A1. Who?||University of Pittsburgh Greensburg hosted at: http://newtfire.org/ Link to XML text: http://newtfire.org:8338/exist/apps/eXide/index.html?open=/db/apps/shakespeare/data/oth.xml (note: this link will not open on some Apple devices. Interoperability is an issue in this example.)|
|A2. Why?||The newtFire website is described as “an incubator of faculty and student learning and research collaboration in the Digital Humanities” (Newtfire.org 2019). The projects hosted on this site are “led and maintained by faculty, students, or alumni of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg” (Newtfire.org 2019). The newtFire website does not have any explicit link to their work on the Shakespearean texts. From the description above, we can assume that the Shakespeare XML project may have been completed, or perhaps are currently being worked on by faculty and/or students. Inspection of this resource at a later date may produce a more comprehensive mark-up than is currently hosted on the site.|
|A3. How?||Example: <sp who=”Roderigo”> <speaker>Roderigo</speaker> <ab xml:id=”sha-oth103384″ n=”384″> I’ll sell all my land. </ab> <stage>Exit.</stage> </sp> <sp who=”Iago”> <speaker>Iago</speaker> <l xml:id=”sha-oth103385″ n=”385″> Thus do I ever make my fool my purse; </l>|
|A3i. Line||Provides individual line identifiers. For example: <l xml:id=”sha-oth103385″ n=”385″> This example uses <l> to identify a line. The xml:id identifies that this line lies within the Shakespeare collection, specifically Othello, line number 385. This identification method is intelligible and understandable at a glance. It identifies the line number with specific reference to a text within a collection. Other line identifiers are also used. For example: <ab xml:id=”sha-oth103384″ n=”384″> The <ab> tag can be used to encode an “anonymous blocks of text” (TEI by Example n.d.). Deciphering the use of such an obscure tag has proved difficult. It is only through comparison with the other Case Studies that I have come to the conclusion that <l> is used to denote a line of verse, and <ab> is used to denote a line of prose.|
|A3ii. Dialogue||Within the text, the speakers are identified. For example: <sp who=”Iago”><speaker>Iago</speaker>; However, there is no indication of whether this portion of speech is intended as a soliloquy, or to whom this dialogue is aimed. The TEI allows for the @toWhom attribute to be used in this case (TEI n.d.).|
|A3iii. Stage Directions||This version marks stage directions as <stage>Exit.</stage> without specification of the type of stage directions, whether it be in relation to lighting, sound, movement of equipment or characters and so forth. This type of specific mark-up would be especially useful on an organisational level for the production of the play. Suggestions from the TEI include marking up the type of stage directions, for example: <stage type=“exit”>Exit</stage>. Other types suggested by the TEI are: settingentranceexitbusinessnovelisticdelivery modifierlocationmixed (TEI n.d.)|
|A3iv. Roles and Character Descriptions||<castItem type=”role”> <role xml:id=”Othello”>Othello</role> <roleDesc>a noble Moor in the service of the Venetian state</roleDesc> All characters’ roles and descriptions are separately and clearly identified in the front matter of the play.|
|A3v. Other||This text has numerous inclusions of <ab>. The TEI documentation notes: “The ab element may be used at the encoder’s discretion to mark any component-level elements in a text for which no other more specific appropriate mark-up is defined” (TEI n.d.); however, there is no indication what the <ab> tag refers to in this text. As mentioned previously, on further investigation and cross examination between Case Studies, I have discovered why the <ab> tags are used. When using such obscure tags, a brief note indicating the reasoning behind the application would be beneficial.|
|A3vi. Front Matter||The title of the play and author of the work. Technical editors, and editorial assistants are listed. Source and copyright information is included. Methodology regarding the standardising of spelling and hyphenation is stated.This is followed by a cast list, and the setting of the play, namely, Venice.|
|A3vii. Back Matter||There is no back material to this version. The end of the play consists of a list of closing tags.|
|A3viii. Lacking||There is no acknowledgement of: PlaceParticipants/Recipients/Subjects of dialogue RaceDistinct words and neologisms|
|B1. Who?||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill https://www.ibiblio.org/ “ibiblio.org is a collaboration of the School of Information and Library Science and Information Technology Services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill” (ibiblio 2019) Link to XML text: https://www.ibiblio.org/xml/examples/shakespeare/othello.xml|
|B2. Why?||At the heart of ibiblio.org are the principles of open source and collaboration. Contributors are encouraged to share their projects and assets in order to enrich the community as a whole. There are guidelines to follow, but as guidelines rather than rules, exceptions are made. One need not meet all of the criteria to be a contributor (Ibiblio 2019). The actual www.ibiblio.org website is not user friendly. I came across their Shakespeare XML versions through a Google search.|
|B3. How?||Example: <SPEECH> <SPEAKER>RODERIGO</SPEAKER> <LINE>I am changed: I’ll go sell all my land.</LINE> </SPEECH> <STAGEDIR>Exit</STAGEDIR> <SPEECH> <SPEAKER>IAGO</SPEAKER> <LINE>Thus do I ever make my fool my purse:</LINE>|
|B3i. Line||This version does not provide in individual line numbers or identifiers. Each line is tagged as <LINE></LINE>. Using <LINE> is not necessary as per TEI guidelines for both verse and performance texts in modules 6-7 (see: http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/VE.html). <l></l> is acceptable. There is no differentiation between a line of prose and a line of verse.|
|B3ii. Dialogue||<SPEECH> <SPEAKER>RODERIGO</SPEAKER> Identifies <SPEECH> and <SPEAKER> as IAGO; however, there is no indication of whether this portion of speech is intended as a soliloquy, or to whom this dialogue is aimed. The TEI allows for the @who and @toWhom attributes to be used in this case (TEI n.d.).|
|B3iii. Stage Directions||This version marks stage directions as <STAGEDIR>Exit above</STAGEDIR> without specification of the type of stage directions, whether it be in relation to lighting, sound, movement of equipment et cetera. Suggestions from the TEI are included in Case A.|
|B3iv. Roles and Character Descriptions||Example: <PERSONA> OTHELLO, a noble Moor in the service of the Venetian state. </PERSONA> This version is not clear about differentiating between the name of the character, and his description. This distinction is made clear in the Case Studies A and D.|
|B3v. Other||No use of obscure tags.|
|B3vi. Front Matter||No indication of standard adhered to. The title of the play is included; however, there is no mention of the original source of the text. The author of the SGML and XML versions is noted.Copyright information is included. There are several elements present in the other case studies that are not present in this version. The simplicity of the mark-up in this file, forwards my assumption that this version of the text may be used as a pedagogical tool for the instruction of students on the extensible nature of XML, and not necessarily focused on the application of TEI guidelines.|
|B3vii. Back Matter||There is no back material to this version. The end of the play consists of a list of closing tags.|
|B3viii. Lacking||There is no acknowledgement of: PlaceParticipants/Recipients/Subjects of dialogue RaceDistinct words and neologisms|
|C1. Who?||Oxford University http://firstfolio.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ Link to XML text: http://firstfolio.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/download/xml/F-oth.xml|
|C2. Why?||There are no explicit aims, or reasons, listed by The Bodleian First Folio website, or within the front matter of the text.|
<speaker rend=”italic”>Rod.</speaker> <p n=”713″>Ile sell all my Land.</p> </sp> <stage rend=”italic rightJustified” type=”exit”>Exit.</stage> <sp who=”#F-oth-iag”> <speaker rend=”italic”>Iago.</speaker> <l n=”714″>Thus do I euer make my Foole, my purse:</l> For a digital image of this text see page 315 lower right hand corner: http://firstfolio.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/uncropped/jpegs/axc0825_0.jpg.
|C3i. Line||Lines are tagged with individual identifiers: <p n=”713″> and <l n=”714″>. There is a difference in the classification of speech between Roderigo and Iago. In this section Roderigo’s speech is enclosed in <p> paragraph tags, while Iago’s speech is enclosed in <l> line tags. This is to denote a difference in speech written in verse or prose. <p> encloses more conversational or prose speech, while <l> denotes a line of verse. It is obvious that some spelling has been standardized. For example, as can be seen in the digital image of this excerpt, the long s was historically was printed as ſ or ſ (Oviatt Library 2019).|
|C3ii. Dialogue||Identifies the speaker, and how the name of the speaker should appear ie: rend=”italic”. This specification of how the text should appear is unique to Case C and D within this survey. This is because the source from which the text is taken, is an original First Folio rather than a modern transcribed edition of the play. There is no identification of who the speech is aimed at.|
|C3iii. Stage Directions||Example: <stage rend=”italic rightJustified” type=”exit”>Exit.</stage> The specification that the text ‘Exit’ needs to be right justified, illustrates to us that the authors are consistent in their observation of the manner the text is presented in the First Folio. The authors also note the “type” of stage direction as “exit”. This demonstrates strict adherence to the TEI guidelines. This is the only version in this survey to apply this particular standard.|
|C3iv. Roles and Character Descriptions||Example: <person xml:id=”F-oth-oth”> <persName type=”standard”> Othello, A noble Moor in the service of the Ventian state </persName> <persName type=”form”>Oth.</persName> <persName type=”form”>Othe.</persName> <persName type=”form”>Othel.</persName> <persName type=”form”>Othello.</persName> </person> This version is not clear about differentiating between the name of the character, and his description. This distinction is made clear in Case Study A. In order to be true to the manuscript, the authors have not standardised spelling, or alternative versions of the characters’ names. In allowing for “standard” and “form” types, all lines spoken by Othello or about Othello can still be attributed to him as one single character although the character name may be abbreviated in places.|
|C3v. Other||No use of obscure tags.|
|C3vi. Front Matter||This text includes extensive front matter. The “title statement” is loyal to the original spelling as published in the Bodleian First Folio. A “title variant” is also included. This variant maintains the double V (VV) for the W in William Shakespeare’s name. Case Studies A and D also provide notes on the standardisation of spelling. No note of such action is made in Case Study B. The First Folio original author, editors, printers, and publishers are noted along with their birth and death years where available.The names of each digital creator, proofer, encoder and consultants, are noted. Funding efforts and bodies are acknowledged. The date of the digital edition is noted along with the organisations name (University of Oxford) and address.This text is assigned a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. The source of the text is details along with the publishers. The place of publication is noted here with the tags <pubPlace>There is a list of <date>, <idno>(identifier), and <note> types. This includes information regarding dates, shelf marks and citations. The <msIdentifier> is a Manuscript Identifier. The place, institution, repository and shelf mark are included within these tags. Alternative identifiers <altIdentifier> are also included. The type of <altIdentifier> informs us of the texts previous catalogue position, of which there are two. The following section of front matter is dedicated to the <physDesc> physical description of the manuscript, including: title, description, “numbering peculiarities”, notes on signatures, collation, the condition, layout, decorative elements, additions, and binding description. <history> includes information regarding the origin, and details of the acquisition of the manuscript. The entire history of the manuscript is not expanded on here, but rather resources are listed to point the user to other comprehensive sources. An interesting inclusion is that of the <date> and sum <num value=“24”> of when this First Folio edition was disposed. In 1664, it was sold for £24, and replaced with a Third Folio edition. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency-converter/ shows the 2017 currency equivalent would be £2524. As per the front matter, it was reacquired in 1906 for £3000, 2017’s equivalent of £235,708.Additional information points the user to a digital surrogate for this First Folio edition. This point concludes the information within the Manuscript Description section. The subsequent section includes a list of persons in the play. Each person has a separate “person xml:id”. This version has made allowances for differing spelling and abbreviations of names within the play.|
|C3vii. Back Matter||The back matter includes a list of the names of characters.|
|C3viii. Lacking||There is no acknowledgement of: PlaceParticipants/Recipients/Subjects of dialogue RaceDistinct words and neologisms|
|D1. Who?||Folger Digital Texts Link to XML text: https://www.folgerdigitaltexts.org/download/xml.html|
|D2. Why?||The Folger editors explain that following the TEI guidelines while utilising XML allows them to encode information “which can then be used for special searching and analysis, visualizations, and other applications” (Niles 2019). The material is freely available for non-commercial use. The <projectDesc> explicitly lists the aims of the project: “The primary goal is to represent the source text faithfully, as simply as possible within the TEI P5 schema” (Niles 2019).|
|D3. How?||This transcription has been taken from an edition published in 1993 by the Washington Square Press with Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine as editors. Example: When considering the length of this example, keep in mind that the excerpt in each Case Study has been taken from one common location within the text. <milestone unit=”page” xml:id=”ms-053″ n=”53″ /> <pb xml:id=”pb-055″ n=”55″ spanTo=”#ms-055″/> <fw xml:id=”fw-055″ type=”header” n=”55″>ACT 1. SC. 3</fw> <sp xml:id=”sp-0754″ who=”#Roderigo_Oth”> <speaker xml:id=”spk-0754″> <w xml:id=”w0112970″>RODERIGO</w> </speaker> <ab xml:id=”ab-0754″> <milestone unit=”ftln” xml:id=”ftln-0754″ n=”1.3.425″ ana=”#prose” corresp=”#w0112980 #c0112990 #w0113000 #c0113010 #w0113020 #c0113030 #w0113040 #c0113050 #w0113060 #p0113070″/> <w xml:id=”w0112980″ n=”1.3.425″>I’ll</w> <c xml:id=”c0112990″ n=”1.3.425″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113000″ n=”1.3.425″>sell</w> <c xml:id=”c0113010″ n=”1.3.425″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113020″ n=”1.3.425″>all</w> <c xml:id=”c0113030″ n=”1.3.425″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113040″ n=”1.3.425″>my</w> <c xml:id=”c0113050″ n=”1.3.425″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113060″ n=”1.3.425″>land</w> <pc xml:id=”p0113070″ n=”1.3.425″>.</pc> </ab> </sp> <stage xml:id=”stg-0754″ n=”SD 1.3.425″ type=”exit” who=”#Roderigo_Oth”> <w xml:id=”w0113080″ n=”SD 1.3.425″>He</w> <c xml:id=”c0113090″ n=”SD 1.3.425″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113100″ n=”SD 1.3.425″>exits</w> <pc xml:id=”p0113110″ n=”SD 1.3.425″>.</pc> </stage> <lb xml:id=”lb-07540″/> <sp xml:id=”sp-0755″ who=”#Iago_Oth”> <speaker xml:id=”spk-0755″> <w xml:id=”w0113120″>IAGO</w> </speaker> <ab xml:id=”ab-0755″> <lb xml:id=”lb-07541″/> <milestone unit=”ftln” xml:id=”ftln-0755″ n=”1.3.426″ ana=”#verse” corresp=”#w0113130 #c0113140 #w0113150 #c0113160 #w0113170 #c0113180 #w0113190 #c0113200 #w0113210 #c0113220 #w0113230 #c0113240 #w0113250 #c0113260 #w0113270 #c0113280 #w0113290 #p0113300″/> <w xml:id=”w0113130″ n=”1.3.426″>Thus</w> <c xml:id=”c0113140″ n=”1.3.426″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113150″ n=”1.3.426″>do</w> <c xml:id=”c0113160″ n=”1.3.426″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113170″ n=”1.3.426″>I</w> <c xml:id=”c0113180″ n=”1.3.426″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113190″ n=”1.3.426″>ever</w> <c xml:id=”c0113200″ n=”1.3.426″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113210″ n=”1.3.426″>make</w> <c xml:id=”c0113220″ n=”1.3.426″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113230″ n=”1.3.426″>my</w> <c xml:id=”c0113240″ n=”1.3.426″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113250″ n=”1.3.426″>fool</w> <c xml:id=”c0113260″ n=”1.3.426″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113270″ n=”1.3.426″>my</w> <c xml:id=”c0113280″ n=”1.3.426″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113290″ n=”1.3.426″>purse</w> <pc xml:id=”p0113300″ n=”1.3.426″>.</pc> <lb xml:id=”lb-07550″/>|
|D3i. Line||No line tags are used in this edition of the play. As per the front matter within the download file “lineation is determined by critical judgements, complicated by accidental features of publication” (Niles 2019). Instead of <l> the <lb> tag is used. As described on the Folger website, “<lb> Marks a line break in the print edition” (Niles 2019). Strictly, as per the TEI definition of the <lb> tag, it is a line beginning tag; however, there is little difference in using it as, or referring to it as, a line break tag, as Niles has (2019). The TEI manual recommends this tag be used to mark the beginning of a line. The <lb> – line beginning – tag is a self-closing tag, which includes an xml:id. The editors of this edition, have used the <milestone> tag, and the @ana (analysis) attribute to denote whether the following lines are prose or verse, for example: <milestone unit=”ftln” xml:id=”ftln-0755″ n=”1.3.426″ ana=”#verse” …> And: <milestone unit=”ftln” xml:id=”ftln-0754″ n=”1.3.425″ ana=”#prose” …>. Every individual word, punctuation mark, and space, within the text is identified separately with its own identification number. Its location in the text – act and scene – is recorded and enclosed in the elements’ individual tags; punctuation marks are individually identified within <pc> tags; each word is enclosed in <w> tags; line beginnings are indicated with <lb> tags; and <c> or character tags are applied to each space between words.|
|D3ii. Dialogue||The speaker is noted, and each block of dialogue is given its own xml:id, however as with other texts, there is no indication of who the dialogue is directed at.|
|D3iii. Stage Directions||Example: <stage xml:id=”stg-0754″ n=”SD 1.3.425″ type=”exit” who=”#Roderigo_Oth”> <w xml:id=”w0113080″ n=”SD 1.3.425″>He</w> <c xml:id=”c0113090″ n=”SD 1.3.425″> </c> <w xml:id=”w0113100″ n=”SD 1.3.425″>exits</w> <pc xml:id=”p0113110″ n=”SD 1.3.425″>.</pc> </stage> This text is comprehensive in its identification of stage directions. Each stage direction is given its own identification number, in this case, xml:id= “stg-0754”. The stage directions are located within the text in the next grouping of numbers: “SD 1.3.425” i.e.: Stage directions for Act 1, Scene 3, and location 425. The type of stage direction is “exit”, and this action is linked to the character within the play by using the @who sttribute i.e.: Roderigo in the play Othello.|
|D3iv. Roles and Character Descriptions||Example: <person xml:id=”Othello_Oth”> <persName><name>Othello</name></persName> <state><p>a Moorish general in the Venetian army</p></state> <sex value=”1″>male</sex> <death when-custom=”ftln-3667″/> </person> This text differentiates between the character and his description, using the <state> tag. As per the TEI guidelines, the <state> tag “contains a description of some status or quality attributed to a person, place, or organization often at some specific time or for a specific date range” (TEI n.d.). Arguably, the state of being a general may be revoked during the play and so therefore can be considered as a status attributed to a person at a particular time. While this tag is appropriate in its use here a more applicable tag would be <roleDesc> as used in Case Study A. As per the TEI guidelines <roleDesc> may contain <state> (TEI n.d.).|
|D3v. Other||<ab> tags are present in this text. The Folger Digital Texts download webpage lists out an XML tag guide and explains that the use of <ab> in this context marks the contents of a speech. All speech is contained in separate <ab> tags; in this case it does not denote a difference between prose and verse.|
|D3vi. Front Matter||The title of the play and author of the work.Editors of the text, and XML editors are listed. The edition, publisher, and address of publisher is noted. Creative commons license number is noted. This text is situated within a collection or series within a <seriesStmt> tag as “Folger Digital Texts”. Author and editors are again listed along with the publisher, place of publication and year of publication. The <projectDesc> includes a lengthy explanation of various aspects of the project including aims (as outlined above), lineation, typographic features, and application of unique identifiers.Notes on how quotations, hyphenations, speeches, songs, poems, foreign words, punctuation, words, spaces, are tagged are included. A section tagged <interpretation> outlines the necessity of critical judgements to tag the formatting of the text, as well as judgements necessary to identify units of verse, prose, stanzas. Explanations are offered as to why certain tags were and were not used.<tagsDecl> is a record of how and why certain tags were used in marking up the format of the text. This is a most valuable resource as it explains the more obscure tags and their use. For example, the general identifier <gi> and its types are listed here. <refsDecl> is a critical inclusion. This Case Study marks up each word of the play in a granular fashion. Each word has an identification number and the method by which these identification numbers are assigned is explained in this section. A list of persons is included, specifying and xml:id, name, state, sex, and death. <revisionDesc> tracks the emendations made. A director’s introduction, a textual introduction and a short synopsis of the play is recorded.|
|D3vii. Back Matter||This text includes extensive back matter. <ptr>, or pointer tags, are used to record the id’s of locations where emendations have been made. This list is extensive and comprises the majority of the back matter. <interp> tags are used which offer brief explanations regarding tags, types, and xml:id’s used. For example, they clearly define what type of emendation has been made: <interpGrp type=”emendation”> <interp xml:id=”emend”>editorial emendation</interp> <interp xml:id=”texta”> text from the Quarto not found in the Folio</interp> <interp xml:id=”textb”>full lines from the Folio not found in the Quarto</interp> </interpGrp> Emendations have been made and recorded by type. Editorial emendations are identified by “emend”. Textual inconsistencies between the Quarto and the Folio are identified with “texta” and “textb”. Incorporating more than one text in this transcription and mark-up exercise makes this text a comprehensive record.|
The Case Studies all set out to represent the text and have achieved this goal to some, great or small, structural extent; however, the exercise of a deeper mark-up process would serve to benefit each execution. Operating under the TEI guidelines facilitates opportunities for universal understating of the mark-up, as well as opportunities for collaboration. Recording the provenance of the text will encourage greater care and attention to the integrity of the source material being encoded. A deeper standard of mark-up including consideration of dialogue, place, and cultural context will move the current state of digital Shakespearean scholarship towards a more comprehensive understanding of his work.
Case Study B, the University of North Carolina, fares worst in their compliance with the recommendations of the TEI, and hence stands to gain the most from the other texts while contributing the least. Case Study A can specifically gain from Case Study D in terms of including documentation that explicitly notes the reason for using obscure tags.
The adaptable nature of XML allows for significant freedom in determining and defining tags in a manner that is applicable to the text at hand; however, the value added by observing the recommendations of the TEI cannot be overlooked. In the same manner in which Case Study D incorporates a quarto and a folio edition of the plays, a more comprehensive evaluation of the text is achievable when there is consideration across a wider sample of texts and collaboration across institutions. For this collaboration to be practicable, a consensus of how to represent a given text needs to be reached. The guidelines put forward by the TEI allow for a firm but flexible structure that can be applied.
Case studies A, B and D can all gain from the Bodleian Library edition (C) in recording the provenance of the text as well as the inclusion of other extensive front material. Case Studies A, B and C, can benefit from the Folger edition (D), which uses two sources to represent the text. Cases A and B, pursue a transcription based exercise, conversely, Cases C and D concern their mark-up around the appearance of the source material. This will ensure that the XML edition of the text will be a more correct visual representation of the original document.
If manuscripts of Shakespeare’s plays were extant all Case Studies would benefit from consulting the manuscript and recording the emendation process of the author. Recent studies on the Last Will and Testament of Shakespeare, conducted by the UK National Archives in conjunction with the British Library (BBC 2016), reveals insights into the manner in which Shakespeare reviewed and amended as he wrote. If the play manuscripts were available, we could see how certain the author was in regards to particular details of the text; for example, was the Merchant of Venice ever considered to be a merchant from another location?
Recent textual analysis has shown that multiple authors may have been involved in writing the works of Shakespeare (Fox, Ehmoda, Charniak 2012). Interacting with the scholarship on authorship and including that in the mark-up, would more strictly identify from whom that particular rhetoric originated.
As mentioned previously, all Case Studies have presented the same source text, marked up in varying compliance with TEI recommendations. The TEI recommendations are extensive, and to apply every possible tag would require an exorbitant amount of time. In order to satisfy the aims of this project, I have determined a short list of possible additions that could be easily included to enrich the standard of mark-up currently in place.
- a suggestion to make xml:id’s indicative of location within a text, within a corpus
- an example implementing geo-tagging
- suggestions for improved tags within dialogue
- a consideration of the current provisions for tagging states and traits of a persona
- a mention of the neologisms used by Shakespeare.
The Folger edition (Case Study D), is the most structurally comprehensive marked up version encountered in this survey. As previously illustrated, there are multiple lines of XML that can surround a single word and each word, punctuation character, and space, has its own xml:id. This identification is relevant within the text, however, taken out of context there is no indication to which text it belongs. Considering the granular manner in which the Folger Digital Texts are marked up, the addition of any tags requires careful attention. The example below illustrates how additional information could be included in the xml:id’s of the Folger edition (D).
I suggest a simple addition to the formatting of xml:id’s across the text, in line with the style of mark-up as seen in Case Study A, for example:
<w xml:id=”w0113130″ n=”1.3.426″>Thus</w>
Additional information included:
<w xml:id=”sha-oth-w0113130″ n=”1.3.426″>Thus</w>
‘sha’ indicating the Shakespeare corpus, ‘oth’
indicating presence within the play Othello,
and a continuation of the ‘w’ identification numbers and remainder of the tag.
Each work would need to have an individual identifier, preferably something
that is universally agreed on to facilitate future cross-institutional collaboration.
When processing a corpus, this would be a small but valuable addition to the
xml:id’s currently in place.
The simplest form of tagging a place name, is the <placeName> tag. There are levels of complexity that can be added to this tag, for example, including country, district, town etc. A simple instance of <placeName> could be implemented in this manner:
Original Digital Bodleian text:
<l n=”115″>This is Venice: my house is not a Grange.</l>
Additional mark-up included:
<l n=”115″>This is <placeName>Venice</placeName>: my house is not a Grange.</l>
TEI documentation notes that <l> may contain <placeName> (TEI n.d.) and that <placeName> is contained by <l> (TEI n.d.). This leaves no uncertainty regarding the necessary structure of the tags.
In relation to tagging place the <geoDecl> allows for latitude and longitude to be noted; however, place names and the locations of cities change and move over time. Historically significant place names with attached latitude and longitude markers are made available through the Pleiades project (Costa et. al n.d.). Implementing this tag would introduce the numerical representation of latitude and longitude into the text that is visible by the end user; this latitude and longitude could be removed from the user’s view using CSS. The original XML download from the Bodleian Digital collection was not accompanied by a CSS, consequently, and in consideration of time constraints, I have not implemented the latitude and longitude as I will not be creating a CSS to remove the numerical representation of the location from the text. I have implemented the historically accurate latitude and longitude in creating the data visualisation maps below. Figure 11 illustrates which countries were most commonly used as settings in the plays of Shakespeare. Figure 12 illustrates the cities in which Shakespeare set his plays and also highlights the genre of plays at that location. Interactive versions of these data visualisations are available at:
- Number of titles with a common country as its main setting
- Plays of Shakespeare,
grouped by Genre
The tagging of place throughout the works of Shakespeare
will work towards identifying the consistency of place and identity portrayed at
The identification and quantification of interpersonal dialogue offers an insight into the persona of the characters in that dialogue. Michael Scott in his dissection of the Shakespeare Corpus (n.d.), separated each play by speaker. This separation identifies the speaker and the content of the speech in isolation; however, when considering the nature of interaction between individuals, information can be deduced regarding many facets of the individual’s character, for example, background and socio-economic status. Graham Allen notes
every character in the dialogic [drama] has a specific, in some senses, unique personality. This ‘personality’ involves the character’s world-view, typical mode of speech, ideological and social positioning, all of which are expressed through the character’s words. (2011)
Remembering that this is the consideration of theatre and fiction, the facts derived by the audience regarding a character’s background and persona is, at least in part, a construct of the author, Shakespeare; through dialogue, the author’s assertions regarding the persona of the character is exposed.
To identify interactive dialogue, and single out these assertions in an accurate manner, the TEI suggests the use of <said>. The tagging structure as suggested by the TEI notes that <sp>, is contained by <said> (TEI n.d.); however, this addition is not entirely necessary as <sp> has already been applied to the Bodleian Digital Text and can contain the attribute @who and @toWhom. The Bodleian Library edition has already noted the value for the @who attribute. I have made the following changes to include the @toWhom attribute:
Original Bodleian text:
Additional information included:
<sp who=”#F-oth-bra” toWhom=”#F-oth-rod”>
The mark-up now identifies the speaker as Brabantio, as well
as the intended recipient, Roderigo. I have made over one hundred and fifty
additions of the @toWhom attribute in Act 1, of Othello. Some of these instances denote more than one intended
recipient in this manner: <sp
Within the TEI guidelines, there are explicit instructions in relation to the tagging of many personal traits and attributes; however, there are no specific guidleines regarding the tagging of race in literature. On the listserv discussion board there are suggestions of how to tag this physical element of identity (LISTSERV n.d.). Considering the extensive nature of the TEI recommendations, it is surprising that such a basic tag has not yet been set. The <trait> tag can be used to denote character traits that are enduring about a persona, for example eye colour. If there is a time limit on the attribute being expressed <state> is a more appropriate tag available for use.
<trait> as an indication of the more enduring characteristics of a persona, may be declared in the front matter of the text, as part of the <roleDesc>. The <roleDesc> may also contain <state> tags but given the changing nature of characters throughout the course of the performance, the TEI guidelines make allowance for the inclusion of <state> and <trait> in a wide variety of tags, including <l>, <p> and <ab>.
This is a point that needs to be clarified in the TEI documentation. As in the example below, Othello is not referred to by name, but by a derogatory term “thicks-lips” (1.1.66 Othello), referencing his ethnicity. Arguably, there is a difference between the definition of ethnicity and race as outlined by the OED. Race has reference to “a group of people, animals, or plants, connected by common descent or origin” (OED 2019) whereas ethnicity includes consideration of “national or cultural tradition” (OED 2019). After consulting the literature provided by the TEI and perusing the TEI LISTSERV archives (LISTSERV n.d.), I have aligned with the practice of using <trait>. In implementing this tag, I have made the following inclusions:
Original Bodleian Digital text (Roderigo in conversation with Iago, about Othello):
<l n=”69″>What a fall Fortune do’s
the Thicks‑lips owe</l>
Additional information included:
<sp who=”#F-oth-rod” toWhom=”#F-oth-iag”>
<l n=”69″>What a fall Fortune do’s the <trait type=”racialSlur” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc> Thicks‑lips</desc></trait> owe</l>
Building on previous suggestions and examples, this example now reflects that this dialogue is between Roderigo and Iago, and that Roderigo includes a racial slur which is aimed at Othello. It is noteworthy that Othello is not named until the third scene of act one, up to that point, the only identity that Othello has, is ascribed to him by others. While it is intelligible that the slur is aimed at Othello, and he is most frequently known as a “moor”, the key=”moor” is included here for future use when the Shakespeare corpus is processed. This key will catch all references towards and about personas characterised as moors, be the references racial slurs or otherwise; for example, Othello, the moor, is referred to as a “noble moor” in acts 2 and 3 of Othello. Preparing this text for processing alongside other texts will result in a more comprehensive picture of the character type ascribed to the “moor” by Shakespeare.
Below is a short sample of tags I applied in relation to determining the identity of a persona as presented in the text.
Attributes ascribed to the persona Othello underlined
<state type=”derogatory” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc>deuill</desc></state>
<state type=”derogatory” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc>foule Theefe </desc> </state>
<state type=”derogatory” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc>Damn’d</desc></state>
<state type=”derogatory” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc>grosse claspes</desc></state>
<state type=”derogatory” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc>Lasciuious </desc></state>
<state type=”derogatory” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc>erring</desc></state>
<trait type=”ethnicity” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc>Moore</desc></trait>
<trait type=”racialSlur” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc>Barbarian</desc></trait>
<trait type=”racialSlur” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc>Thicks-lips</desc></trait>
<trait type=”racialSlur” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc>old blacke Ram</desc></trait>
<trait type=”racialSlur” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc>Barbary horse</desc></trait>
<trait type=”racialSlur” ref=”#F-oth-oth” key=”moor”><desc>sootie</desc></trait>
Attributes ascribed to the persona Desdemona undrelined
<state type=”compliment” ref=”#F-oth-des”><desc>Beautie</desc></state>
<state type=”compliment” ref=”#F-oth-des”><desc>wit</desc></state>
<state type=”compliment” ref=”#F-oth-des”><desc>Fortunes</desc></state>
<state type=”compliment” ref=”#F-oth-des”><desc>gentle</desc></state>
<state type=”compliment” ref=”#F-oth-des”><desc>Maid</desc></state>
<state type=”compliment” ref=”#F-oth-des”><desc>tender</desc></state>
<state type=”compliment” ref=”#F-oth-des”><desc>Faire</desc></state>
<state type=”compliment” ref=”#F-oth-des”><desc>Happie</desc></state>
<state type=”compliment” ref=”#F-oth-des”><desc>delicate Youth</desc></state>
<state type=”compliment” ref=”#F-oth-des”><desc>faire Ladies</desc></state>
Before Othello has a name, the identity ascribed to him by others is profoundly negative; in contrast, Desdemona, as the daughter of a Venetian Senator is described in flattering and complimentary terms.
After a wider scale consideration of the works of Shakespeare, a schema of standard state and trait types would need to be drawn up. This would provide a framework to continue the analysis of states and traits in a controlled manner instead of assigning a chaotically long list of types. This may require a reconsideration of the types currently assigned; however, the result would provide a more stable structure in the consideration of typing states and traits.
Shakespeare is well known for being a creator of words (see Figure 13). Identifying the words he created, for use in specific plays would add to the analysis of place and identity. Identifying new words and the frequency with which distinct and new words are associated with a particular place would be an interesting exercise. Perhaps in creating new words Shakespeare expresses discontent with the words available to him to describe a place or persona; perhaps the creation of a new word was a metrical imperative. Applying XML tags to identify the location of these neologisms – within either prose, or verse/poetry – could solve this query.
Whatever the reason for the inclusion of new words, applying a tag to these words will help to identify and catalogue them across the corpus. Without completing this exercise on a wide scale, it is difficult to surmise what the results might be.
Within the Bodleian XML version of Othello prose, or conversational speech, is enclosed in <p> paragraph tags, while verse is enclosed in <l> line tags.
<p n=”646″>It is sillynesse to liue, when to liue is torment:
<lb n=”647″/>and then haue we a prescription to dye, when death is
<lb n=”648″/>our Physition.</p>
n=”863″>Nay, it is true: or else I am a Turke,</l>
<l n=”864″>You rise to play, and go to bed to worke.</l>
The Oxford English Dictionary online hosts a list of Shakespeare’s neologisms. Differentiation is made between “first use” and “first in sense” (See Figure 13), that is, this was either the very first recorded instance of the word, or, this instance is the first recorded use of the word with a new meaning.
Below is an example of the tag and attributes I applied to identify the neologisms used by Shakespeare:
<l n=”11″><distinct time=”1615″ type=”neologism-sp-oth”>off-capt</distinct>
Words coined by Shakespeare outside of this text also appear within this text; for example, “unbonnetted” first appears in King Lear (3.1.14) in 1608 (Neill 2008). I have recorded that fact in this manner:
<l n=”221″>…<distinct time=”1608″ type=”neologism-sp-kl”>vnbonnetted</distinct>
applied the <distinct>
tag and have included the attributes @time and @type. This indicates the year of the first
published instance of word, as recognized by the OED, within the Shakespeare
corpus, in the plays Othello or King Lear. The <l> indicates that this
neologism has been placed within a line of verse. Closer observation reveals
that the lines within this particular speech each have ten stresses. The
invention of these neologisms may be a metrical necessity to maintain the iambic
pentameter. Throughout Act 1 of Othello
all neologisms, bar one, appear within lines of verse; admittedly, the majority
of the dialogue in Act 1 is written in verse. To determine the reasoning behind
the creation of the neologisms and how they apply to place and identity will
require a wider survey of literature.
The influence of Shakespeare is unavoidable when considering worldwide literature curricula, everyday speech and narrative remediation. Allen notes that “contemporary literature seems concerned with echoing and playing with previous stories [and] classic texts” (2011).
The research statement I set out to investigate was: mapping the consistencies between geography and identity will help to identify and track the perpetuation of bias through literature. To satisfy my original research question the complete works of Shakespeare would need to be considered, ideally along with texts that have influenced Shakespeare’s writings, as well as texts that have been influenced by the works of Shakespeare. Having these resources on hand, we can begin to identify and track facets of the texts that have changed from preceding and proceeding versions of the narrative; for example, Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta – written between 1589-90 – and Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice – written between 1596-99 – are too similar to ignore. Immediately we can see that Shakespeare relocates the Jew to Venice and defines him, at least in the title of the play, by occupation rather than by religion or ethnicity. Is this relocation and shift in presenting identity consistent with other texts, or individual to this text? Processing the corpus along with other source documents and texts would identify trends of this sort, if there are indeed trends to identify.
Considering the vast ability of TEI compliant XML, the focus of this study – place and identity – may seem trivial; however, as Tronch notes, the range of tags provided by the TEI standard mean that the “possibilities could be dangerously infinite” and limits must be imposed by the editor (2016). To comprehensively make use of all TEI recommended tags for even a singular text, I have come to learn, would be a mammoth task.
As outlined in the Evaluation section, I have applied additional mark-up to the first act of the play Othello.
The @toWhom attribute has been added to all instances of dialogue except where it is unclear whom the speaker is addressing. In some instances, in compliance with the TEI recommendations, multiple @atWhom attributes have been applied within a single <sp> tag where the dialogue has been aimed at more than one recipient. This goes beyond the current state of scholarship which either identifies the speaker in isolation (Scott n.d.) or identifies network proximity (Grandjean n.d.), that is,determining to whom the speaker has spoken to due to the proximity of speech opportunities rather than the content of that speech. Place names have been identified and tagged accordingly. States, as temporary persona attributes, have been attributed to their intended recipients using the <state> tag along with a reference to their character identifier. The <trait> tag, which identifies the more enduring characteristics of a persona, has been applied in a similar fashion to the <state> tag. Distinct words or neologisms which are noted in the Oxford World Classic’s edition of Othello (Neill 2008), have been noted using <distinct> tags. The wider observation of these neologisms across the works of Shakespeare may or may not illuminate trends of word creation in connection with place and identity.
I have applied the aforementioned tags and attributes in order to enrich the standard of mark-up currently available. Complying with the TEI standards and drawing on the resources made available through the Bodleian Digital Collections at Oxford University, will facilitate further development and possible future collaboration with interested parties in extending this level of mark-up to other Shakespearean texts and developing this resource further.
that “facticity … [r]efers to the unavoidable influence of certain canonical
writers. Shakespeare’s plays may have been fictitious, but their influence on
every subsequent writer gives them the status of facts, of facticity” (2011).
My research question is borne out of the curiosity regarding the truthfulness
of those facts; have lies and bias been perpetuated through those texts
assigned the state of facticity? Almost certainly, but what are they? While
this project has only scratched the surface, the result of semantic
mark-up and enquiry into the questions of place and identity will slowly
unearth the opinions, bias, and cultural baggage, buried in Shakespeare’s texts
four hundred years ago.
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“ethnicity, n.”. OED Online. March 2019. Oxford University Press. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/64791?redirectedFrom=ethnicity.
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Gibson, Kristy. 2016. “Shakespeare in the OED.” Oxford English Dictionary. April 5, 2016. https://public.oed.com/blog/shakespeare/. Accessed April 1st, 2019.
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Grandjean, Martin. n.d. “Network Visualization: Mapping Shakespeare’s Tragedies.” Martin Grandjean. Accessed March 25, 2019. http://www.martingrandjean.ch/network-visualization-shakespeare/.
Hermansen, Philip. 2015. “Shakespeare’s Language: Othello.” Utah Shakespeare Festival. Utah Shakespeare Festival. December 1, 2015. https://www.bard.org/study-guides/shakespeares-language-othello.
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LISTSERV 16.5 – TEI-L Archives. Accessed March 9, 2019. https://listserv.brown.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind1711&L=TEI-L&P=R4605.
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“race, n.6”. OED Online. March 2019. Oxford University Press. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/157031.
Robertson, J. Minto. “WANTED-A SHAKESPEARE ATLAS AND GAZETTEER.” OUP Academic. July 01, 1946. Accessed March 01, 2019. https://academic.oup.com/english/article/6/32/69/449281.
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Shakespeare, William. 2008. Hamlet. Edited by George Richard Hibbard. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Shakespeare, William. 2008. King Lear. Edited by Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Shakespeare, William. 2008. Othello, the Moor of Venice. Edited by Michael Neill. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Text taken from The Bodleian First Folio: digital facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, Bodleian Arch. G c.7. URL: http://firstfolio.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/. (Citation presented as required by The Bodleian First Folio website).
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|<ab>||(anonymous block) contains any arbitrary component-level unit of text, acting as an anonymous container for phrase or inter level elements analogous to, but without the semantic baggage of, a paragraph. [16.3 Blocks, Segments, and Anchors]|
|<altIdentifier>||(alternative identifier) contains an alternative or former structured identifier used for a manuscript or other object, such as a former catalogue number. [10.4 The Manuscript Identifier]|
|<c>||(character) represents a character. [17.1 Linguistic Segment Categories]|
|<date>||contains a date in any format. [3.5.4 Dates and Times 2.2.4 Publication, Distribution, Licensing, etc. 2.6 The Revision Description 220.127.116.11 Imprint, Size of a Document, and Reprint Information 15.2.3 The Setting Description 13.3.7 Dates and Times]|
|<geoDecl>||(geographic coordinates declaration) documents the notation and the datum used for geographic coordinates expressed as content of the geo element elsewhere within the document. [2.3.8 The Geographic Coordinates Declaration]|
|<gi>||(element name) contains the name (generic identifier) of an element. [22 Documentation Elements 22.5 Element Specifications]|
|<history>||groups elements describing the full history of a manuscript, manuscript part, or other object. [10.8 History]|
|<idno>||(identifier) supplies any form of identifier used to identify some object, such as a bibliographic item, a person, a title, an organization, etc. in a standardized way. [2.2.4 Publication, Distribution, Licensing, etc. 2.2.5 The Series Statement18.104.22.168 Imprint, Size of a Document, and Reprint Information]|
|<interp>||(interpretation) summarizes a specific interpretative annotation which can be linked to a span of text. [17.3 Spans and Interpretations]|
|<interpretation>||describes the scope of any analytic or interpretive information added to the text in addition to the transcription. [2.3.3 The Editorial Practices Declaration]|
|<l>||(verse line) contains a single, possibly incomplete, line of verse. [3.12.1 Core Tags for Verse 3.12 Passages of Verse or Drama 7.2.5 Speech Contents]|
|<lb>||(line beginning) marks the beginning of a new (typographic) line in some edition or version of a text. [3.10.3 Milestone Elements 7.2.5 Speech Contents]|
|<milestone>||marks a boundary point separating any kind of section of a text, typically but not necessarily indicating a point at which some part of a standard reference system changes, where the change is not represented by a structural element. [3.10.3 Milestone Elements]|
|<msIdentifier>||(manuscript identifier) contains the information required to identify the manuscript or similar object being described. [10.4 The Manuscript Identifier]|
|<note>||contains a note or annotation. [3.8.1 Notes and Simple Annotation 2.2.6 The Notes Statement 22.214.171.124 Notes and Statement of Language 126.96.36.199 Notes within Entries]|
|<p>||(paragraph) marks paragraphs in prose. [3.1 Paragraphs 7.2.5 Speech Contents]|
|<pc>||(punctuation character) contains a character or string of characters regarded as constituting a single punctuation mark. [17.1.2 Below the Word Level 17.4.2 Lightweight Linguistic Annotation]|
|<physDesc>||(physical description) contains a full physical description of a manuscript, manuscript part, or other object optionally subdivided using more specialized elements from the model.physDescPart class. [10.7 Physical Description]|
|<placeName>||contains an absolute or relative place name. [13.2.3 Place Names]|
|<projectDesc>||(project description) describes in detail the aim or purpose for which an electronic file was encoded, together with any other relevant information concerning the process by which it was assembled or collected. [2.3.1 The Project Description 2.3 The Encoding Description 15.3.2 Declarable Elements]|
|<ptr>||(pointer) defines a pointer to another location. [3.6 Simple Links and Cross-References 16.1 Links]|
|<pubPlace>||(publication place) contains the name of the place where a bibliographic item was published. [188.8.131.52 Imprint, Size of a Document, and Reprint Information]|
|<refsDecl>||(references declaration) specifies how canonical references are constructed for this text. [184.108.40.206 Milestone Method 2.3 The Encoding Description 2.3.6 The Reference System Declaration]|
|<revisionDesc>||(revision description) summarizes the revision history for a file. [2.6 The Revision Description 2.1.1 The TEI Header and Its Components]|
|<roleDesc>||(role description) describes a character’s role in a drama. [7.1.4 Cast Lists]|
|<said>||(speech or thought) indicates passages thought or spoken aloud, whether explicitly indicated in the source or not, whether directly or indirectly reported, whether by real people or fictional characters. [3.3.3 Quotation]|
|<seriesStmt>||(series statement) groups information about the series, if any, to which a publication belongs. [2.2.5 The Series Statement 2.2 The File Description]|
|<sp>||(speech) contains an individual speech in a performance text, or a passage presented as such in a prose or verse text. [3.12.2 Core Tags for Drama 3.12 Passages of Verse or Drama 7.2.2 Speeches and Speakers]|
|<stage>||(stage direction) contains any kind of stage direction within a dramatic text or fragment. [3.12.2 Core Tags for Drama 3.12 Passages of Verse or Drama 7.2.4 Stage Directions]|
|<state>||contains a description of some status or quality attributed to a person, place, or organization often at some specific time or for a specific date range. [13.3.1 Basic Principles 220.127.116.11 Personal Characteristics]|
|<tagsDecl>||(tagging declaration) provides detailed information about the tagging applied to a document. [2.3.4 The Tagging Declaration 2.3 The Encoding Description]|
|<trait>||contains a description of some status or quality attributed to a person, place, or organization typically, but not necessarily, independent of the volition or action of the holder and usually not at some specific time or for a specific date range. [13.3.1 Basic Principles 18.104.22.168 Personal Characteristics]|
|<w>||(word) represents a grammatical (not necessarily orthographic) word. [17.1 Linguistic Segment Categories 17.4.2 Lightweight Linguistic Annotation]|
 For more on the discussion on the term ‘Moor’ see Vaughan, Virginia Mason. 2016. “Critical Approaches to Othello.” Discovering Literature: Shakespeare & Renaissance. The British Library. March 15, 2016. Accessed March 13, 2019. https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/critical-approaches-to-othello.
 For a discussion on the importance of differentiating between prose and verse see Hermansen, 2015. https://www.bard.org/study-guides/shakespeares-language-othello.