Wolfram Alpha on Hamlet.

Answer engine, Wolfram Alpha, have given their database an injection of Shakespeare and the ability to provide quite detailed information about the plays, from word frequency to ACT lengths and the percentage of lines given to each character.

The canon selected is pretty orthodox -- Edward III isn't included and Arden of Faversham is ignored -- but The Two Noble Kinsmen does have a full entry and that's still left out of some complete works.

What do we learn about Hamlet?

The most frequently used word is "the" with the most frequently capitalised "I" which is fitting given the play's depths of self-analysis.

"My Lord" is the two word phrase used most often which also underscores the royalty of the piece.

Surprisingly "England" is mentioned almost as often as "Denmark".

Worth noting:

The database puts the first date of publication as 1604 which is the date which appears on the cover of Q2, but doesn't take into account Q1 and ignores the date of the first production in 1599/1600, but that's just nitpicking.

Under the search for Hamlet there are other options, one of which is "referring to a fictional character".  Clicking on that takes the user to King Hamlet rather than his son but there doesn't seem to be a way to get to a profile of the prince.

Searching for Prince Hamlet, takes us to a definition page for the word "prince" and the connected person is the singer Prince.

But otherwise this could prove to be a useful academic tool, especially the option which allows for comparison between plays.

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