05 July 2011

Wordle for the first 2/3s

The web site http://wordle.com takes text and makes a word picture of it. I understand that it takes the most common words and represents how common they are by how big they are, giving an overview of the most important people, objects, and concepts in the text. There are options to change the colour, angle, and font of the words to make a kind of word art.

I fed it what I have done of the Beowulf translation (up to line 1985). Here is the result:

Notice how big the words "Man" and "Men" are. This is an overwhelmingly masculine story. The names Beowulf and Hrothgar are the next largest words. Grendel is surprisingly small: smaller than son, life, or God.

I will repeat the experiment when the translation is complete.

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