Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Shakespeare : Sonnets In XML

A long long time ago I found Shakespeare in XML, by Jon Bosak, and I’ve quite literally carried it around with me ever since.  If you’re not a programming geek you may not know the value of XML, so let me try to explain.  XML is like a database inside a file – it is self describing of what’s in it.  So instead of this:

Act 1, Scene 1

SCENE I. Elsinore. A platform before the castle.
    FRANCISCO at his post. Enter to him BERNARDO
BERNARDO
    Who's there?

You get something more like this:

<Act>

<Title>Act 1</Title>

<Scene>

<Title>Scene 1</Title>

<Stagedir>Elsinore.  A platform before the castle … </Stagedir>

<Speech>

<Speaker>

<Name>Bernardo</Name>

</Speaker>

<Line>Who’s there?</Line>

</Speech>

Get the idea?  So if you’re a code geek you look at that and start seeing the logic you can apply, like “In Act #3 how many lines are there in all of the speeches spoken by Hamlet?” and it’s quite literally one or two lines of code.

Anyway, I never found the Sonnets in XML.  There’s one or two out there as examples of how to do XML, but I never found the whole set of 154, and I wanted it.

So I made it

It’s very basic, but it does what I need.  If others find it useful and make enhancements I’d appreciate hearing about it.

Enjoy!

4 comments:

Anonymous Contractor said...

Thanks Duane! Needed this for syntactic analysis.

Sam Dutton said...

Many thanks for this.

Just to be pedantic, I've spotted what seem to be a few minor errors.

(I'm comparing with the Project text.)

Sonnet 22
Presume not on th;heart when mine is slain,
-> Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain,

Sonnet 29
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate,;
-> From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;

Sonnet 44
I must attend, time's leisure with my moan;
-> I must attend time's leisure with my moan;

Sonnet 51
In winged speed no motion shall I know,
-> In winged speed n:motion shall I know,

Sonnet 74
Too base of thee to be remembered,.
-> Too base of thee to be remembered.

Sonnet 149
But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind,;
-> But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind;

Sonnet 152
To swear against the truth so foul a lie.!
-> To swear against the truth so foul a lie!

Cheers

Sam

Duane said...

Thanks, Sam -- I will update the file with your corrections shortly.

Sam Dutton said...

Cheers Duane.

For what it's worth, I've also ported ;) the sonnets to JSON.

Details in this blog post.

Using the JSON (with apologies for shameless self promotion) I've built an 'instant' sonnet search app.

Sam