Conceptualisation of Theatrical Characters in the Digital Paradigm: Needs, Problems and Foreseen Solutions

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This paper looks at how digital humanities can modify our more traditional understanding and conceptualisation of literary characters. Through the analysis of cast lists from more than 880 French plays from 1630 to 1810, and the “close reading” of some sample texts, it proposes a classification of units of characterisation (caractérisèmes) that can be identified in plays. In the last part, the paper sketches a protocol for the encoding of these characters in a TEI conformant way, and discusses the advantages and the drawbacks of such an endeavour.

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