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PCA Online

CSF Walk-through D

Aim: to explore the consistency in the contrast between some representative tragedies and comedies of Shakepeare’s middle period.

1. Click on “Start the CSF applet”.

2. From opening screen, select “By Block” and enter a “Block Size”of 4000 words. Click on “Select Plays”.

3. From the “Play Selection” screen, select and then “Add” All’s Well that Ends Well, As You Like It, Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice. Click on “Select Characters”.

4. From “Character Selection” screen, choose “Select All”. Click on “Select Words”.

5. On “Word Variables Selection” screen, go to the “Auto Populate Word List” area, select “Entire Corpus” and for “Word List Size” 30. 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 Blocks” screen, click on the graph to toggle labels on and off. Go to the “Colour by” menu and select “Genre”. Note that there is a broad separation along the First Component: comedy blocks to the left, tragedy blocks to the right. Go back to the “Colour by” menu and click on “Play” to identify the plays. Note that of the tragedy blocks it is the King Lear ones (in particular blocks 12, 13 and 16 – the second, third and last sections of the play) that stray towards the low-value end of the Component which is mainly populated by blocks from the comedies.

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Last Updated: 4 March, 2004
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