FIGURING OUT WHO SHAKESPEARE’S COLLABORATORS WERE. How do scholars determine that Shakespeare had collaborators on a play? One current way is by statistical analysis. Lukas Erne in the Times Literary Supplement (June 4, 2010) writes about the “growing consensus…that Shakespeare repeatedly collaborated with other dramatists….” He was reviewing SHAKESPEARE, COMPUTERS, AND THE MYSTERY OF AUTHORSHIP, edited by Hugh Craig and Arthur F. Kinney. A typical computer analysis is based on word frequency. The study looks at a segment of a play whose authorship is contested and sees whether it contains an above average number of words that Shakespeare used frequently. The word frequency in the segment may instead reflect that of another playwright. Interestingly, the word that Shakespeare used least, compared with contemporary dramatists, is “Yes.” He tended to use “yea” or “aye” instead. The word Shakespeare used most, compared with his peers, is “gentle.”

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