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Tracking Social Networking In Shakespeare Plays 233

An anonymous reader writes "By feeding PieSpy (an IRC bot used to visualise social networks) with the entire texts of Shakespeare plays, it became possible to produce drawings of the social networks present in his plays - it is now possible to visualize the relationships between the characters in his works, and see Shakespeare in an entirely new light."
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Tracking Social Networking In Shakespeare Plays

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  • What about... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lofoforabr ( 751004 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @08:41AM (#8530667) Homepage
    feeding a program written in Shakespeare Programming Language [ernet.in] to it? Should be real fun!
    • BOT (Score:2, Funny)

      by essreenim ( 647659 )
      Yeah, it seems like a good bot. I think it's abilities might be better served somewhere else though.

      If I named it fairy princess and recorded transcripts of conversations between me and my EX
      maybe I could convince her that it was in fact she who was the weak link in the social network!

    • Having read the linked article, I must say that's the single most amusing thing I've seen in ages!! I say we should translate all of the linux kernel into SPL - that would shove it up Darl's nose bigtime. Introduce him to the list of characters and we can all have fun making up negative constants.....

    • Thankyou!

      I now have something to do with my afternoon, as I attempt to persuade the language to do something useful :P
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 11, 2004 @11:24AM (#8531722)
      IRC Shakespeare...

      <HAMLET> Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
      of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
      borne me on his back a thousand times;

      <L33tBoi> ROFL LOL!!!? u r a fag
  • by scorp888 ( 53723 ) <scorp888.hotmail@com> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @08:42AM (#8530671)
    That is the question...
  • by DukeLinux ( 644551 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @08:42AM (#8530673)
    Facinating. Unfortunately, the video on the web site raised an error. Slashdot effect? If this technique were applied to other great works I wonder if any patterns might emerge?
  • ENG 201 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CGP314 ( 672613 ) <CGP@@@ColinGregoryPalmer...net> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @08:43AM (#8530684) Homepage
    see Shakespeare in an entirely new light.

    No thanks. My high school english classes did a good job of making sure that I'd never enjoy classic works.

    There's no way to make someone hate reading faster than english classes.

    -Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]
    • Re:ENG 201 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jabes ( 238775 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @08:51AM (#8530707) Homepage
      Not sure that's true. When I did English & English Lit. at school, I hated it. With a passion.

      I read as little as possible, thought all the books must be rubbish.

      Now I'm older, and I've reread some of the books we did (1984, Of Mice & Men, Royal Hunt of the Sun, various sharespeare, Chrysalids, Farenheit 451 etc).. and I'm finding that they're actually pretty good.

      Perhaps you should try it? Get yourself a couple of Shakespeare DVDs (the Brannah ones are quite good), sit back, and enjoy. Then once you know the basis of the story you'll find that the text is rather less opaque.

      Enjoy!
      • Re:ENG 201 (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nuffle ( 540687 )

        Get yourself a couple of Shakespeare DVDs (the Brannah ones are quite good), sit back, and enjoy. Then once you know the basis of the story you'll find that the text is rather less opaque.

        I wonder what Shakespeare would in fact have thought of his plays being made into movies. Obviously some movies are bad, and I can't imagine he would care to have his wording changed in most circumstances, since he took the time to write in iambic pentameter. But would he care for even the best of the movies? Watchin

        • Re:ENG 201 (Score:4, Insightful)

          by HeghmoH ( 13204 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @09:50AM (#8530956) Homepage Journal
          I believe that if Shakespeare were alive today, he'd be working in Hollywood, pumping out those rare summer blockbusters with enough intelligence to entertain the intellectual snobs (like me) while simultaneously having enough guns, explosions, and sex to make it interesting.

          Today, plays are a rather rarefied thing; it's a specialist, almost elitist, art. But when Shakespeare was alive, the theater was what your local MPAA-approved cinema is today: mostly trashy entertainment for the unwashed masses. I think he would have seen it as only natural to make his plays into movies once movies were invented.
          • Re:ENG 201 (Score:2, Insightful)

            "I believe that if Shakespeare were alive today, he'd be working in Hollywood..."
            How do you know he's not?
          • Re:ENG 201 (Score:3, Interesting)

            by C10H14N2 ( 640033 )
            Oddly enough, there seems to be a direct correlation between the number of years spent studying Shakespeare and the intellectual distance from the mob that first appreciated it. Every once in awhile someone hauls out the perennial "let's take something blatantly trashy a deliver as high Shakespearean" or vice versa and the audience coos and gushes at the artistic genius of the director. Meanwhile, the rest of the population takes a knowing glance, shrugs, and wanders off.
          • Re:ENG 201 (Score:4, Informative)

            by discjockeydom ( 676990 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @11:07AM (#8531553)
            Funny you fention the MPAA. Piracy was rife even in the day of Shakespeare. He was regularly ripped off when 'pirates' would discretely write down the words to the play whilst watching and then open the same play up else where. It is still unclear whether some of the plays are originals or infact copies (usually with errors or missing scenes).
          • Re:ENG 201 (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Rallion ( 711805 )
            Unfortunately, his work would still be stolen from the pens of giants that came long before him.

            He probably would be doing things like, say, The Musketeer, or that Count of Monte Cristo movie, but doing them the way they should have been done.
          • Re:ENG 201 (Score:3, Insightful)

            by kiwimate ( 458274 )
            You're right. Here's the thing, though...

            In 2454, those blockbusters of Shakespeare would still be available, being discussed, argued about, and generally still in the public eye. Pick any film from the past decade and try to decide if there's the vaguest possibility of that film being discussed 450 years from now.

            Come to that, think how many movies from 50 years ago are still in the popular eye (as opposed to just old film buffs). There are plenty of 50 year old films, but only a handful which would be r
          • Re:ENG 201 (Score:3, Insightful)

            by DerekLyons ( 302214 )

            I believe that if Shakespeare were alive today, he'd be working in Hollywood, pumping out those rare summer blockbusters with enough intelligence to entertain the intellectual snobs (like me) while simultaneously having enough guns, explosions, and sex to make it interesting.

            Keep in mind that Shakespeare in his day was a hack, not a genius. His work wasn't created as Art, but to sell tickets and put food on the table. He hewed closely to the norms of his era, retold storied well known to his audience, a

        • Re:ENG 201 (Score:2, Interesting)

          by kimota ( 136493 )
          I think he would've been fine with it, as long as he was getting his cut. You have to remember that most of his plays were adaptations of others' work (in other literary forms sometimes), he gave us sequels, and at least in one major case (King Lear), he took a popular legend and gave it a surprise ending. He strikes me as having been *perfectly* willing to let a story morph as necessary to make it more interesting for its medium.

          --Kimota!, exit, pursued by a bear....
        • Re:ENG 201 (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Keebler71 ( 520908 )
          I wonder what Shakespeare would think if he knew that his plays were learned by students the world over in TEXT format. These were -plays- after all. I think he would be happier with people viewing them as movies than just sitting and reading them.
      • Re:ENG 201 (Score:4, Informative)

        by PaschalNee ( 451912 ) <pneeNO@SPAMtoombeola.com> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @09:30AM (#8530854) Homepage
        Or if you don't have the time to see the full set of DVDs you can try these guys [reducedshakespeare.com]. All 37 plays in 97 minutes and funny as hell.
      • Henry V (Score:3, Informative)

        Perhaps you should try it? Get yourself a couple of Shakespeare DVDs (the Brannah ones are quite good), sit back, and enjoy. Then once you know the basis of the story you'll find that the text is rather less opaque.

        I completely agree with you, but if the grandparent is going to take your advice, he should probably google for "Branagh," so he'll actually find what he's looking for. ;)

        I recommend anyone trying to get into Shakespeare start with Branagh's Henry V. It's about beating up on the French (with
        • Re:Henry V (Score:3, Insightful)

          Try Kurosawa's 'Throne of Blood' for quite simply the best film adaptation of Macbeth.
    • Re:ENG 201 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by templest ( 705025 ) <xiplst@gBLUEmail.com minus berry> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @08:52AM (#8530708) Homepage Journal
      You must of had a pretty crappy teacher then. TV pretty much made me hate shakespear back in the day, but my highschool english teacher actually made it good. Macbeth kicks ass, and to you sir, I bite my thumb.
    • Re:ENG 201 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 16K Ram Pack ( 690082 ) <tim.almond@gmail . c om> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @09:03AM (#8530753) Homepage
      My Eng Lit classes made me think that Shakespeare was nothing but a chore. Thankfully, some friends encouraged me to go and see it at the theatre.

      Before any kid is given a book of a Shakespeare play, they should go and see it performed.

      And a note to english teachers - these are stories and are meant to entertain people - remember that when you teach it.

    • No thanks. My high school english classes did a good job of making sure that I'd never enjoy classic works.

      You can go to a book store and get a Shakespeare play as a "Shakespeare Made Easy" book.. has modern text alongside the Shakespeare text, which you can read before every paragraph.

      To learn to enjoy Shakespeare, pick up a copy of "The Tempest" and read the part when Caliban gets drunk and starts worshipping a butler. It had me laughing out loud.

      Just so I don't stay off-topic, I'm betting the Tem

    • There's no way to make someone hate reading faster than english classes.

      Umm, instead of reading a play, why not go and watch it instead? Makes more sense to me.

      Hey, and seeing as you're in London, why not head down the Globe theatre...?

  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @08:49AM (#8530701)
    Based on the article and PieSpy site, it seems that PieSpy only finds the existence of a connection between members -- a symmetric relationship in which "A connects to B" implies "B connects to A". Yet human relationships tend to be asymmetric: "A likes B" does not imply that "B likes A" and "A controls B" certainly does not imply "B controls A".

    A more powerful version of PieSpy would examine the text (and context) of who is connecting to whom. For example, the introduction of new words by some members of the network and the echoing of those words by others would help identify the directional flow of information in the network and help assess the level of control of the thread by some members over others. Analyzing the emotional content of words in threads could probably even let the software make approximate judgements of who likes/hates whom. Analyzing when some members leave IRC as a function of the joining of other members might also help detect asymmetric relationships.
    • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @09:24AM (#8530829)
      Based on the article and PieSpy site, it seems that PieSpy only finds the existence of a connection between members -- a symmetric relationship in which "A connects to B" implies "B connects to A". Yet human relationships tend to be asymmetric: "A likes B" does not imply that "B likes A" and "A controls B" certainly does not imply "B controls A".

      Spot on. The plots are driven by asymmetric interpersonal relationships. It is the very basis of all the humor and all the tragedy.

      • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @10:28AM (#8531198) Journal
        Spot on. The plots are driven by asymmetric interpersonal relationships. It is the very basis of all the humor and all the tragedy.

        You mean that A loves B but B doesn't realize she's a woman dressed as a man and therefore loves C who loves D? I guess that's true.

        On the other hand, what does come across strikingly is how the peripheral goofball characters (Dogberry and Verges, the rude mechanicals, the various collections of guards) float around in isolation for four acts before crashing in to help wrap up the ending.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      A really advanced version of PieSpy, like, say, I don't know, a high school English class?

      When we "need" a chat bot to understand the works of a writer considered by many to be the greatest (English-language) in history, I fear for society.

      I agree in essence with the original poster's thoughts on symetric/asymetric relationships, I just think that this thread is getting ahead of itself with the whole "Ohmygawd! We found social networks in Shakespeare" bit. Next week we'll see if there is any symabolism in
  • Can ANYONE explain (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dark Lord Seth ( 584963 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @08:50AM (#8530702) Journal

    ... the latest craze about social networks like Orkut or Friendster? I'm indifferent to the internet or the people on the internet so I highly doubt social networks on the net will ever be even slightly interesting for me, personally. But I really don't see what's worth the fuss about them, because they aren't exactly incorporating ground-breaking technologies, stunning visualizations nor original and efficient business plans. So while I don't doubt the fact these "social networks" are fun for those participating, I don't actually see anything about them that's worthy of a front page post on Slashdot...

    Maybe a nice new topic on Slashdot called "The Internet Society" with stuff like *logs, social networks and everything else regarding the social aspects of the internet?

    • I can (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DrSkwid ( 118965 )


      "There must be a way we can make $ out of the internet without directly selling stuff. Let's get people to write content for free, archive it and when people search it show them ads relevant to their terms / the page's terms"

    • by CGP314 ( 672613 ) <CGP@@@ColinGregoryPalmer...net> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @09:03AM (#8530755) Homepage
      Can ANYONE explain the latest craze about social networks like Orkut or Friendster?

      While I can't answer why it's a craze right now, I can tell you why I personally like using Orkut.

      I've always liked the idea of bulletin boards and discussion groups on the internet, but I found them less than engaging in practice. The main reason for this for me was because they were faceless. I could never remember if I had replied to HMN22's comments before or not -- I could never get a sense of the personalities I was interacting with.

      On the communities in Orkut, I can see a picture of the person next to each comment they make. That is a world of difference for me. Now I can much more easily remember if I've interacted with that person before. Also, I can check out their profile and get more of a sense of who they are.

      But as I said, that's just why I like it -- I'm sure many others have very different reasons.

      -Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]
    • by rm007 ( 616365 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @09:08AM (#8530774) Journal
      Good question, I tend to share your indifference about things like Orkut and Friendster, however I can see why they are of interest.

      The internet and WWW are more than information technologies or even communications technologies, one of the most complelling uses for them are as technologies for maintaining relationships aka relationship technologies (and yes, I realize that differentiating this from communications might seem difficult, but for now lets leave it at communications being an important part of a relationship). The importance of relationship technologies can be seen in how instant messaging, chat and especially email have driven the widespread adoption of technology. These social networks are really just the latest experiment. Whether or not it will succeed to the point where they are as ubiquitous as email or IM is questionable. Nevertheless they are worthy of some attention, and possibly even the occassional front page post on Slashdot as examples of how technology is being applied to the important aspects of peoples daily lives and thus being ever more embedded in these lives.

      More generally, the study of social networks are helpful for understanding things ranging from power relationships in society to the adoption and diffusion of innovation, not, of course, that Orkut or Friendster is likely to help with this aspect.
    • by D-Cypell ( 446534 )
      I don't actually see anything about them that's worthy of a front page post on Slashdot...

      Well they do seem worthy of an actual feature of slashdot. Isnt the friend or foe feature just a limited depth social network map?

      I quite often see the 'friend of a friend' or 'foe of a friend' icons on posts as im reading through, so it seems that social networks are very much a part of this community.
    • by ojQj ( 657924 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @10:05AM (#8531071)
      Just a little side note:
      I'm indifferent to the internet or the people on the internet

      People who bother to say something to other people are trying to reach out to other people. Obviously you wanted people on the internet to read what you wrote otherwise you wouldn't have written it and submitted it to ./.

      Thus the very making of this comment makes it incorrect.

    • by PMuse ( 320639 )
      ... the latest craze about social networks like Orkut or Friendster?

      I'll offer a few.

      1. People like to interact and to form groups. Anyone who's been to secondary school has ample (often painful) evidence of this. But, in the world, there are lots of reasons the connections don't form: distance, convenience, physical appearance, race, and relative wealth being just a few of them.

      Online social networks ignore some of these physical world "dimensions of compatibility". The result is increased emphasis
    • by yerM)M ( 720808 )
      In this case there is some wonderful synergy between popular conceits (i.e. the wonder of social networks) and science (i.e. the wonder of protein networks). One interesting aspect of both such networks is the concept of hubs.

      Let's take the yeast protein interaction network as an example. This network describes the physical interaction of various proteins in that protein A binds to protein B and does something useful, like telling your mitochondria to make more energy. It turns out that some proteins i

    • So you don't think Slashdot is any sort of "social" network? I've made quite a few friends here, to the point of having them fly across the country to stay in my house. Granted that's not why we come here initially, but the effect, in a lot of cases, is exactly the same, isn't it?
  • by 16K Ram Pack ( 690082 ) <tim.almond@gmail . c om> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @08:54AM (#8530712) Homepage
    petruchio: Hi Shrew A/S/L?
  • orkut (Score:4, Funny)

    by CGP314 ( 672613 ) <CGP@@@ColinGregoryPalmer...net> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @08:54AM (#8530715) Homepage
    Great, the last thing I want is to have to ignore a friend request from Hamlet on Orkut. That guy is so whiney and needy.

    Now if only I could think of a clever way to start emailing Juliet.

    -Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]
    • Re:orkut (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Now if only I could think of a clever way to start emailing Juliet.
      Communication with Juliet is managed via a priest-based transport system. However, it is vital to realise that this network does not have guaranteed delivery.
    • Re:orkut (Score:5, Funny)

      by AndroidCat ( 229562 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @09:45AM (#8530925) Homepage
      Dude! She's 13, underage and her daddy doesn't want her to get married for another two years. You are so busted!

      You've got law-enforcement!

  • by Channard ( 693317 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @08:55AM (#8530719) Journal
    .. why so many of Shakespeare's works are called comedies just because everyone doesn't die at the end. I saw the Merchant of Venice and there wasn't a single pie-fucking scene in it. I want my money back, dammit.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The pie-fucking scenes were lost somewhere between the First Folio and the commonly performed Quarto versions of the text.

  • Mirrors are very welcome.

    I would love to send this to an english major friend of mine but this site is way well hosed as soon as it hit the main page.

  • by phoxix ( 161744 )
    who thinks Shakespeare is over-rated, and over-valorized ?

    This could have easily been done with any other author/book/etc. Lord of the Flies [gerenser.com] IMO would have been more fitting

    Sunny Dubey
    • who thinks Shakespeare is over-rated, and over-valorized ? Not I. Shakespeare's plays are probably the closest to a complete amalgumation of human emotions, desires, weaknesses, strengths and courage in written form. He's the writer's writer and as such would perhaps be more appreciated by writers, not that the rest of us can't perceive his genius.
    • by slim ( 1652 ) <john.hartnup@net> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @10:10AM (#8531099) Homepage
      This could have easily been done with any other author/book/etc. Lord of the Flies IMO would have been more fitting

      Theorising, somewhat, but if this software was designed for IRC, it expects input roughly in the form "Name of speaker: words spoken".

      Hence it needs plays rather than novels.
  • Porn (Score:2, Funny)

    If you watch the sample video on the web site, you'd see the relationships take the shape of a woman's bra. Shakespeare was a pervert!
  • Stephen King (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skroz ( 7870 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @09:08AM (#8530777) Homepage
    Feed Stephen King's books through this thing. I know (sad) people that have dedicated huge portions of their lives to finding the interconnections between his books and characters. It'd be interesting to see just how deeply connected all of his books are.
  • feds can use it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by oohp ( 657224 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @09:11AM (#8530785) Homepage
    This can be used by the FBI do track down script kiddies. They put it on a couple of channels where the kiddie is on, see who's the kiddie's friends are, identify them, catch them, interrogate them, find out who the kiddie is and catch him.
  • Pretty pictures and animations are great, but it would be even better if he released the underlying data. Like what the Stanford GraphBase did for a handful of literary texts.
    • Re:Data files? (Score:2, Informative)

      by BigBadBri ( 595126 )
      You are taking the piss, aren't you?

      It's a chat analysis bot - feed it the actual lines from the play, and it tries to figure out who is talking with whom and generate a network.

      There might be a need to format the script specially, but other than that, the data should be the plays, verbatim and unsullied by preconceptions.

      • > You are taking the piss, aren't you?

        No, I'm not. I know that one could reconstruct the information if one had to, but, since he had already done the work, it would be nice if he released it.
  • Impossible? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drooling-dog ( 189103 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @09:25AM (#8530835)
    it is now possible to visualize the relationships between the characters in his works, and see Shakespeare in an entirely new light.

    And this was impossible up until now exactly why?

  • by ferkelparade ( 415620 ) <sven@ l r dg.de> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @09:32AM (#8530865) Homepage
    ...only for Schiller plays because that's what's usually read in German classrooms. Basically, we created a chart for every play where all the characters were connected by four different types of arrows which were labeled "kills", "tries to kill", "fucks" and "tries to fuck". Ah, the memories...
  • Anyone have a mirror for the actual bot? He's taken it offline due to slashdotting.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...IRC is living proof that a million monkeys with keyboards will NOT eventually produce the works of Shakespeare.
  • by kathgar1 ( 730100 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @10:04AM (#8531061) Journal
    Google cache [216.239.41.104]
    Program [cox.net]


    http://www.jibble.org/files/PieSpy-0.2.2.zip
    (Original link, only use if mine is down and YOU are going to mirror.)
  • by Burb ( 620144 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @10:09AM (#8531097)
    It's not too hot at analysing the play within a play [anlx.net] of a Midsummer Nights Dream. You will note that it considers "Snug" and "Lion" as separate characters, whereas in the PWP Snug is the character who plays the lion.
  • /. Friends (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wideBlueSkies ( 618979 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @10:19AM (#8531152) Journal
    I wonder how this would look if applied to the /. friends/foes database.

    It'd be interesting to see how the community is aligned.

    wbs.
  • Considering that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern can almost be seen as one character in Hamlet, I'm curious as to why Rosencrantz is in the network, but Guildenstern is not.
    • It's all a matter of when the snapshot is from ;-)

      The network snapshot shown is from the end of Act 4, Scene iv, where Rosencrantz has recently been given the majority of the Rozencrantz/Guildenstern lines, with Guildenstern only having had one line in the previous three scenes (since R&G reappeared in scene 2).

      If you read the site, you'll see that weightings are set to decay with time, so if a character is quiet, he/she will fade from the current network.

      It's an artefact, but highlights an aspect of th

  • by PMuse ( 320639 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @10:26AM (#8531191)
    For your next movie deal, don't just count the lines in your part. Instead, feed the script to PieSpy to see whether the universe really will revolve around you.

    Well, actually, let your agent's geek assistant do it for you -- after all, you "have people" for that sort of thing, don't you?
  • by mjh ( 57755 ) <mark&hornclan,com> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @10:30AM (#8531214) Homepage Journal
    I'm not a Shakespearian scholar, but I did very much enjoy Henry V. I don't remember any scenes where the Hostess interacted with the King of France. [anlx.net] I can think of three possibilities for the descrepancy:
    1. I am forgetting a scene
    2. I am misreading the graph
    3. This thing isn't very accurate
    Anyone else got any input? How should I be reading this?
  • I finally have proof that the world revolves around me. I made a social network diagram of all the people I know and all the people they know. Guess what? I'M at the center! Of course, I knew that all along, but no one would believe me.
  • Soliloquies? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pi42 ( 190576 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @10:41AM (#8531328) Homepage
    I wonder how it deals with all of the soliloquies in Shakespeare's texts, especially since those are some of the largest blocks of conversation.

    Seems like the thickest line should be a loop from Hamlet back to Hamlet.

    Heh.
  • ...this will bring data-mining to the English curriculum? I know for a fact that part of one of my university grades was a result of nothing more complicated than searching the text of Heart of Darkness for gendered pronouns.

    A particularly welcome use of technology, although as a budding English teacher I may be somewhat biased... ;)

  • by JoeLinux ( 20366 ) <joelinux@gmail.cTEAom minus caffeine> on Thursday March 11, 2004 @10:54AM (#8531449) Homepage
    They called it "MacBeth", and they got slashdotted. Guess it really is unlucky. :)
  • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @11:12AM (#8531589) Homepage Journal
    I haven't looked at all of the graphs yet, but I don't think that their algorithm is working correctly.

    In the Henry V [anlx.net] graph, for example, Canterbury and Pistol should be connected to Henry V.

    (Pistol and Henry were actually close friends, but that's from a previous play. Still, they do have one conversation in Henry V).

    In general, the plays they're looking at have fairly small graphs. Shakespeare's tragedies are comparatively small productions. If you want to do something useful, graph out the really big histories: Henry IV or Henry VI. Or better yet, take Henry VI parts 1, 2, and 3, along with Richard III, and graph out the entire War of the Roses, according to Shakespeare.
  • by bolix ( 201977 )
    I like the idea of running a Spaulding Gray monologue through this. The sad little dot in a large blank space. A single node in the digital pool.
  • Neal Stephenson (Score:3, Informative)

    by bluethundr ( 562578 ) * on Thursday March 11, 2004 @01:34PM (#8533292) Homepage Journal
    Since we're talking about fiction here... How about using this tool to draw the connections amongst characters in the Cryptnomicon/Baroque Cycle [slashdot.org] series? This guy makes some pretty headspinning connections! It took a little bit for me to realize/remember who was a "papist", who was a "barker" and who was an Anglican, etc etc etc in Quicksilver [barnesandnoble.com] and what the ramifications were. No need to explain, I have it down but a tool like this to represent these things visually would've been helpful. Actually, he does include some diagrams as to how the characters connect! But it almost seems as if more might've been helpful at times! Snowcrash [barnesandnoble.com] (one of my faves) was a bit of an easier go!

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