HyperHamlet. Corpus of references to and quotations from Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Hohl Trillini, Regula and Quaßdorf, Sixta and Engler, Balz and Häcki Buhofer, Annelies and Roth, Tobias. HyperHamlet. Corpus of references to and quotations from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. [Research Data]

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/66929/

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HyperHamlet is a database of references to Shakespeare's most famous play. Structured as a hypertext of Hamlet, it gives access to thousands of extracts from later texts that quote particular lines. Extracts which mention certain characters or scenes can be searched for these names and motifs.
HyperHamlet could be described as a dictionary-in-progress which does not tell us where phrases come from (as other dictionaries do), but rather where Shakespeare's phrases have gone.
But HyperHamlet is also an edition of Shakespeare's play.
In other words, HyperHamlet offers material to reconstruct the cultural history of the play, of which "the dream of the master text",2 in Stephen Greenblatt's apt phrase, has become part.
References to Hamlet in literature, in the visual arts, in political discourse, and, more recently, in advertising and merchandising can tell us a great deal about the status and the understanding of the play. The database can help to address questions like: How could "to be or not to be" become a favourite phrase of the Nazi elite? What notions shape Lawrence Sterne's use of Yorick in Tristram Shandy, and how has Sterne, in turn, affected our understanding of the play? Are phrases like "something rotten in Denmark" recognized as Hamlet quotations or have they simply become part of the language? Were they indeed idioms before Shakespeare used them, and just became more "successful" by being used in such a successful text?
Intertextual research in literary and cultural studies still tends to be interested in origins and influences. Many later uses which HyperHamlet records go beyond this author-centred focus of source studies, but the findings of source studies represent a substantial part of the databank. HyperHamlet documents thousands of references that have been pointed out in annotated editions or publications in the fields of Shakespeare studies or literary and cultural studies in general.
These quotations are now contextualized with re-used Hamlet phrases that are commented on in linguistic studies and have been spotted by private reading of contributors worldwide or by searches in electronic full text databases. Such verbal echoes have often gone unreported because they are unmarked and may even be used without any awareness of their origin. They illustrate process the synchronous universe of texts described in intertextuality theory.
HyperHamlet is the first project to approach these issues with a data-driven approach.3 Questions like the above can contribute the shift of attention "from the triad constituted by author/work/tradition to another constituted by text/discourse/culture"4 and thus move practical intertextuality studies forward. The model can be re-applied with any other much-quoted text as its basis to document, for example, the afterlife of the Bible, of further Shakespeare plays or of other influential literary works.
In the first reference to the corpus in your paper, please use the full name. After that reference, feel free to use something shorter, like HyperHamlet (for example: "...and as seen in HyperHamlet, there are...").
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Englische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft
UniBasel Contributors:Hohl Trillini, Regula and Quassdorf, Sixta D. and Engler, Balz and Häcki Buhofer, Annelies and Roth, Tobias
Item Type:Research Data
Publisher:Universität Basel
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Last Modified:10 May 2019 12:11
Deposited On:23 Nov 2018 16:19

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