All posts by monicasom

Using Voyant

I used Voyant to analyze Act 5 Scene 1 of Troilus and Cressida.

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 4.22.07 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 4.22.30 PM

In this particular scene I found that a majority of it is spent having characters bid each other goodnight. “Good” shows up 8 times and “night” shows up 9 times. The word “sweet” is also used a lot characters to compliment another character and Thersites uses “sweet” to be sarcastic, which may be why he repeats the word so much. Nothing really important happens in this scene up until the very end where it foreshadows something we knew was going to happen.

This is my first time using Voyant. It is good for catching repetition in the text which can help a reader find a recurring theme. However for this particular scene Voyant did not really help me too much, I found better success physically writing in my book. Perhaps I would have had better success using Voyant to analyze a more detailed scene.

My Second Sonnet


It’s not in the stars for me to feel so,

Though the pining in your eyes makes me sad.

Unfortunately my feelings won’t grow,

I would rather you hate me and be mad.


You might wonder why my heart feels this way,

Perhaps I am vain, perhaps I am cold,

I really wish I could know what to say.

I apologize for being so bold.


Shall I say that it is not you, but me?

This chaotic heart of mine has no room,

It would be best if you just leave me be.

This cold and vain heart just might be my doom.


Cruel, but true I simply cannot love you,

I am sorry my feelings never grew.






Folger Artefact: Lice

STC 22309, E1v- E2r

This is a picture of head louse found on one of Shakespeare’s pieces of writing. Due to the lack of hygiene in the 1500’s, lice was abundant (“Worst”). Taking baths was tedious because it took a lot of work, therefore people were most likely too lazy to go through so much work and the only people who had access to these kinds of things were royalty anyways. For starters a tub needed to be found because no one had built in tubs at this time and the tub would likely be uncomfortable since it was made out of wood. The tub would then be lined with cloth and then the water must be heated and poured inside. Only those who were of royalty, like the Tudors in the 1530’s had a copper tub with taps for hot and cold water (“Tudor”).

Not only were lice a nuisance but they were deadly. Lice spread Typhus through defecation (“Worst Diseases in Shakespeare’s London”)  which spread millions of bacteria onto the skin of those who are victims to lice and also onto clothing (Willingham, “Of Lice and Men: An Itchy History”). This made spread Typhus very rapidly leading people into fevers, delirium and eventually death (“Worst”).

So from seeing louse on that piece of work by Shakespeare, it would not be a surprise if  Shakespeare has been through some rough times in his writing process. There may have been some days where he itched and scratched and tried to find words that rhymed, all at the same time. When Shakespeare died in 1616, many guess that an outbreak of Typhus at that time could have been a reason for his death (“Worst”).

Works Cited

“Head Louse Discovered While Photographing Shakespeare’s Quartos.” Digital image. Folger. n.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.

“Tudor Hygiene Part 1- Bathing.” Onthetudortrail. n.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.

Willingham, Emily. “Of Lice and Men: An Itchy History.” Scientific American. 14 Feb. 2011. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.

“Worst Diseases in Shakespeare’s London.” Shakespeare-online. n.p. Web. n.d. 13 Feb. 2015. 

History: Elizabethan Theatre vs. Present Day Theatre

For the history badge but going towards the texts badge because of the citations.

Elizabethan Theatre vs. Present Day Theatre

Like many things in this world, a lot has changed since the time of the Elizabethan theatre and the modern IMAX theatres we have nowadays. Today we have comfy chairs with cup holders, sometimes these chairs even move like the D-box chairs in IMAX theatres. While in a theatre like The Globe, which was built in 1599, an audience member would be lucky enough to even have a seat. A person in Elizabethan times would be surprised to see how much theatres have progressed after five centuries.

One of the most famous theatres in Elizabethan times would be The Globe. The Globe was a polygon shaped theatre made up of twenty walls and a thatched roof. The stage is forty-four feet wide and there are three levels to sit on. If you wanted to save some money and get a discount, you could stand instead. Those who were in Elizabethan time would probably be enraged with theatres nowadays that do not give you the option of standing in order save some money (Larque, “A Lecture on Elizabethan Theatre”).

The actors and actresses in this modern age have a career that is highly regarded and honoured. Many people want to have the publicity and fortune that an actor has. However in Elizabethan times, actors were given a bad name and expected to be troublesome people, people were always suspicious of them because they had no home and travelled about (“Elizabethan Actors”). However famous actors like William Shakespeare the actor, not the playwright, gets paid a fine sum (“Globe Theatre Actors”). There were no actresses in the plays however, because it was viewed as improper for a woman to be in them, therefore laws were passed to prevent them from taking part (Larque).

Elizabethan plays tried their best to utilize whatever they had. The stages of Elizabethan plays had no sets or backgrounds but they did have some props. Some of the props used would be furniture like beds or chairs, pistols, cannons and even real trees. Sometimes animals were used but William Shakespeare decided to only use animals just once since they were difficult things to control onstage. A problem they encountered was lighting. Shadows would be distracting if a play was put on during a time where shadows could easily be cast. Therefore, the play production had to perform at a time where the lighting was perfect or they would have to resort to using candles in the evening and that was a tedious job since the candles needed to be trimmed or replaced (Larque). Nowadays this is not a problem because theatres are dark and if a light needs to be turned on, it can be in an instant.

Present day theatres would have knocked Elizabethan theatres out of the park if they existed back then. Thanks to modern technology like light switches and the rise of gender equality where women can also be actors, the modern theatre is an experience for many to fully enjoy.

Works Cited

“Elizabethan Actors.” Elizabethan-era. n.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.

“Globe Theatre Actors.” Bardstage. n.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.

Larque, Thomas. “A Lecture on Elizabethan Theatre.” n.p., 1 Jan. 2001. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.

Reshuffling A Shakespearean Play

Here is my attempt of creating my own dramatic scene using three  of Shakespeare’s plays. I used Richard the III, Macbeth and King Lear.  I have read both Macbeth and King Lear before but never have I read Richard the III and from my skimming, I am tempted to read this play. Anyways, here is my play’s dramatic scene:

Lord John is jealous of his neighbour Frederic and his wife hates Frederic just because her husband does, so she kills him. When she tells John what she did, he turns on her. It turns out that though he hates Frederic and spoke of killing him, he would never really do it.

Lord John:

If ever he have child, abortive be it,

Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,

Whose ugly and unnatural aspect

May fright the hopeful mother at the view,

And that be heir to his unhappiness.


Lady John:

But goes thy heart with this?


Lord John:

Ay, madam.


Lady John:

And I another

So weary with disasters, tugged with fortune,

That I would set my life on any chance,

To mend it or be rid on ’t.


Lord John:

Every minute of his being thrusts

Against my near’st of life. And though I could

With barefaced power sweep him from my sight

And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not,

For certain friends that are both his and mine,

Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall

Who I myself struck down. And thence it is,

That I to your assistance do make love,

Masking the business from the common eye

For sundry weighty reasons.


Lady John:

He’s a good fellow, I can tell you that.

He’ll strike, and quickly too. He’s dead and rotten.


Lord John:

See thyself, devil!

Proper deformity shows not in the fiend

So horrid as in woman.

Thou changèd and self-covered thing, for shame!

Bemonster not thy feature. Were ’t my fitness

To let these hands obey my blood,

They are apt enough to dislocate and tear

Thy flesh and bones. Howe’er thou art a fiend,

A woman’s shape doth shield thee.

Alack, poor gentleman!


Lady John:

Naught’s had, all’s spent,

Where our desire is got without content.

‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy

Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

My Shakespearean Sonnet

Where We Would Be

The two of us hand in hand, never far.

Always, always, you were there to help me;

You were there to help me open a jar,

Boosting me up onto the great oak tree.

I wish you knew how much you meant to me,

You left without a sound, a sign, a care;

All you wanted was peace and to be free.

The loss of you is something I can’t bear.

In another world we would be together.

We would travel around the world, just us,

Our tight bonds would never have a sever

We would grow old in a cottage, just us.

Where we would be, we will never know now.

But I will not grieve and become a sow.