If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ’scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
Pick any word in the first few lines and do the following: Let’s say your choice is the
word “shadows”. This word has seven letters. The seventh word following “shadows”
is “all”. This word has three letters. The third word following “all” is “That”. This
word has four letters, etc. proceed until you come across the word “restore” in the last line, from where you cannot move any further. Why is it that no matter which word you choose in the first few lines, you always end up with the same word, “restore”. In fact, even if you had started somewhere in the middle of A Midsummer Nights Dream you would have wound up with the same word. And, even stranger, every play by Shakespeare contains a special word like “restore”. Are these words secret messages left by Shakespeare, is all this coincidence, or is there another easy explanation?
Attempt at solution
Not knowing how to exactly approach the problem, this is how far i got
I first calculated the expected word length (number of letters/ number of words) = 371/94 = 3.95 (approx 4)
Then i found the probability of landing on the 4 letter words (25 four letter words/ 94) = 0.266.
Using the expected mean of 3.95 i solved for n => mean = n . p => n = 14.85
so i believe n = the expected number of trials before the average word length reaches 4.
I am stuck at this point. Am i even on the right track?
thanks for your help in advance