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Keywords and plays (part 2)

What Jonathan Culpeper further explain how a keyword analysis can shed light on the style(s) of a play.

This video-talk, though voiced by Jonathan Culpeper, incorporates the words of Sean Murphy.

Armed with our knowledge of keywords and how to group them in particular ways, we now examine the play King Henry IV, Part One. Having (1) extracted the keywords, (2) grouped them (according to Halliday’s metafunctions) and (3) looked at the collocations of those keywords, we reveal how ideational keywords can reflect contemporary attitudes and stereotypes towards nation and nationality; how interpersonal keywords, notably oaths, capture the nature of particular characters; and how textual keywords – often overlooked by literary critics and linguists alike – may reflect characterisation, but also possibly Shakespeare’s authorial style.

Are there particular results that struck you? Do you have alternative interpretations for these results? Put your thoughts in the comments.

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Shakespeare's Language: Revealing Meanings and Exploring Myths

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