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PCA Online

CSF Walk-through B

Aim: to explore differences between the three Falstaffs of Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2 and The Merry Wives of Windsor.

1. Click on “Start the CSF applet”.

2. From opening screen, select “By Character”. Click on “Select Plays”.

3. From the “Play Selection” screen, choose “Select by Critera”. Tick “Comedy” and “History”. Click “Add” and “Done”. Click on “Select Characters”.

4. From the “Character Selection” screen, choose “Select by Criteria”, and then “Words Spoken” “More than” and “3000". Click on “Add” and “Done” and then “Select Words”.

5. On the “Select Word Variables” screen, go to the “Auto Populate Word List” area, select “Entire Corpus” and for “Word List Size” 100. Click on “Populate” and once the list is populated click on “Display Results”.

6. On the “Word Frequencies by Character” screen click on “PCA Plot”.

7. On the “Principal Component Analysis by Characters” screen, click on the graph to toggle labels on and off. Note that while two of the Falstaffs (from the colour of the symbol, one from a comedy and one from a history) occupy much the same area of the graph, a third Falstaff is separated from them on the Second Component. Click on “Component Scores”.

8. On the “Principal Component Scores by Character” screen, click on “Second Component”. This will sort the entries with the highest Second Component score at the top. Scroll down to find the Falstaff of Henry IV Part 2 (2H4), then some way down the Falstaffs of Henry IV Part 1 (1H4) and The Merry Wives of Windsor (Wiv.). Click on “PCA Word Plot”.

9. On the “Principal Component Analysis by Word” screen, note the words to the top and bottom, which are those contributing most to the Second Component. Characters to the upper end of the Second Component on the whole use more of the words appearing to the upper end, and rather fewer of those appearing at the lower end. The extremes are which (at the top) and come (at the bottom). The Falstaff of Henry IV Part 2 is closer to the which, that, but, by, your end than the other two, and further from the come, say, go, shall, well end than they are.

10. To look at some instances in context, click the “Back” button until you get to the “Word Frequencies by Character”. Go to “Select Play” and go down to Henry IV Part 2. Scroll down to which and double-click on it to read some instances (navigating by clicking the “Next” button). One hypothesis for the distinctiveness of the Falstaff of Henry IV Part 2 that this suggests is his mock speechifying, his teasing adoption of the forms of academic disputation. This would of course need further exploration through instances of other words, including those on which the other two Falstaffs tend to score more highly than the Henry IV Part 2 one.

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Last Updated: 4 March, 2004
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