Measuring emotional temperatures in Shakespeare's drama

Jonathan Culpeper, Alison Findlay, Beth Cortese, Mike Thelwall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper demonstrates how the computational analysis of Shakespeare's plays can map the emotional language used across individual plays and across the canon more broadly, affording new insights. It explains how we adapted the "sentiment analysis" tool SentiStrength for use with Early Modern English. Our analyses allow us to test out the long-held critical hypothesis that Shakespeare's work moved from a comic to a "problem" and tragic period, and thence to a more optimistic redemptive mood in his last plays. The paper will also suggest how computational techniques can further understanding of genre, in particular the relationship between history and tragedy in Shakespeare's work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-37
Number of pages28
JournalEnglish Text Construction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research presented in this article was supported by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC?, grant reference AH/N002415/1. It is primarily based on datasets and a tool that are available for free (for academic purposes? (see Section 3 for internet URLs?.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Benjamins Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other keywords

  • Computational linguistics
  • Drama
  • Emotion
  • Sentiment
  • Shakespeare


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