Talk:William Shakespeare/Archive 19

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Authorship line

The doubts about the authorship are about the attribution of the works in question. Does anyone dispute this simple statement? If so, Id like to understand why. Otherwise, it seems the simple edit I most recently made clarifies this point. I'm not sure why the edit would be controversial, but I'm happy to have a reasonable discussion about it. Thanks, Smatprt (talk) 00:55, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Checked the page history: I was the the previous editor of that section. To clarify: I substituted a pronoun because User:Smatprt had inserted "Shakespeare's" so that it appeared twice in the same sentence: "...after Shakespeare's death, doubts began to emerge about the authorship of Shakespeare's works"[1]. This was a point of syntax—almost a minor edit—and not one of reverting any controversial anti-Stratfordian dogma. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:48, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Please check the history further back. I had originally made this edit [[2]] to avoid the use of two "Shakespeare"s in one sentence. In doing so, the edit also clarified what the "doubt" referred to was actually about, as the original erred in failing to define what the doubt was (the attribution of Shakespeare's works). 2 additional edits were made by other users, the first of which muddied the meaning once again, with the 2nd deleting "of Stratford", calling the phrase an "authorship hobby-horse". I restored the original version prior to my first edit, then made the current edit, which restores the clarity of the sentence, while keeping the offending phrase "of Stratford" deleted (to avoid adding any controversial "anti-Stratfordian" POV). Thanks for letting me clarify the edit sequence. Smatprt (talk) 07:16, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
(on the road and posting from my phone. Apologies for any typos and the drive-by posting)
The referenced edit and summary was only to adress syntax and sentence clarity. In particular, the bit about the "hobby-horse" was intended to indicate that while the "of Stratford" distinction is important in the various Autorship theories, it is excessive in this article and the sentence clear without it. Apologies if I came across otherwise. --Xover (talk) 14:25, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Influence/Influenced infoboxcruft

Does anyone support the retention of these lists? In my experience, they will just grow. The excrescent note a is a case in point.

As a related but distinct issue, I would point out that "hidden" formatting is against FA policy, since hidden sections do not print. Also the footnotes in them will not click when the information is hidden. qp10qp (talk) 15:00, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree. When it comes to Shakespeare, "influenced" might include hundreds or (probably) thousands of valid examples. I support keeping the infobox short and sweet. Smatprt (talk) 18:45, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
So is this going to be cut? Cos it's picking up more lint than a bellybutton.Tom Reedy (talk) 22:46, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Sanders portrait

Do we need the Sanders portrait, which someone has added to the article? I am in favour of removing it. I would anyway point out that it has been placed left at the top of a section, which is against MoS policy. qp10qp (talk) 15:12, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Don't really have an opinion on inclusion or not, but in the mean time I will address the top left placement, which is also an issue elsewhere.Smatprt (talk) 18:59, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I like the Sanders, and think it may even be authentic, but I don't think it should be in this article, so I favor removing it. Tom Reedy (talk) 19:34, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

William Shakespeare Comic Books

{{editsemiprotected}}

A New Genre of Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Comic Book Series came to life in 1999. The creator of the series, Simon Greaves, wanted to give students a different approach to the works of William Shakespeare. Greaves understands that many students do not enjoy reading, and he understands that Shakespearian language can be difficult to comprehend. His remedy for both of these problems was to put plays such as Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and Henry V in comic book form. The comic books are currently available in three different types of texts; Original text, Quick text, and Modern English Translation. The original text version of the plays is just what it claims to be; the original text. The quick text version most resembles the way students speak today, and the Modern English translation offers more sophisticated language then that of quick text.
There is also a Japanese version of Shakespeare comics which is referred to as Manga. Manga Shakespeare includes modern illustrations accompanied with shortened versions of Shakepeare's original texts.
The comic books are widely available and popular as teaching tools for those new to Shakespeare. Although there is controversy over using the comic book version in a classroom, it is an alternative for those interested in Shakespeare who find early modern English difficult to comprehend.

Shakespeare Comic Books [1]

Manga Shakespeare [2]

Kjones9 (talk) 18:25, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Not done: Welcome and thanks for wanting to add to this article. When using the {{editsemiprotected}} template, you need to be very detailed about what you want to add and where you want to place it. Looking at the article, I find no place to insert a section on comics and manga. There also doesn't seem to be a section on the films or other media, so this probably isn't the right article. You might want to visit the Wikiproject and ask where this might fit best. Celestra (talk) 23:44, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Shakespeares birth date

Here [3], is a book based on the life of William Shakespeare, titled William Shakespeare. Beginning with the 2nd paragraph on page 24, to the end of the first paragraph on page 26, it talks about Shakespeares birth. When you are finished reading the 2 pages, please tell me, us, what your opinions are on his birth date. Thank you very much!! Signed- User:NickOrnstein

It's already in at "Early life", reference [6] at the time of posting. --Old Moonraker (talk) 21:22, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Attitude regarding Jews

there is some controversy regarding Shakespeare overall attitude regarding jews, as to what gave rise to his negative portrayal of this ethnic group. In short there are 2 schools of thought

  1. Anti Semitic leanings
  2. Prevalent societal portrait. there is some bases to this theory

perhaps a section should be dedicated to this topic Waky02 (talk) 12:08, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Such discussion is better suited to The Merchant of Venice page. It's not a major theme in Shakespeare's work, and anyway, Shylock is a shining light of humanitarianism in comparison to Marlowe's Jew of Malta. Paul B (talk) 12:32, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

correct, perhaps then it should be added The Merchant of Venice page as suggested Waky02 (talk) 12:35, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Now that we have your attention...

Since it seems, judging by the number of angels currently doing the jitterbug on a mere footnote of this article, that we have some spare attention from quite a few prolific Shakespearean editors, I'll be bold enough to note that WikiProject Shakespeare is always in need of more hands; and, in particular, we have an automatically updated Cleanup Listing of tasks for articles that fall within the scope of the project. The latter has quite a lot of simple fixes (a single cn tag, for instance) in various high-priority articles (for instance, Hamlet, a featured article, is tagged with a citation needed flag; and Samuel Johnson has a dead external link) where a little bit of attention from an interested editor could do a lot of good with relatively little effort.

The current collaboration for the project is The Tempest, which is in need of more hands to bring it to Featured Article status (there's even a tentative todo list for it).

Just thought I'd, you know, mention it in case anyone was interested... :-) --Xover (talk) 14:46, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Arrgh. Don't mention the dating!!!!! Paul B (talk) 14:50, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Collaboration footnotes

[this thread refers to previous discussions archived at Talk:William_Shakespeare/Archive 18] --Xover (talk) 14:40, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Looking at the various “…cowritten by…” type footnotes, I see they're only used in the list of plays. The relevant plays, being probable collaborations, are also marked with a to indicate that they're collaborations. And just to make absolutely sure we cover our bases, several of them are also marked with a * to indicate they're romances. So for a bunch of these plays the name is followed by “…*†[x]”.
I think I may have suggested this before, but I really don't think we need to specify the various theories on collaborations in this article at all, and certainly not crammed into the list of plays. My suggestion would be to just get rid of all these footnotes and, if anything, cover that material over in Shakespeare's plays somewhere.
If we absolutely must have all the possible collaborations in this article, I think it would be much preferable to add a full section on it (yes, even considering our space constraints) and maybe a main article link over to Shakespeare's collaborations (which, trust me, can stand a lot more material; it's almost a stub!) or something.
Thoughts? --Xover (talk) 22:39, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it's necessary to list all the collaborations here. Way up the page I suggested we mention collaborations in the lede as a way to be more accurate than just saying he wrote 38 plays, but I think a mention of collaborating could be worked into the Plays section with a link to the appropriate article. Once we get this worked out, then we would need to turn to the lede and have it reflect the information in the article.Tom Reedy (talk) 13:55, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Tom. In the Plays sections it seems a few sentences that give one or two representative examples (such as an early collaboration and a late collaboration) would cover it. And in the lede, for example, why not just say "His surviving works and collaborations consist of 38 plays..." or "His surviving works, including collaborations, consist of 38 plays...". Would something along those lines be a clean way to address it? Smatprt (talk) 23:04, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Why not add this phrasing (taken from current lede to collaboration article and recast a bit to fit the section better) to the opening of the Plays section? It's a nice intro to the subject of the plays, and would fit the bill in terms of adding a bit on collaboration to the section.
Like most playwrights of his period, Shakespeare did not always write alone and a number of his plays are collaborative, or were revised after their original composition, although the exact number is open to debate. Some attributions, as with Titus Andronicus and the early history plays, remain controversial, while others, such as The Two Noble Kinsmen and Henry VIII, have well-attested contemporary documentation.
I looked at it at the beginning of the section and at the end. Both seem to work, but since Shakespeare seemed to begin as a collaborator, I thought it most appropriate at the beginning. But either way works since he ended that way, too, and some later works like Macbeth, were revised while Shakespeare was still alive. Anyhow, the addition is short and to the point. If you want more, of course, there is additional information that could be pulled from the existing collaboration article, but in my opinion this would do it. If readers want more details, as contained in the notes we're trying to delete, they can easily get them from the main article. If we did this, we could then delete the similar language that appears at the beginning of the Classification section, where I think everyone agrees, it doesn't really work.Smatprt (talk) 00:21, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Here are two placements of the material to look at - With the above material at the beginning[[4]], and with it inserted at the end [[5]]. I already self-reverted them. Smatprt (talk) 20:08, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

My suggestions:

1. Let's don't worry about the lede until the main text is done.
2. Let's completely rewrite instead of trying to adapt. For instance, I would begin with the observation that a good deal of textual evidence has been put forth supporting Shakespeare collaborating with other playwrights, mostly early and late in his career, and that the idea isn't new, but has been suggested almost since criticism began.
3. Let's take our time. We've got plenty of time; we don't need to rush; it's not like we don't have an acceptable product right now. We need to take the time to do the research and let that determine the timetable. I myself have several projects going right, now, as I'm sure everybody else does, and I can't drop everything to help hammer this out in three days.Tom Reedy (talk) 01:44, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

The idea of collaboration wasn't originated by critics. The title page of the 1st edition of 2NK described it as by Fletcher & Shakespeare. I don't think there were any critics before then (1632, was it?) who suggested it.

May I remind people yet again that there are many different degrees of collaboration, ranging from Macbeth, nearly all by WS, to More, nearly all not by him. Any phrasing as vague as those suggested above doesn't take account of this. Peter jackson (talk) 10:28, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't fully grasp the premise of the rewrite. I thought the complaint was that the footnotes were too detailed. Do I understand that details about authorship issues are now to be addressed in the main text? Surely the question should be whether this stuff ought to be cut altogether, not promoted into the main text. It's a difficult field to summarise. It is not even certain where Fletcher collaborated with Shakespeare, let alone the others. My suggestion—if the notes are to go—would be to replace them with something at the beginning of the section, saying that commentators differ on the precise extent and nature of the collaborations. In the lead, we could just say "38 plays that he wrote or collaborated on". (I would say to Peter Jackson that there's a limit to how precise one could be on numbers without straying into either false precision or pedantic fussing.) qp10qp (talk) 18:50, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Now I'm confused. I thought we were trying to move the information in the notes into the main text, but I agree with you: the less added to the article the better. And including general information in a general article is certainly no vice. (As far as the extent of Fletcher's contribution, I think it's been pretty well established and accepted what parts of 2NK and H8 are his.See Vickers, Shakespeare, Co-Author. A Historical Study of Five Collaborative Plays)Tom Reedy (talk) 20:25, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Certainly, there's enough consensus for Fletcher to be assumed Shakespeare's partner (though some scholars have denied that he collaborated in Henry VIII at all), but it would be very tricky to make a precise sentence about that partnership if we attempted to detail all the collaborations in the article by play. Park Honan, for example, summarises: "Fletcher's hand has been found in Henry VIII or All is True—though there is no external sign that he wrote any part of this. In Cyrus Hoy's linguistic study of Henry VIII's playtext, mainly confirmed by J. Hope's work in 1994, Fletcher emerges as the writer of only a few scenes, and as one who 'touched up' or added very short passages to the work of Shakespeare, who wrote most of the drama". This is my point: that even with Fletcher, a concise summary of the position would be difficult to concoct: so much more so for the other collaboration and co-authoring issues. But I really don't think this article needs to go there. qp10qp (talk) 20:53, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I think mostly we're in violent agreement here. :-)
The suggestions presented above, as best I can tell, reflect an attempt to remove the current footnotes (who try to cover all the details and thus end up falling prey to both your concerns here: “false precision or pedantic fussing”) and to do so by incorporating a general note of the collaborations in the main body text. The suggested prose boils down to “Some of his plays were collaborations.” Unless I'm much mistaken, that well enough reflects the opinions you and Tom have put forward here (except I'm not clear on whether you, qp10qp, think the footnotes should stay, as they are, or be removed by one method or another?)
For reference, my opinion is that we should remove the current footnotes that talk about collaborations; that we should try to find some way along the lines of Smatprt's suggestions above to mention the collaborations; that if we can't find a way we're happy with doing that then it would be preferable to just delete the footnotes outright and trust the reader to find these facts in the linked Main article articles.
I've ended up being somewhat ambivalent about Smatprt's suggested solutions: they fit well both places he tried them, and the text is rather good, but the standard set by the existing prose in this section (Plays) is very very high and makes Smatprt's text look worse by comparison. I was inclined to agree with the suggestion to use that text at the beginning of the section, but now I'm thinking more along the lines of it needing a good copy-edit to try to make it as tight as the rest of the plays section. (by the way, iirc those bits were you, Andy, Tom, and Wrad, with the final copy-edit by Qp? In any case, major kudos to those that were involved: that's some of the best and most coherent prose, on a very difficult subject to summarize, that I've seen.) --Xover (talk) 21:23, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Good points all, and I agree that a good copy-edit would be a welcome thing to anything we were to add, especially considering the high quality of the the rest of the article. To clarify, it was my intention to create a short summary that would replace all the existing collaboration notes, not as an addition to them. With the link to the collaboration article clearly available, if readers want more info, it's only one click away. It may be a bit vague, as commented above, but any further level of detail would be out of place unless it had its own section.Smatprt (talk) 22:08, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Several editors now have suggested simply adding "and collaborations" or "or collaborated on" to the lede. Alternatively, we could also use "including collaborations". Since the article itself does mention collaborations, to add this to the lede seems like an easy choice that would reflect current article content. So the sentence could read:
"His surviving works, including collaborations, consist of 38 plays,[c] 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems." or
"His surviving works and collaborations consist of 38 plays,[c] 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems."
Do we have a consensus on one of these alternatives, at least? I agree with Qp10qp and others that any further detail in the lede would be problematic. Smatprt (talk) 16:06, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

I think the first is better, but I suggest it be modified like so: "His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays,[c] 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems." That leaves room for those collaborations outside the canonical 38, such as STM and who knows what else. I take it all the collaboration notes will then be deleted. Tom Reedy (talk) 19:13, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree your modification sounds better. But we should probably wait to delete the notes until after we add those sentences to the play sections. I agree with your suggestions above concerning "textual evidence has been put forth supporting Shakespeare collaborating with other playwrights, mostly early and late in his career, and that the idea isn't new, but has been suggested almost since criticism began." Did you have a suggestion as to how to incorporate those ideas into this sentence (below)? Or would you like to have a go at a complete rewrite?
Like most playwrights of his period, Shakespeare did not always write alone and a number of his plays are collaborative, or were revised after their original composition, although the exact number is open to debate. Some attributions, as with Titus Andronicus and the early history plays, remain controversial, while others, such as The Two Noble Kinsmen and Henry VIII, have well-attested contemporary documentation. Smatprt (talk) 20:17, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I keep getting whip-sawed back and forth on what the intent of this is. I thought we were just going to mention it once with a link and then forget about trying to elaborate in this article. What's the general consensus on this?
And what exactly is the "well-attested contemporary documentation" for the collaboration of H8? I'm unaware of any. Tom Reedy (talk) 21:36, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Good catch - H8 should not be listed in that way. As to your other question, I thought the intent was to eliminate the footnotes and replace them with a few sentences of prose within the body of the text. Based on the discussion, it appeared that the Plays sections was the most agreeable place. Right now we have both the footnotes and some vague wording about collaborations in several places. IMO, the notes should go and the current collaboration wording needs a good rewrite and be placed in the Play section instead of having a bit in the play section and a bit in the Classification section (where it doesn't really belong at all). I still think your original suggestions were on target.Smatprt (talk) 00:10, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Taking into account Tom's suggestions above (July 13), as well as the H8 mistake he identified, how about something along these lines:
Critics have long concluded that Shakespeare collaborated with other playwrights, mostly early and late in his writing career. Some attributions, as with Titus Andronicus and the early history plays, remain controversial, while others, such as The Two Noble Kinsmen, have well-attested contemporary documentation. Textual evidence also supports the view that several of the plays were revised by other writers after their original composition.
I would suggest adding this (or something similar) to the beginning of the Plays section and then deleting the similar language found in the Classification section and elsewhere, as well as all the related footnotes. And then put a fork in it and call it done! Smatprt (talk) 00:31, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Please, no "long concluded," whether it be by critics or scholars. It reminds me of grading all those freshman papers while chewing tinfoil. And let's reach a consensus on what we're doing before deciding on the wording. I'm OK with it either way, but I lean toward cutting instead of rearranging. Thoughts from other editors? Tom Reedy (talk) 03:57, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I wasn't very happy with the "long concluded" either, but I was working toward your suggestion that it should be stated that "the idea (collaboration) isn't new, but has been suggested almost since criticism began." In general, however, I prefer inclusion of material instead of deletion, wherever possible. Right now, the references to collaboration are sprikled around somewhat halfhazardly. It would be nice to see them consolidated into something clean and concise. And then get rid of those footnotes! Cheers.Smatprt (talk) 16:46, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, apparently no one is all that interested in following through on the revision, so I guess we'll just let it sit.Tom Reedy (talk) 15:42, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, I'm still interested so have made a couple of changes based on this discussion thread.Smatprt (talk) 18:17, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
I did some tweaking. We need refs for the last two sentences in that graf.Tom Reedy (talk) 03:13, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Plays section

[this thread refers to previous discussions archived at Talk:William_Shakespeare/Archive 18] --Xover (talk) 14:41, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

As a response to the criticism that the four periods are too neat, I've removed the first paragraph of this section (see below). This was originally added in response to a specific request at FAC that the section have an overview to introduce it. As such it has no content separate from that which follows and is therefore dispensable.

Scholars have often noted four periods in Shakespeare's writing career.<ref>{{Harvnb|Dowden|1881|loc=48–9}}</ref> It is widely believed that until the mid-1590s, he wrote mainly comedies influenced by Roman and Italian models and history plays in the popular chronicle tradition. His second period began in about 1595 with the tragedy Romeo and Juliet and ended with the tragedy of Julius Caesar in 1599. During this time, he wrote what are considered his greatest comedies and histories. From about 1600 to about 1608, his "tragic period", Shakespeare wrote mostly tragedies, and from about 1608 to 1613, mainly tragicomedies, also called romances.

As for the rest of the section, I would caution anyone who seeks to change it to bear in mind the danger of this information becoming listy. That would, in effect, make it more difficult to read. It's very tricky to cover all Shakespeare's plays in such a short space (to say the least), and to make it readable there have to be some generalising patterns and groupings. Obviously, it would suit those who don't believe Shakespeare wrote these plays to have the scholarly traditions on chronology and periods destabilised, but that in itself should not be the premise on which any revision of this section is attempted (if revision be thought necessary). qp10qp (talk) 11:38, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

That's a fix! Not only does it take out unnecessary and vague text, it eliminates an outdated reference. Deletion should be used more often. Tom Reedy (talk) 13:50, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Qp10qp. Definitely an improvement without. AndyJones (talk) 18:53, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, much better. Avoiding the idea of "four" defining periods makes much more sense.Smatprt (talk) 23:07, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I found one remaining use of the word "tragic period" that originally tied to the leading (now deleted) paragraph, but was now all alone in the wilderness.... I tried a recasting of the sentence. Feel free to adjust as needed Smatprt (talk) 23:26, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Signature SVG

SVGs are preferred here on Wikipedia..they allow infinite resolution zooming in, with no loss of quality. They also have more crisper lies, allowing for a more clean image. The SVG I have provided is a trace of the original image, and is literally the same, just in a different format. I don't see the fuss of changing it. Connormah (talk) 19:02, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

(small) minority

It seems to me that the "(small) minority" claim is an interpretation of the survey that is unsourced. Not because the poll does (or does not) indicate that there are doubts about the authorship of the plays, but because interpretation of the survey results is not something we should be doing on wikipedia. In my opinion, the only acceptable way to include anything from this survey would be to say something like "six percent of the respondents answered yes to the question do you think that there is good reason to question whether William Shakespeare of Stratford is the principal author of the plays and poems in the canon?", which, of course, is a non-starter. We should leave our scholarly hats and discussions about selection biases at home when editing wikipedia and drop any reference to the survey unless a reliably sourced interpretation of the survey can be found. --RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 12:18, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Holderness ref deletion

I deleted the Holderness reference from the authorship paragraph because I looked up the pages references given and could find nothing relevant to the material. If whoever added the note can produce the relevant material from that reference, feel free to revert. Tom Reedy (talk) 03:57, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

  1. ^ http://www.shakespearecomics.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=26
  2. ^ http://www.mangashakespeare.com Manga