Jonathan Hope

RBHL 355
Arizona State University
PO Box 871401
Director of Literature, Professor
TEMPE Campus


Jonathan Hope's work lives at the intersection of language and literature, using techniques from linguistics to explore literary texts, and literary texts as evidence for the linguistic history of English. With publications like “Who Invented 'Gloomy'? Lies People Want to Believe about Shakespeare” (Memoria di Shakespeare), it’s clear that Hope means for his scholarship to lay-to-rest many misconceptions about the English language and its most famous users - and you can see him talking to our 2019 Homecoming festival about 'gloomy' and 'swagger' here.

Hope is recognized for his digital humanities work; he was director of the National Endowment for the Humanities-funded Early Modern Digital Agendas, a series of advanced summer institutes held at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washnigton D.C.

At ASU he has taught graduate-level classes in Digital Humanities, and British Experimental Writing, as well as undergraduate classes on Shakespeare, Pre-1800 Literature, and Restoration and Eighteenth Century Drama. 


Ph.D. St Johns College, University of Cambridge, U.K.

Research Interests

My research is at the intersection of literature and linguistics. I'm particularly interested in using techniques and insights from linguistics to read literary texts, and over the course of my career I've used historical linguistics, corpus linguistics, descriptive grammar, and stylistics. My main focus in literary terms is on Early Modern English texts, and especially Shakespeare, though I also have a strong interest in modern experimental writing.

I have an on-going collaboration with Michael Witmore of the Folger Shakespeare Library, which focuses on using computer analysis to study large collections of texts. For technical details, see our publications with Mike Gleicher and Anupam Basu, and our Mellon-funded project Visualising English Print. For a non-technical sense of where statistical analysis can take you, try this blog on reading Hamlet using just 5 words.

I'm currently trying to dispel the myth that Shakespeare invented large numbers of words, and the notion that he did not know or care about the astronomical discoveries of Copernicus.






Shakespeare and Language: Reason, Eloquence and Artifice in the Renaissance (The Arden Shakespeare: 2010)                                              

Shakespeare’s Grammar (The Arden Shakespeare: 2003)                      

Stylistics: a practical coursebook - with Laura Wright (Routledge: 1996)                                                 

The Authorship of Shakespeare's Plays: a socio-linguistic study (Cambridge University Press: 1994)                                

The Politics of Tragicomedy: Shakespeare and after - ed.with Gordon McMullan (Routledge: 1992) 


Articles and Chapters in Books


Michael Witmore and Jonathan Hope, ‘Broken English: A Dialogue’, in Subha Mukherji (ed.), Blind Spots of Knowledge in Shakespeare and His World: A Conversation (Medieval Institute Publications), pp. 169-83

Jonathan Hope, ‘Digital Approaches to Shakespeare’s Language’, in Lynne Magnusson and David Schalkwyk (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s Language (Cambridge University Press), pp. 151-167



Anupam Basu, Jonathan Hope, and Michael Witmore, ‘The professional and linguistic communities of early modern dramatists’, in Roger D. Sell, Helen Wilcox, and Anthony W. Johnson (eds), Community-Making in Early Stuart Theatres: Stage and Audience (Routledge), pp. 63-94



Michael Witmore, Jonathan Hope, and Michael Gleicher, ‘Digital Approaches to the Language of Shakespearean Tragedy’, in Michael Neill and David Schalkwyk (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Tragedy (Oxford University Press), pp. 316-335

Michael Witmore and Jonathan Hope, ‘Books in Space: Adjacency, EEBO-TCP, and Early Modern Dramatists’, in Laura Estill, Diane K. Jakacki, and Michael Ullyot (eds), Early Modern Studies after the Digital Turn (Iter Press), pp. 9-34             

Jonathan Hope, ‘Who invented gloomy? Lies people want to believe about Shakespeare’, Memoria di Shakespeare, 3, pp. 21-45

Tom Cheesman, Kevin Flanagan, Stephan Thiel, Jan Rybicki, Robert S. Laramee, Jonathan Hope, and Avraham Roos, ‘Multi-retranslation corpora: visibility, variation, value and virtue’, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 22 pp.



Jonathan Hope and Michael Witmore, ‘The Language of Macbeth’, in Ann Thompson (ed.), Macbeth: The State of Play (Bloomsbury: Arden), pp. 183-208

Jonathan Hope et Michael Witmore, « Quantification and the language of later Shakespeare », Actes des congrès de la Société française Shakespeare, 31 | 2014, 123-49

Jonathan Hope and Michael Witmore, ‘Hamlet in Five Words’, Globe to Globe Hamlet Blog



Jonathan Hope, ‘“Not know my voice?”: Shakespeare corrected; English perfected - theories of language from the Middle Ages to modernity’, in Peter Holland, Ruth Morse, and Helen Cooper (eds), Medieval Shakespeare: Pasts and Presents (Cambridge University Press), pp. 78-97



Jonathan Hope, ‘Middletonian Stylistics’, in Trish Thomas Henley and Gary Taylor (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Thomas Middleton (Oxford University Press), pp. 443-72

Michael Witmore and Jonathan Hope, ‘Après le déluge, More Criticism: Philology, Literary History and Ancestral Reading in the Coming Post-Transcription World’, Renaissance Drama, 40, 2012, pp. 135-50

Yoko Iyeiri, Jennifer Smith, and Jonathan Hope, ‘Additional eighteenth-century materials on Middle English in the Huntarian Collection of the Glasgow University Library’, Notes and Queries, 59.3, pp. 332-5

Jonathan Hope, ‘Shakespeare and the English language’, in P. Seargeant and J. Swan (eds), English in the World: History, Diversity, Change(Routledge), pp. 83-92



Jonathan Hope and Michael Witmore, ‘The hundredth psalm to the tune of “Green Sleeves”: Digital Approaches to the Language of Genre’, ShakespeareQuarterly, vol. 61, no. 3 (Fall 2010), pp. 357-90

Jonathan Hope, ‘Shakespeare and Language’, in Margreta de Grazia and Stanley Wells (eds), The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare (Cambridge University Press), pp. 77-90 



Jonathan Hope, ‘Varieties of Early Modern English’ in Haruko Momma and Michael Matto (eds), A Companion to the History of the English Language (Wiley-Blackwell), pp. 216-23



Michael Witmore and Jonathan Hope, ‘Shakespeare by the numbers: on the linguistic texture of the Late Plays’, in Subha Mukherji and Raphael Lyne (eds), Early Modern Tragicomedy (D.S. Brewer), pp. 133-53



Jonathan Hope and Michael Witmore, ‘The very large textual object: a prosthetic reading of Shakespeare’, Early Modern Literary Studies9.3 / Special Issue 12 (January 2004): 6.1-36

Jonathan Hope, ‘Shakespeare and language: an introduction’ in Catherine Alexander (ed.), Shakespeare and Language (Cambridge University Press), pp. 1-17   



Laura Wright and Jonathan Hope, ‘Linguistics and postcolonial literature: Englishes in the classroom’, in David Theo Goldberg and Ato Quayson (eds), Relocating Post-colonialism (Blackwell), pp. 334-348 



Jonathan Hope, entries on ‘Electronic and Digital Shakespeare’ and ‘Prose’ in Stanley Wells and Michael Dobson (eds), The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (Oxford), pages 125 and 358 



Jonathan Hope, ‘Rats, bats, sparrows and dogs: biology, linguistics and the nature of Standard English’ in Laura Wright (ed.), The Development of Standard English 1300-1800 (Cambridge University Press), pp. 49-56



Jonathan Hope, ‘Shakespeare’s “natiue English”’, in David Scott Kastan (ed.), A Companion to Shakespeare (Blackwell), pp. 238-55



Jonathan Hope and Laura Wright, ‘Female education in Shakespeare’s Stratford and Stratfordian Contacts in Shakespeare’s London’, Notes and Queries, 248.2 (June 1996), pp. 149-50 



Susan Wright and Jonathan Hope, ‘The Cambridge-Leeds corpus of early Modern English’ in Merja Kytö, Matti Rissanen, and Susan Wright (eds), Corpora Across the Centuries (Rodolpi), pp. 91-3

Jonathan Hope, ‘The use of thou and you in Early Modern spoken English’, in Dieter Kastovsky (ed.), Studies in Early Modern English (Mouton de Gruyter), pp. 141-51



Jonathan Hope, ‘Second person singular pronouns in records of early Modern “spoken” English’ Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, 1 XCIV (1993), pp. 83-100 [reprinted in Mats Rydén, Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade and Merja Kytö (eds) A Reader in Early Modern English (Peter Lang: 1998), pp. 377-96]



Jonathan Hope, ‘Applied historical linguistics: socio-historical linguistic evidence for the authorship of renaissance plays’, Transactions of the Philological Society, 88 (1990), no. 2, pp. 201-26  


Spring 2022
Course Number Course Title
ENG 321 Shakespeare
Fall 2021
Course Number Course Title
ENG 321 Shakespeare
ENG 691 Seminar
Spring 2021
Course Number Course Title
ENG 200 Critical Reading & Writing/Lit
CDH 494 Special Topics
CDH 501 Digital Hum: Theory & Methods
Fall 2020
Course Number Course Title
ENG 221 Survey of English Literature
Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
ENG 321 Shakespeare
ENG 691 Seminar
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
ENG 321 Shakespeare
ENG 598 Special Topics
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
ENG 221 Survey of English Literature
ENG 321 Shakespeare
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
ENG 221 Survey of English Literature
CDH 501 Digital Hum: Theory & Methods

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