Page 20 (Shakespeare and the Bible)
- There are 884,421 words in the complete works of Shakespeare. 1
- The 1769 edition of the 1611 King James Bible contains 788,280 words.
- Assuming a reading speed of 150 words per minute, it would take 98 hours 16 minutes and 8 seconds to read the complete works of Shakespeare aloud.
- The King James Bible would take less than 88 hours to read aloud at 150 words per minute.
- There are 28,829 unique word forms in Shakespeare's works.
- 12,493 of the unique words in Shakespeare (43.3%) only appear once.
- The top 10 most frequently used words in Shakespeare account for 21.4% of all the words.
- The top 1% most frequently used words in Shakespeare account for 66.7% of all the words.
The playwright Ben Jonson, a contemporary of William Shakespeare, was spared execution after killing the actor Gabriel Spencer by reciting a “neck-verse”. This was a legal loophole which enabled the literate to escape execution by reciting a section of the bible in Latin. 2
1. Most of the facts pertaining to Shakespeare on this page are taken from: http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/stats
2. 1599 – A year in the life of William Shakespeare, James Shapiro.
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