The many ironies and masterful word play found in Shakespeare's work have had a lasting effect throughout the last four hundred years. In fact Harvard's Marjorie Garber, who will be at the IdeaFestival this year, is acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent scholars on his work. But what you might not know is that semantic theory can make a contribution to understanding why the Bard's work has had such a lasting impact. According to one quantitative reading with a valuable logical, and even more valuable, human, dimension, there can be more informational content in a factual contradiction than in an apparently true statement. In that sense, a contradicting sentence asserts too much, making it too informative to be true. While a stumbling block to a perfectly logical formulation of semantic, or human readable, information, it's value to us comes in our appreciation and understanding of the famous scene Shakespeare set in Hamlet Act 3, scene 2.
Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
If once I be a widow, ever I be a wife!
'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here a while,
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.
Sleep rock thy brain,
And never come mischance between us twain!
Madam, how like you this play?
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Gertrude certainly got it.