A COMPUTER-ASSISTED ANALYSIS OF LITERARY TEXTS: A SAMPLE STUDY
Departamento de Filología Inglesa, Universidad de Murcia, Facultad de Economía y Empresa Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia. España (Spain)
The overall aim pursued in this work is to demonstrate how quantitative data and a range of different corpus-based analytical techniques can be used in assessing an author’s literary originality in relation to his texts’ structures and meanings. With this in mind, the present study provides a sample of quantitative analysis of the two literary texts –Shakespeare’s Hamlet  and Sumarokov’s Gamlet . Prior research has explored Hamlet and Gamlet in terms of historical, philosophical, language-based, etc. approaches that have existed to date. Taking into consideration the aforementioned visions of both plays, a special perspective on Hamlet and Gamlet is adopted herein. Given the importance assigned to computer-assisted analysis of literary texts, the current study is based on the idea that the texts under examination contain a certain number of particular characters that are distributed in a special way within and among the acts and intervene with a particular frequency specified by the authors. To achieve this aim, the texts are closely read and, then, computational and quantitative resources are applied. In general, the relevant findings unveil substantial structural deviations of the presence and interventions of all main characters, leading to noticeable diversions in the role and weight assigned by the authors to them per different acts inter-plays.