You know when you know there is that perfect bit in Shakespeare, that line about this or that? You know the speech you need is there, somewhere – but can’t exactly place it, let alone find it…
Well, while picking suitable quotations for an artist friend’s Shakespearian project, I found this great resource: Open Source Shakespeare is a
free Web site containing Shakespeare’s complete works. It is intended for scholars, thespians, and Shakespeare lovers of every kind. OSS includes the 1864 Globe Edition of the complete works, which was the definitive single-volume Shakespeare edition for over a half-century.
On OSS you can read plays, Sonnets and poems – and you can search them for specific words, characters and concordances. It’s very straightforward: you type your request in the relevant search box, and OSS provides you with a list of occurrences, each quoting the relevant lines and indicating play or poem, act, scene and line(s).
But… what about Marlowe?
Well, the Literature Network offers a similar, if more basic, search tool for Kit’s works: one search box, you type your request, and a list of occurrences appear – which is enough for many purposes, and certainly when you are quotation-hunting, or trying to understand what use he made of certain words.