My project was about two major authors in the English literature,William Shakespeare and Jane Austen, whose works inspired the imagination of millions of readers for hundreds of years. I copied their novels and plays from the gutenberg page www.gutenberg.org and compiled two seperate corpora.-a William Shakespeare Corpus and a Jane Austen Corpus. My research question was: What does the literary language of Shakespeare and Austen tell us about the woman’s condition in the current time? My first assumption concerning this topic was that I thought that women in Jane Austen’s time had more rights than the Shakespearan women. I tried to answer my research question through a corpus based analysis, that means that I looked for certain words in the two different corpora, which I thought might be important concerning my topic. At first I also give a few informations about the authors. The biography of Jane is a little bit longer, because her life was more interesting to me in regard to my research question.
The exact birthday of Shakespeare is not known. It is assumed that he was born ‘some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon’ (A brief biography, page 1) He was the son of an ‘alderman’ called ‘John Shakespeare’ and ‘Mary Arden’ (A brief biography, page 1). He visited the ‘Stratford Grammar School’ and married at the age of 19 ‘Anne Hathaway’(A brief biography, page 1). One year after his wedding in 1583 William’s first daugther ‘Susanna’ was born, and two years later Anne bore the twins ‘Judith and Harnnet’(A brief biography, page 1).
Seven years later William’s life had changed completely.He moved to London and became a famous ‘actor, leading poet and playwright’. He entertained his audience, which consisted of common people, lords and ladies and even the king, until he ‘retired from the stage’ ‘in 1613’(A brief biograpy, page 1). Three years later he died in his house in Stratford.