Module 2: The TEI Header

4. William Shakespeare: “Sonnet 17”

The following example illustrates the TEI header for a sonnet by William Shakespeare, containing a detailed metrical analysis of the poem. Both the electronic text and its source are bibliographically described in the <fileDesc> section. The text encoding process is described in <encodingDecl>, providing details about the encoding project (<projectDesc>), the editorial policy (<editorialDecl>), and the system used to analyse the metre of the poem (<metDecl>). Notice how the <editorialDecl> subsection had to be repeated, as it both documents features that can be encoded in a TEI category (<segmentation> and <interpretation>), and features for which no such TEI labels are available. (<p>). The standard TEI scheme does not allow both systems (formal and informal) to be mixed, hence the repetition of the <encodingDesc> section. The same goes for the <metDecl> sections: as both a formal (<metSym>) and informal (<p>) description is provided for the metrical system, repeating the <metDecl> element was the easiest solution. Of course, this could have been addressed as well by adapting the TEI schema.

<teiHeader xmlns="">
<title>A Selection of Sonnets: electronic edition encoded in X​ML with a T​EI D​TD</title>
<author>Wlliam Shakespeare</author>
<resp>Transribed and encoded by</resp>
<name>Mubina Islam</name>
<extent>64 KB</extent>
<publisher>University College London</publisher>
<title>The Complete Works of William Shakespeare</title>
<name>William Shakespeare</name>
<name>Peter Alexander</name>
<idno type="I​SBN">0​-00​-435634​-9</idno>
<p>A total of ten sonnets collected and encoded according to the metrical interpretation of the verse by Mubina Islam, August 2004. This document was created as part of a Master​'s dissertation on the markup of poetic metre, for the course MA Electronic Communication and Publishing at U​CL.</p>
<p>Each sonnet has been divided into the stanzaic line groupings.</p>
<p>Line groups have been further divided to mark individual lines of verse.</p>
<p>Segmentation tags have been used to represent the division of each line into metrical feet.</p>
<p>The metrical interpretation of the text, defined with the segmentation of the text into units of feet, was added by hand by the encoder. This has not been checked and may be subject to alternative readings.</p>
<p>All punctuation marks, excluding dashes or hyphenation, have been encoded as entities.</p>
<p>Caesuras and line enjambement have been recorded in this document as accurately as possible by the encoder.</p>
<metDecl pattern="((+|​-)+\|?/?)*">
<metSym value="trochee" terminal="false">+-</metSym>
<metSym value="iamb" terminal="false">-+</metSym>
<metSym value="spondee" terminal="false">++</metSym>
<metSym value="pyrrhic" terminal="false">--</metSym>
<metSym value="amphibrach" terminal="false">-+-</metSym>
<metSym value="anapaest" terminal="false">--+</metSym>
<metSym value="+">metrical promimence</metSym>
<metSym value="-">metrical non​-prominence</metSym>
<metSym value="|">foot boundary</metSym>
<metSym value="/">metrical line boundary</metSym>
<p>Metrically prominent syllables are marked '+' and other syllables '-'. Foot divisions are marked by a vertical bar, and line divisions with a solidus.</p>
<p>This notation may be applied to any metrical unit, of any size (including, for example, individual feet as well as groups of lines).</p>
<p>The 'real' attribute has been used to indicate possible variations in the iambic base metre. Where this attribute is not included, it is assumed each foot inherits the iambic metre defined for the overall division of text.</p>
<p>The 'met' attribute has been used in feet which have a missing or additional syllable rather than the two syllables expected, although the line may still confirm to the metre of the poem.</p>
Example 4. Adapted from a TEI P4 XML encoding by Mubina Islam (Islam 2004) of William Shakespeare’s poem “Sonnet 17” (Shakespeare 1978). TEI source not publicly available.