Keywords that characterise Shakespeare's (anti)heroes and villains

Archer, D. and Findlay, A. (2020) Keywords that characterise Shakespeare's (anti)heroes and villains. In: Voices Past and Present. Studies in Corpus Linguistics . John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam, pp. 32-46. ISBN 9789027207654

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Abstract

This chapter undertakes a keyword analysis of seven Shakespearean characters: Titus, Tamora, Aaron, Lear, Edmund, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The chapter discusses how, once contextualised, these keywords provide useful insights into their feelings/thoughts towards others, events, motivations to act, etc. In terms of findings, only Aaron denotes his "villainy" directly. Tamora, in contrast, draws upon a keyword that is denotatively positive; in context, though, "sweet" reveals her womanly wiles. "Weep", for Lear, and "legitimate" and "base", for Edmund, problematize their status as (one-dimensional) villains. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth draw upon grammatical keywords, "if " and "would" in ways that signal something about their (deteriorating) emotional and social positions as much as their villainous intentions.

Item Type:
Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
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ID Code:
153379
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Deposited On:
20 Apr 2021 14:40
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Jun 2021 11:01