Talk:William Shakespeare/Archive 21

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Authorship graf style changes

Stephen, I only rewrote it to get it out of the passive voice and lose some prepositions. I don't really give a shit about it. If you want to keep the crappy style, that's quite OK with me. I'm not about to get in a big argument over your poor literary sense. Tom Reedy (talk) 03:54, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

What a crock. "You only tried to help because you don't really give a...! I didn't even write the section you are going off about. So much for your research abilities. Here's a thought - go back and actually check your facts.Smatprt (talk) 08:07, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it's up to you to delete an section that you asked to be started. It's not a personal attack to point out the truth: you have no sense of literary style, and rely instead on such subjective criteria as "choppy" and "flow." It was choppy before I rewrote it, because it was poorly written and constructed. How about if I deleted the entire section because it's not based in reality? That would be more reason than the excuses you gave for deleting this discussion section. But for some strange reason we're supposed to pretend that we respect a nutty point of view because a few people believe in it. (And believe me, pretending is all most of us do.)Tom Reedy (talk) 23:56, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

And by the way, your subsequent edits only add fluff and worsen the style, but as I have said, I don't really care what you put in there, so have at it. You'll soon have it as poorly written as the main authorship article.Tom Reedy (talk) 00:04, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
You keep saying that you don't care, but back you come again and again. this, on top of the fact that you maintain your own website to attack authorship researchers. This, I take it, is you not "caring". What a laugh. What a pretender! Smatprt (talk) 08:07, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Tom - you are only attacking the main editors of the article. They wrote the section, not I. Good job! (As to your attack and childish language, yes, let's keep it all here for future editors and administrators to see. No problem. Smatprt (talk) 00:32, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm glad to see you've got no problem with keeping it up. I live in a glass house. Speaking truth to idiocy is somehow refreshing. Tom Reedy (talk) 17:31, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Speaking truth - now that's a good one. You have an obvious conflict of interest, Tom - and anyone who has ever looked at your website is aware of this. You make unfounded and unprovable claims. You attack anyone who disagrees with you. And you are a teacher??? No wonder the educational system is in such trouble with you as a representative. How embarrassing for all of us. Smatprt (talk) 08:07, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Oxfordism is idiocy, I have no Web site, I am not a teacher, and I note that all of my changes were subsequently incorporated, so I can understand your embarrassment. Tom Reedy (talk) 00:02, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I refer to the anti-Oxfordian website articles written "by Tom Reedy and David Kathman" (notice that you get first billing) - are you telling me that is a different Tom Reedy, or, more likely, that you are mincing words and you are indeed the co-author of that website article? And when you wrote on July 17th "It reminds me of grading all those freshman papers while chewing tinfoil" that you were just misrepresenting yourself, or that you are just mincing words and "were" a teacher (instead of "are" a teacher)? In either case, you are just being deceiving. You are so busted. Smatprt (talk) 01:34, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm deleting my response because this type of personal argument brings out the worst in me and inevitably I say things I regret. Tom Reedy (talk) 21:29, 18 November 2009 (UTC)


The section on his sexuality is superfluous. As the paragraph itself says, there is no evidence of anything other than heterosexuality. Any homosexual interpretation is only speculative and is on the order of trivial musings. It does not rank with what is worthy of being the essential content of an encyclopedia article.

There's an entire article on the topic, Sexuality of William Shakespeare, with solid references, so it's not trivial. --NeilN talkcontribs 16:00, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
There are books written about it, due to the language in the Sonnets. I don't think it's all that big a deal, myself. Doctoral candidates have to have something to write about. Tom Reedy (talk) 17:28, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Shakespeare, Elizabeth I and Richard III

I love Shakespeare's work. He was an awsome wrighter but in Richard III he was totaly biest and one-sided. He had an old hunched man to play him. Personaly I think he did the whole play to make Elizabeth like him (Elizabeth hated Richard because of th wars of the roses) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

rember me from king john —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:26, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Untranslated book/article about authorship

I have removed what seems to be someone pushing a highly unorthodox theory about the authorship of Shakespeare's work. In the article the book/article/whatever claims to have been published on November 23rd of this year - two days ago - and has yet to be translated into English. I'm no wiki-wiz but even I can tell this is very strange. Anyone can undo my edit if they in good faith think this large addition to the authorship section deserves to be left in. Myrkkyhammas (talk) 06:14, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

The book is real enough [1], but hardly news. This stuff is ten a penny. Paul B (talk) 08:01, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Not that I disagree with the removal of this text, but Myrkkyhammas's reference to "possibly crazy" and "a highly unorthodox theory" suggests he/she isn't aware of the Oxfordian theory. It's becoming less and less unorthodox by the day, as more and more people become prepared to question the unquestionable, open their eyes, and see the evidence for themselves. -- JackofOz (talk) 08:27, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Dream on. The theory is about as preposterous as can be imagined, and the inflated and fantastical assertions about 'a mountain of evidence' are indicative of the hyperbole of its proponents. The only seriously depressing thing here is the uncritical regurgitation by the Telegraph of spurious claims made about the mutually admiring Oxfordians being 'established Shakespeare scholars'. Paul B (talk) 09:31, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
... as can be imagined by some people. -- JackofOz (talk) 20:19, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
As can be imaging by anyone with an understanding of the history of these claims and of the nature of conspiracy theories. You really ought to read the confident assertions about the growing respectability of Baconianism made 100 years ago. Paul B (talk) 00:50, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I have, but that's a non sequitur. This isn't the place to have this discussion; but in the appropriate place, I would hope to see reasoned arguments for and against, based on the evidence or lack thereof, not comment on the proponents themselves. -- JackofOz (talk) 08:11, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

According to the author, the brand-new study is based on new documents clearly and definitely supporting the Oxfordian theory. Therefore the removed paragraph is very important.

According to a recent, well-researched study by literary historian, Kurt Kreiler, which was first published on 23 November 2009, the actual author of all Shakespeare plays was Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. In his book, the author builds a mountain of circumstantial evidence in support of the fact that the world has been honouring the wrong man for centuries. Kreiler argues that Edward de Vere's known works and letters show a strong Shakespearean style and also points to the Earl's nickname at court: "Spear-shaker." The Earl graduated from Cambridge at age 14; mastered law and Italian; and had a wide-ranging knowledge of the upper classes — in contrast to the lowly born actor, William Shakespeare, who could not have written such fine plays as The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar. Only de Vere was well placed to write such works, Kreiler says. Furthermore, most conclusive evidence shows that it was well known at the court of Elizabeth I that the Earl of Oxford has produced the plays known under the name of Shakespeare.[1] The German Shakespeare expert, Walter Klier says about Kreiler’s 595-page study, “An enormous amount of research has been invested in this fluent, well-written biography, offering a cornucopia of new facts and new insights.” An English translation of the book will appear in 2010.

The paragraph should be reincluded in the article, perhaps in a condensed form. Wikiwiserick (talk) 01:23, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

This is publicity puff, nothing more. The summary of the contents here merely trots out familiar, well-worn, Oxfordian claims. Nothing new. The fact that you haven't heard of this before suggests that you should read the extant articles on Oxfordianism. Paul B (talk) 08:59, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Nothing new? Shakespearean scholar Walter Klier says about Kreiler’s 595-page study, “An enormous amount of research has been invested in this fluent, well-written biography, offering a cornucopia of new facts and new insights.” The author claims to have provided many new sources in support of the Oxfordian theory. Wikiwiserick (talk) 18:16, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but what are these "new" facts and sources? If he has indeed discovered "new" evidence, then that is what would be notable here, not just a summary of the same information we already know about. In any case, however, unless he has come up with something truly groundbreaking, any further material will more likely be better placed in either the general authorship article or, better yet, the article on the Oxfordian theory. But again - even for those articles, it will need to be truly "new" information, not just a rehashing of Anderson, Ogburn, etc. Smatprt (talk) 18:59, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. I couldn't see anything new in the blurb. Further assessment will have to await an English translation. -- JackofOz (talk) 20:19, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Here is an English review of the study: [2]. Wikiwiserick (talk) 00:32, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Here's an excerpt from that: "This book has many merits; one is to present, for the first time in German, a host of archival documents, many of them unlikely ever to have been heard of or to have been seen by any German reader – a veritable tour de force." The rest of it makes similar sense.Tom Reedy (talk) 17:44, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Walter Klier, whose review this is, is not an uninvolved "Shakespeare scholar"; he is an Oxfordian. BTW, as far as I know even Oxfordians don't claim any more that Oxford was known as "Spear-shaker" at court. They rely on saying that the goddess Athena was referred to as that, there being no evidence that Oxford was. Paul B (talk) 00:57, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Now Paul, just because a scholar becomes an Oxfordian at some time in their career, this doesn't negate their status as a valid researcher. Klier has been published by major houses more than once on the subject, as well as numerous others. He is certainly a reliable source by Wiki standards. And I would really hold off on speaking for Oxfordians. You are, by choice, extremely uninformed and out of touch with what Oxfordians do or don't "claim". Smatprt (talk) 03:55, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I am far from uninformed. And I notice you do not claim that any evidence for this spear shaking assertion exists. What "major houses" have published Klier on Shakespeare? Discussing Shakespeare in even academic publications does not make you an expert or WP:RS. it did, I'd be WP:RS on Shakespeare. Writing Oxfordian books that get published because they have a market is no more appropriate to WP:RS than any other conspiracy theorist published by a commercial press. I notice that Klier is disingenously (and ungrammatically) referred to as if he were an independent "Shakespeare scholar" in the current authorship page: "Shakespeare scholar Walter Klier, in a recent study published in November of 2009 researcher Kurt Kreiler asserted that Oxford’s juvenilia "represent the path to Shakespeare and already foreshadow the sedulous stylist that Shakespeare was to become."[107]". This so-called "recent study" is just the the above-linked book review in an Oxfordian publication. Paul B (talk) 15:31, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, Paul, but I'm not going to argue Authorship points with you, as you are not interested in doing anything but mocking and throwing stones. The fact remains that the Telegraph (and other major news syndicates) have labeled Klier a "Shakespeare Scholar" so guess what - you have to live with that unless you can get them to print a retraction (and feel free to take up your grammar issues with them!). I'm amused at your term "independant" - a word which the reference, btw, does NOT use. What on earth is an "independent scholar" anyhow - one that agrees with you?? Or one that is slavishly Stratfordian instead of open-minded?? Finally, the "recent study" is the book itself - not the "book review" as you state! Jeez. Smatprt (talk) 19:07, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
That Klier is a "Shakespeare scholar" (as opposed to someone who's merely published his opinions on the subject) is, of course, an assertion, and must be cited to a reliable source rather than made in a way that makes it appear that it is Wikipedia's assertion. So something like "Klier, dubbed a "Shakespeare scholar" by major news syndicates <insert references here>" is called for. Perhaps you should fix that in the appropriate article rather than launch personal attacks here? The readers deserve to know that Klier's claim to scholarship rests on the shorthand of popular news media rather than the assessment of actual Shakespeare scholars or, say, any actual academic credentials. - Nunh-huh 19:45, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh yes, let's apply THAT rule to every scholar who is mentioned on Wikipedia.... riiiiight! Personal attacks? Now THAT's the pot calling the kettle black! LOL. Smatprt (talk) 01:41, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
You resort to sarcasm because you have no valid reason why an unattributed and contested judgement should be presented as if it were true? - Nunh-huh 05:18, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Nope - it's attributed to a RS. You (and others) are just getting pissy again because it just drives you crazy that the world press (which is RS according to Wiki policy) is providing worthwhile coverage to yet more Oxfordian research. One would think, by now, that you would be used to it! Smatprt (talk) 08:57, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Wikiwiserick - this is simply the wrong article for what you are interested in adding. The authorship entry on this page is merely supposed to represent a summary of of the general Authorship article. The current section gives a (bare bones) summary of the debate and lists the major candidates, including acknowledging Oxford as the most prevalent candidate. If you see a way to help the current summary, by all means, make a suggestion on this talk page, or if minor, simply try an edit and see if the regular editors have a problem. I can assure you, the editors on this page are quite diligent and (as you have certainly found) have no problem throwing in their two cents. Thank you, btw, for the link to the review of the study. Some of the areas expounded upon sound quite interesting and will probably have some value on the Oxfordian Theory page, if not the general authorship page itself. Once further reviews come out, or once the book appears in English, I imagine there will be some good material for all the authorship-related editors to consider. Smatprt (talk) 03:55, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Some publications by Walter Klier:

- Das Shakespeare-Komplott. 1994. 207 pp.
- "Shakespeare in Germany and Austria". Elizabethan Review, 1997
- Der Fall Shakespeare: Die Autorschaftsdebatte und der 17. Graf von Oxford als der wahre Shakespeare. 2004. 320 pp.

The Shakespeare Oxford Society says about Kreiler’s book:

Now a new, comprehensive book has appeared from the pen of the long-standing German Shakespeare researcher Kurt Kreiler, a historical-biographical-stylistical analysis provided with new findings and concentrating on de Vere’s cultural tradition, his individuality and his poetic art. A homage, also suitable as initial reading, to the “master of poetical self-reflection“, the artist of love rhetorics, a soul-knowing tragedian and an illusionsless illusionist. Reasonable doubts that de Vere is Shakespeare are no longer possible.

Hanno Wember writes about the book and its author:

I read it with enthusiasm in a short time and since then it is my favourite and often consulted reference book for the issue (next to Walter Kliers Book which was recently also mentioned in the “Rheinischer Merkur”). I regretted, that there was no German translation of “Shakespeare by another Name”. Kreiler’s new book steps in that gap now. After going through all 540 pages I am convinced that it is an excellent book.
In “Der Mann…”(…who invented Shakespeare) Kreiler goes through the life of Edward de Vere. The connections to Shakespeare are very rare in the beginning. After some chapters one cannot deny that de Vere must have been very close to the poet and in the last third of the book it is obvious that both are one and the same person. So I would say it is an ongoing crescendo. Kreiler begins with the view that by knowing Oxford, the reader can find a deeper understanding of Hamlet (chapter 14) or Falstaff (chapter 16). He wrote really masterpieces, in my opinion.
He puts the Shakespeare – Shaksper controversy in the very last chapter. He uses an enormous number of historical sources, shows a comprehensive and fascinating knowledge of Elizabethan literature.
It is of course impossible to tell something exhaustive about this book in a few lines.
Kreiler published earlier “The Poems of Edward de Vere” (Verlag Laugwitz, 2005), a bilingual English – German edition. By this he proved to be an excellent translator of poetry.
“Fortunatus im Unglück, Die Aventiuren des Master F.I” (Insel, 2006) . A German translation of the anonymous “The Adventures of Master F. I.” In an 80 p. comment he shows that it is an early work of Edward de Vere. This was really something new and in “Der Mann…” Kreiler referred several times to this finding.
In 2003 he wrote a feature-essay (a satire) “Der Mann mit dem Eber” (“The man with the Boar”) in “Neues Shake-Spear Journal”, a German Oxfordian yearbook, published since 1997, (editors Laugwitz and Detobel).

For further blogs about Kreiler’s new book, see [3] Wikiwiserick (talk) 18:52, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Wikiwiserich for all the info. It's most helpful. And don't be put off by some of the regular editors of this page. They love to bully anyone that disagrees with them, hoping to harass them off these pages. I encourage you to stick with it. You have provided additional useful information and you shouldn't be faulted for that by anyone. Smatprt (talk) 09:01, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Edit Request

{{editsemiprotected}} Where it is printed 'earl of Southampton', the E of Earl should be capitalised. -

Yes check.svg Done --NeilN talk to me 00:42, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
i hate shakespear  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:29, 20 December 2009 (UTC) 

Death of Shakespeare

Extra article is needed, some say he froze outside his home, was unable to get in or that he was on drinking binge day b4.

Where's copy of his birth certificate? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Date of birth

The inscription on his monument reads: AETATIS 53 DIE 23 AP. Since DIE means "day" - the inclusion of which would otherwise be superfluous since the date is given as well - it is clear that the proper translation of this phrase should be something like, "On the day of attaining his 53rd year." I.e., as we would say, his 52nd birthday. ðarkuncoll 18:34, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Could be, but that is not how it is generally translated. Any Latinists out there? In any case, either he was in his 53rd year, making him 52, or he died on his 52rd birthday, making him 52, no "about" about it. Knowing his exact birth date is irrelevant given the inscription on his monument, which is an accepted historical record. Tom Reedy (talk) 16:21, 27 December 2009 (UTC)


I'm troubled that the second paragraph of the introduction makes reference to the conspiracy theorists who would have us believe that a significant "authorship question" actually exists. I would think the troubled imaginings of the anti-Stratfordians from their lunatic fringe warrant no place in the introduction, and only a glancing mention in the body of the piece. I think such references should be severely deprecated in the article.

The "Pyramids" entry presumably does not tarry over-long on(if it addresses at all) the theories that space aliens built the structures.

The only authorship question of any merit, or any interest to Shakespeare scholars, is the extent to which WS collaborated with others and on which plays.

I try to assume good faith and so forth, but that doesn't mean that the main entry on Shakespeare needs to be a forum for discredited and frankly goofball theories about his true identity.

Wikipedia doesn't seem to be about accuracy any longer. It's about who carries the biggest and loudest number of unemployed people with an axe to grind. It's really getting ridicules. There is no reason for their to be any mention of the "Shakespeare was a fake" theory. Mrbrklyn (talk) 17:50, 26 January 2010 (UTC)mrbrklyn

This comment is from a fresh set of eyes: I have not partaken in any editing of the entry. With apologies to our friends from the Baconian or Oxfordian or Sidney err Sidneydian?--or whoever is the conspiracy hero of the moment--camps, I find myself discouraged that Wikipedia is used to give credence to poppycock and balderdash.

HedgeFundBob (talk) 17:32, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Like it or not, it is a historical event concerning Shakespeare, and the version you see now was hammered out over many long and contentious debates. As such, it was the best compromise possible at the time, and I don't think anybody has the fortitude to endure another such trial. Tom Reedy (talk) 22:05, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
It's certainly not a "historical event" that belongs in the opening. However, as Tom points out, it's the best Wikipedia can do. Sorry we've failed, HedgeFundBob; we tried to do better but couldn't. - Nunh-huh 23:29, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
It's disappointing, once again, to see the resumption of name calling and ad hominem attacks. HedgeFundBob (talk) says he tries to "assume good faith and so forth". Frankly, I don't see it. Smatprt (talk) 16:19, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
It's truly sad that you see his post as rude at all because he is quite humble and more importantly, he is accurate. Mrbrklyn (talk) 17:50, 26 January 2010 (UTC)mrbrklyn
It is what it is. An accurate assessment of the merits of the fringe theories mentioned here would result in a different, and less misinformative, article than we now have. HedgeFundBob just hasn't been here long enough to know that that's impossible, and why. - Nunh-huh 17:39, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
The fact that you support the personal attacks and the various bullying tactics employed by certain "editors" is not surprising. It's an interesting situation, because as far as I can tell, it is you who have the most extremist views here, and when anyone disagrees with you, you resort to childish name calling. You constantly assert that the Authorship Question does not exist, in spite of the fact that mainstream scholars such as Wells and Schoenbaum have addressed the issue in their latest books.
You read this and you you actually believe that you are Alice and stepped through the looking glass. The conspiracy theory is not better that the Creationist Theory. It has been rebutted so throughly and so completely and it is SO OBVIOUS that it is BS, that it doesn't belong in the entry at all. The authers you quote have been completely rebutted and the overwhelming body of primary and secondary source material stands uniformly opposed to any serious idea that Shakespeare didn't write his material. You have primary newpaper criticism, financial payments, testimony in writing from people who acted and worked with him, biographical facts that surround his authorship, including his later payments for shares at the globe despite no longer acting, appearances and records from the Queens and Kings courts...and on and on and on. They wouldn't tolerate this kind of treatment of "Creationism" in the "Theory of Evolution" entry, and it doesn't belong here. You, particularly Smtprt, need to stop editing this section. You are completely irresponsible. Mrbrklyn (talk) 18:04, 26 January 2010 (UTC)mrbrklyn

When an issue is addressed by scholars such as these (and actually supported by esteemed writers such as Whitman, James, Twain, not to mention at least 5 Supreme Court Justices, and notable individuals such as Sigmund Freud and William James), the attempt to completely censor the subject is more than unreasonable, it's ridiculous. IMHO, it is this kind of extreme obstinacy that is truly responsible for so much of the disruption on these pages.Smatprt (talk) 18:46, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Suffice it to say that in this matter, as with so many others, I disagree with most of what you are erroneously presenting as factual. But thanks for illustrating why this article will always be problematic. - Nunh-huh 19:48, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Why thank you. I'm glad you agree that my description of your behavior here is a good illustration of the basic problem. By the way - you described "most" of the facts I mentioned as being "erroneous". Do you dispute that Wells and Schoenbaum (and other mainstream scholars) have addressed the authorship issue? Or that Whitman, James, Twain, at least 5 Supreme Court Justices, Sigmund Freud and William James all expressed doubt about the traditional authorship story? Those are the "facts" that I represented. The rest was my opinion of your tactics. So which "facts" were "erroneous"? Smatprt (talk) 20:13, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Nunh-huh, it will always be "problematic" as long as there are people out there stupid enough to believe that Shakespeare did not write, and could not possibly have written, the plays and sonnets attributed to him. The world is full of stupid people (*), and we cannot just pretend otherwise. But, seriously, it's instructive to see just how elevated Shakespeare has become. Apparently, it's perfectly OK to deny the existence of God Himself (!), but not OK to suggest that Shakespeare was not a writer. (* I count myself a proud member of the League of Stupid People.) -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 21:03, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it is usually stupid people who like conspiracy theories. It's a cheap and easy way of feeling to superior to actual experts. Usrprisingly the League of Stupid People is very active on Wikipedia, which allows non-experts equality with experts. That's both its power and its problem. Paul B (talk) 22:30, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

External links

Do we really need Find-a-Grave and Free scores? For that matter, how many "open source" Shakespeare sites do we need? Tom Reedy (talk) 22:35, 2 January 2010 (UTC) There are two reasons. For one, some people have more trouble understanding different subjects then others. #2 If a child wants to study Shakespeare then they would need to study on a different level than an adult.Enc23 (talk) 17:04, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Through a recent article on the Chronicle of Higher Education website, I've found an interesting collection of essays updated quite frequently that may be a good addition to the External links area: -- I personally don't have permission to add it, but if anyone else agrees they might add it. ( (talk) 20:41, 3 February 2010 (UTC))

Sexual preferences in Biographies

It's getting past rational at this point the number of irrelevant entries on famous biographies speculating needlessly on historical figures sexual preferences. I let it pass in the Divinci entry because I though it might actually be historically significant, although there also it is highly speculative, but here there is just no need and it is completely irrelevance and unsubstantiated.

Wikipedia isn't a tool for political agendas. The use of it in this fashion threatens its reputation and it's usefulness. Don't vandalize these biographies for your own political ambitions.

Aside from that, there is a separate article, only God knows why, just on useless and highly dubious speculation on Shakespeare's sexuality.

That provides more than enough inaccurate speculation on Shakespeare's sexual preferences. You can annotate it in the footnotes if your so inclined.

Where should this stop? Should we start adding paragraphs on every biography as to speculating on the Jewishness of historical figures? Wasn't Christopher Columbus a secret Marano? Should we add entries on speculation of Masonic Membership? Abduction by space aliens? Should we speculate on everyones vegetarianism? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrbrklyn (talkcontribs) 14:15, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

The sources in this article are scholarly and peer-reviewed, not political junk sites and not speculation. Please read them before making accusations that the statements backed up by them are "unsubstantiated." The ideas regarding his sexuality discussed in the section you removed are not fringe or minority theories by any stretch, but actually quite mainstream, and it would be inappropriate to take them out. Wrad (talk) 18:15, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

That is a flat out lie AND besides the point. This is not mainstream at all. There is no reason to speculate why this married man with 3 children might have been, if you really twist the meaning of things, might have been bi-sexual in the minds of some very few political fanatics. STOP VANDALIZING THE PAGE. There was NO evidence of him being bisexual other than pure speculation of a few sonnets , giving them alternate meaning and ignoring their obvious context, and it has no impact on his contribution. It sheds NO LIGHT or unique information about his biography. It does nothing to help describe any of his artistic achievements. Neither he nor any of his critics ever even discussed it when evaluating him. And even if there was, which there isn't, it is completely irreverent to his biography other than to a couple of Gay English Majors in Chelsea after drinking to much scotch,. It is just complete pure Bull SHIT. This isn't Truman Capote, or Walt Whitman.

Or maybe the fact that only MEN acted at the Globe, and they Cross Dressed... maybe that is proof that everything we know about Shakespeare needs to be turned around because he's Gay!

For god sakes..mainstream NOT

This is crap and it is politicization a simple biography.

The Bard actually was Jewish: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrbrklyn (talkcontribs) 00:51, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Actually a Female Jew and not a Male Bisexual at all!

Mrbrklyn (talk) 00:54, 24 January 2010 (UTC)mrbrklyn - peer reviewed proof that the Bard was Jewish —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrbrklyn (talkcontribs) 01:00, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Patrick is Gay based on this

Mrbrklyn (talk) 02:39, 24 January 2010 (UTC)mrbrklyn

I have removed this again until the discussion here is concluded at the moment it is just the two people involved lets wait and see what others think on this matter (no canvassing please by those involved). Keith D (talk) 13:55, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Keith, I appreciate your efforts to mediate, but it is clear that you have no idea what is going on here. If you look at the edit history, you will see that at least two people have reverted this guy, who has unilaterally decided to change the original version (which passed FA). Now you have thrown a bit of a wrench in things by reverting to the version only he supports. I would appreciate it if you would revert back. We're doing just fine without an admin right now. (Besides, I find it odd that an admin would chose to revert to the version of an editor who is clearly out of control, not following WP:Etiquette, swearing, and typing in all caps.) Anyway, it's only a matter of time before other editors in the Shakespeare project see what's going on and overwhelm this guy, anyway, so you're wasting your time. Wrad (talk) 16:09, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't see what's wrong with the article's current treatment (here's the diff) of Shakespeare's sexuality. It doesn't make any judgments or speculations about his sexuality, but merely says that readers and critics have seen both homo- and heterosexual elements in his work. This statement (which is a statement of fact) is supported by citations. The article doesn't speculate, but simply reports that speculation has taken place. The only possible objection that one might have is that too much weight is given to this speculation, because the speculation is not notable: the fact that numerous academic authors (as indicated by the citations and a cursory Google Book search) have deemed the subject noteworthy is sufficient for me. NotFromUtrecht (talk) 17:05, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
As the other person who (twice) reverted the totally unjustified deletions of properly referenced material in an article which has been pored over by more editors and reviewers than you can shake a stick at, I would also like to ask Keith D to revert back. One of this person's edit summaries says "Every major Biography is now politicized as part of the gay rights movement" - oh, really? And just read the rants above and compare the entirely sensible rejoinder by NotFromUtrecht. I rest my case. --GuillaumeTell 17:40, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
In response to the page history call for more opinions: an article's reporting (preferably briefly and making full use of summary style) that there is such speculation, without making such undue speculation itself, is perfectly legitimate. --Old Moonraker (talk) 18:08, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

I am not actually a member of this project, but have been watching the page because I did a GA review of Lady Macbeth. But I would like to point out that (a) the citations included in NotFromUtrecht's version cited above support only the contention that the sonnets refer to close friendship; there is no citation to support the contention that Shakespeare was homosexual (or that anyone actually thought so). And (b), the books that I looked at from the Google book search refered to by NotFromUtrecht all make the same statement: that speculation regarding Shakespeare's sexuality is unfounded and irrelevant, or politically motivated. Here is a quote from one (Shakespeare's queer children: sexual politics and contemporary culture By Kate Chedgzoy): "Perhaps the question that needs to be asked is not 'was Shakespeare gay?' but 'why do we care whether Shakespeare was gay?'" None of the books had any actual biographical evidence regarding Shakespeare's sexuality one way or another, that I could find. --Ravpapa (talk) 19:10, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Ravpapa, as you are new to this subject, I would remind you that in biographies of the 16th century, "biographical evidence" of the sort you seem to be demanding is extremely scarce. This does not change the fact that reputable scholars have tried to fill in the gaps using clues from the evidence to piece together his sexuality. It is not your place or mine to decide that what reputable scholars have to say is merely "political" (to quote mrbrklyn, not you) and remove it out of hand. To remove it is more of a political statement than to keep it would ever be. Right now you are picking and choosing quotes a bit and I invite you to do a more thorough reading of GT's link. Any scholar who has read the evidence would have to admit that Shakespeare's sexuality is a common debate surrounding Shakespeare's life. As such it deserves to be in this article. Wrad (talk) 19:40, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I reverted out on the basis of WP:BRD to the original version at that point in time. Many thanks for the additional input by those that are not actually involved in the latest exchange. It looks like the leaning is towards the retaining of the short summary style paragraph with the link to the article giving the detail so I will revert out to that version. Please continue to discuss on the talk page if there are further views on this. Keith D (talk) 23:27, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
This material should stay. It was added to the article during a long and arduous editing process and removing it is vandalism. If the users who deleted it continue to vandalize the page they should be banned. Tom Reedy (talk) 03:19, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Ravappa is completely correct. There two questions. Is Shakespeare's sexual preferences of any important substance to his biography and is it based pm any substantial evidence that he was bisexual?

The answer to both is NO. The supposed serious work on the question, is by a PRO-GAY RIGHTS propaganda piece and doesn't even discuss Shakespeare in the specific but discussed how homoerotism and sexual roles might have been understood in Renaissance Europe. The text itself, and the late article on Shakespeares sexuality, which really should be removed from Wikipedia, both admit this. Meanwhile the facts are that he had three children, who he obviously dearly loved with his extensive use of their names and circumstances all thoughout his works, including aside from the obvious Hamlet, included almost every over work he did. He took care of his wife in a rather standard way for an upwardly mobile middle class social climber of the 1600's. The works quoted for his "bisexuality" are in standardized and recognized formats for the cultural context of the day and have near zero likelihood of reflecting anything of his own private passions. This same kind of femenemsization of the young Apostle in the Last Supper was used as a tool Leonardo's biography likewise as an excuse for adding a whole section on the possibility that Leonardo might have been Gay. At least in that case, Leonard was known to have lived with young men for decades, never married and never had children. But the primary thesis relating to the last supper was blown to pieces in peer reviewed surveys of the arts of that period. And the same thing here. Conclusively, any speculation of his being bi-sexual has no intellectual or substantial baring on the importance of Shakespeare to English civilization or his biography.

As if he was bisexual, really, who CARES. Even as unlikily as it is, it has no baring on his contributions and there is no more solid evidence for this than is Shakespeare is Jewish. In fact, after looking over the facts, he was more likely a Marano than Bisexual...BY FAR.

Finally, the addition of the section misleads readers as to the character of William Shakespeare, a key reason for any individual to come and read about Shakespeare on Wikipedia.

So that leaves only one question, to anyone who is intellectually honest. Why was this section ADDED to the Shakespeare biography, when it has no mainstream context, and is unimportant to understanding the man, and is infact probably misleading?

POLITICS. Wikipedia has become a war zone for special interests to push their agendas. Its undermining the reliability of the Encyclopedia as a source of information, and this is specifically against the stated Wikipedia bylaws and mission statements.

As such, the paragraph is vandalism of the Biography, and those who keep needlessly add it to the Shakespeare Biography not only give a misleading picture of the Bard of Statford, and are in violation of the Wikipedia bylaws.

Mrbrklyn (talk) 04:50, 26 January 2010 (UTC)mrbrklyn

If its not ALL politics than what is this about?

Mrbrklyn (talk) 05:31, 26 January 2010 (UTC)mrbrklyn

As a regular editor of this page, I add my support to those wishing to KEEP the paragraph in question. It was debated at length, as were all the "speculations", it is properly referenced, it survived FA review and the article achieved FA status with the paragraph intact. Need I say more? Smatprt (talk) 05:48, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes - you need to say more. You need to justify it under wikipedia rules. When you place inaccurate and misleading information into the entry, you have to then say MORE. (talk) 17:28, 26 January 2010 (UTC)mrbrklyn

User:Mrbrklyn has deleted the material, notwithstanding the overwhelming consensus here to keep it in. Please respect he views of the other editors, in the spirit of the voting is evil policy. --Old Moonraker (talk) 17:58, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, User:GuillaumeTell, for the fix.--Old Moonraker (talk) 18:00, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Ah yes! The Ole, if you lose on the facts, sling some mud tactic Mrbrklyn (talk) 18:13, 26 January 2010 (UTC)mrbrklyn

The facts are that this subject is discussed extensively by academics, as has been repeatedly pointed out to you. But if you just ignore the facts you can continue to believe you have "won" an argument. Paul B (talk) 15:30, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

"is" vs. "are" used with "none"

I reverted an edit by Ash, who replaced "are" with "is" in the sentence, "After 1606–1607, Shakespeare wrote fewer plays, and none are attributed to him after 1613." Both "is" and "are" are correct to use with "none" following a plural noun referent, but "is" sounds jarring. Tom Reedy (talk) 17:14, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


This is a nineteenth century spelling not in use today (citing OED). Wiktionary has preeminent. Suggest we go with the commonest current spelling: pre-eminent. --Old Moonraker (talk) 14:28, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

It is in use today, the New Yorker for example uses it. Since the article deals with The Bard himself, the world's most preëminent dramatist and writer in the English language, save none, I don't think there's much wrong with using it. The OED is itself often very prescriptive, and inter-wiki citing is generally not a good practice. Though your suggestion works too, I think there's nothing wrong with the status quo. Ktlynch (talk) 15:38, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure of the reasoning here: are you saying as it's "the bard himself" we should use the C19 spelling? In his time, it would have been preheminent (no hyphen) or prae-eminent (with), if he had used the word at all.--Old Moonraker (talk) 16:02, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, Shakespeare wrote in the 16th century. I'm not suggesting we write article in his verse or language. I suppose I meant there's no need to dumb down, not that I am accusing you of that. It was an offhand remark, even a sub-clause, and clearly not the thrust of my argument. I don't know the etymologies of your two suggestions but they look very problematic. I merely suggested that there's no problem. Please ask if that's no clear. Best, Ktlynch (talk) 16:24, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
The "problematic" spellings you do not recognize are, once again, from the OED. A work that, seemingly, is happy to cite from The New Yorker when relevant: more than 3,000 references to that entertaining organ. --Old Moonraker (talk) 17:25, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Uh, the article is written in British English, not New Yorker English, isn't it? Nobody over here uses "preëminent" and I think we ought to use "pre-eminent", as suggested by Old Moonraker. As for the OED, no, it isn't prescriptive. It just records usage. --GuillaumeTell 19:04, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Lots of people use diacritic marks over here, the New Yorker was just an example. The OED promotes Oxford spelling and spells this subject's name "Shakspere" (or something similar). In any case, looking at the meter of the line disassembling the word would really ruin an otherwise excellent introduction. Ktlynch (talk) 23:16, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
OK , now we're getting somewhere: User: Ktlynch points out the preëeminent spelling is used "over here". He/she doesn't say where "over here" is, but the context is North America. User:Guillaume reminds us that the article is written in British English. So, it's simply a question of applying the WP:ENGVAR policy. To my ear this would seem to override any concerns for the metre of the line, given that it isn't written in blank verse. Pending an interval for anything new to be brought to the argument, implementation, according to the policy, to follow. --Old Moonraker (talk) 07:46, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
I beg your Pardon, Sir, but I speak the Queen's English! As for the context, it was a play on Mr Tell doing the same thing!Ktlynch (talk) 11:13, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

To make up for my flippant tone, which an American - god bless them - could never have; Gentlemen I give you precedence. Believe me, I am sincerely yours, Ktlynch (talk) 13:18, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Ah—I have been caught out while over-eagerly jumping to a conclusion here: apologies. I fear, however, that the latest example, while ingenious, as a proper name conveys but little precedence. --Old Moonraker (talk) 18:09, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Seriously though, preëminent? This is the first and only time I've seen it spelled this way in my entire life. And yes, I read, often. Aren't you just trying to make some kind of point with this spelling? A kind of... 'look at me' point? --taras (talk) 21:57, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Consensus does not support the "preëminent" spelling: implemented the "pre-eminent" suggestion.--Old Moonraker (talk) 12:09, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Call for Shakespeare editors

Since late December, I have been engaged in editing the Shakespeare authorship question page in an effort to bring some balance and accuracy, so that people who might be encountering the topic for the first time can read an accurate and neutral article instead of promotional propaganda. As you might guess, it is a Sisyphean task, but I believe I've made some progress. If anyone would like to pitch in, or just go by and see what has been done, please feel free to do so. At the current rate of progress, I estimate it will take a year or better to get the article in shape, but with more editors knowledgeable about Shakespeare it could be done more quickly. Tom Reedy (talk) 20:59, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

The article reads fairly well, but it is also obvious that there has been alot of back and forth going on. It probably should come down a little more on the Stradfordian i.e. mainstream, scholarly consensus side. I would be happy to help, but alas do not have many books at hand to reference at the moment. Though if you want help on something specific please ask. Keep up the good work! Ktlynch (talk) 23:25, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
As I'm sure most of the editors here know, the administrators have decided that the Shakespeare authorship question page should be merged with several other anti-Stratfordian pages, including the various Oxfordian pages. If you'd like to help, or just look in and check the progress or read the discussions, go to the Shakespeare authorship question/sandbox. It should go live in a month or hopefully less. Tom Reedy (talk) 17:08, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Coat of Arms

There's a more neatly presented, and more accurately depicted, coat of arms in Shakespeare's life. I suggest, supported by the WP:SS and WP:UNDUE policies, that we don't need it here as well.--Old Moonraker (talk) 11:09, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

No defenders: removed. --Old Moonraker (talk) 08:19, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Authorship Question question at ANI board

Most editors here will be interested in this thread at the ANI board. Tom Reedy (talk) 01:52, 15 March 2010 (UTC)


Can you help me correctly quote this? reference: My Crown is in my heart... not made of diamonds or jewels, nor to be seen by anyone.........

Many Thanks, Jeanelle —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:31, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

You should be asking this at Wikipedia:Reference desk, but since you're here: it's 3 Henry VI, act 3 scene 1, line 60. Good, isn't it? Not widely quoted, though. All the best. --Old Moonraker (talk) 18:59, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Authorship question at NPOV noticeboard

Some of you might be interested in this discussion. Tom Reedy (talk) 14:18, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Thorn vs. Y

Could anyone besides Cairnon and I comment on this exchange?





I personally feel that it is a mistake to "correct" the original spelling of Shakespeare's stone. Since we are directly quoting it, we should write it as it is written. The use of a 'y' in place of a thorn was widespread in early modern England. Modern scholars don't ever, in all the reading I've done, feel the need to replace Ys with thorns. Why should we? Wrad (talk) 14:54, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

As above: The "Thorn" character wasn't used by the sculptor, who used the "y" form. As we are quoting, we should follow suit. I too can't remember ever seeing Thorn in print. The font rendering used here (at least on my browser) without the curves—"þe" and "þt" rather than ME the.png and ME that.png—jarred and looked completely at variance with the accompanying image.--Old Moonraker (talk) 16:42, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
You can view a picture of the actual (although not original) grave marker here. To be accurate I think we should represent it with a "y" (and correct the transcription in the aticle). Tom Reedy (talk) 15:24, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
They're completely different letters, and the fact that they used to be written similarly is irrelevant, unless you also want to argue that the dot on the I in Iesvs means we should be using the Turkish dotted İ. This isn't about "correcting the original spelling", it's about correctly transcribing the way it was spelled on the stone in the first place. I'd also be fine with using the ME the.png and ME that.png images inline if you're that worried about superficial similarity, but as the article is currently written, it's incorrectly transcribed. And at the very least, there should be a link back to that section of the thorn article where the abbreviations are explained. --Cairnarvon (talk) 18:12, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the original carver of the stone didn't have that form in his original copy, and so he cut it into the stone as a "Y". And that is not a dot above the I (J); it's a pit in the stone, as you can readily discern in the picture whose link I gave above or here (there is a similar pit below the A that begins the last line). Looking at the picture of the "rubbing" displayed above the grave, you can see that whoever made that enhanced the letters and moved the "dot" a bit to the left in order to center it over the I.
And actually, this is all beside the point. Wikipedia follows how the printed references transcribe it. All the ones I've seen use the "Y" for the thorn and I have seen none that portray it as you suggest. "Correctly transcribing the way it was spelled on the stone in the first place" would be OR. Tom Reedy (talk) 19:03, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
It's not at all clear that it's just a pit in the stone, and clearly the person making the rubbing didn't think it was. Schoenbaum was certainly aware that the letter is a thorn and not a Y. If he used the wrong glyph to represent it, it is only because of limitations of his typewriter or the shortcomings of the typesetter, as you should realise. But that's besides the point, because there is no sense in which being able to read what is plainly written in a picture right next to the text in question is "original research" any more than reading it in Schoenbaum is.
There's also the fact that positioning of the E and Ts over the thorns has significance which is not reflected in the current transcription, and which, particularly with the removal of the link, will be meaningless to the average reader. As written, the article is, besides wrong, unnecessarily confusing. --Cairnarvon (talk) 22:52, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Actually, the current transcription is completely clear to anyone who knows how early modern texts are usually transcribed, because it follows the pattern of every other transcription I've ever seen, as it should. Wrad (talk) 23:14, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

When William Shakespeare Was Born

Wikipedia is wrong when it says that the date is not known because he was born on the same day he died...

  • The exact date of Shakespeare's birth is unknown but the date of his baptism is and because baptisms usually occur three days after birth it is accepted but not fact that he was born on the 23rd. "It will randomly work out" (talk) 15:56, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

23rd of April 1564

People need to know this and not be dumb founded when they can not find an answer.
*site your source please. "It will randomly work out" (talk) 15:57, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Have a look at Shakespeare's life, where it says "The date of his birth is not known, but his baptismal record was dated 26 April 1564. This is the first official record of Shakespeare, as birth certificates were not issued in the time of Queen Elizabeth. Because baptisms were normally performed within a few days of birth it is highly likely Shakespeare was born in April 1564, although the long-standing tradition that he was born on 23 April has no historical basis (baptisms at this time were not invariably performed exactly three days after birth as is sometimes claimed)."
What this means is that
  • there is a surviving record of the date of his baptism but
  • there is no surviving record of the date of his birth,
  • and it is therefore wrong to assert that he was born on April 23rd or any other particular day.
--GuillaumeTell 21:45, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

According to the article he has 2 dates of birth - can someone change one back to "death" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:42, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Another take on Authorship Question POV

The current paragraph referring to this topic is not NPOV for several reasons. It belittles the theory with the last sentence, it gives added weight to the Oxford theory without explaining evidence for this weight (evidence is also not provided in the separate Wiki entry either), and the paragraph begins by implying that there were no doubts about authorship for the first 150 years. Proponents of the theory see doubts in all the actions of Shakespeare's colleagues, in Ben Jonson's eulogy, in the statue at Wilton House, etc. I'm adding the NPOV heading and hope to see discussion as to why my proposed paragraph was considered unacceptable.Jdkag (talk) 19:47, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Proponents of the theory find coded doubts all over the place. However non believers in the theory - that is mainstream scholars - deny the existence of these supposed coded messages. There were no directly expressed doubts until the mid nineteenth century. In fact this is more than 200 years after his death. The 150 year date relies on accepting the claims for James Wilmot, which have now been totally discredited. So it's actually too generous. Your proposed paragraph was unacceptable because it was a list of names of so-called doubters, not a passage of analysis or history. Some weren't even doubters at all - Dickens, for example. Leslie Howard's so-called doubts were actually spoken by a character he played in a film. Maybe the character was voicing his, Leslie Howard's, opinion. I've no idea. I've seen the film several times. It's about someone who conceals his true identity and who professes to believe things he really doesn't, so even the character might be lying about his Oxfordian views. Who knows? Paul B (talk) 20:14, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
The point of having a summary in the main article, with a link to the subsidiary article, is explained in WP:Summary Style: "not overwhelming the reader with too much text up front". That list of names, even if reliable, was obviously in contravention. --Old Moonraker (talk) 20:58, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Second go: Why is Jonson's eulogy cited as evidence of doubt about WS as the author? For most commentators the acceptance by Jonson (and other contemporary playwrights, some of whom collaborated scene-and-scene about with Shakespeare) confirms authorship. *Shapiro, James (2010). Contested Will. London: Faber. pp. 271–274. ISBN 978-0-571-23576-6.  --Old Moonraker (talk) 21:19, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Here is a link to info on the Jonson "doubts" you are asking about: [[8]] It is from Greenwood, by way of Anderson. Smatprt (talk) 22:12, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
As every conspiracy theorist knows, when Jonson said that the guy in the engraving was the same guy who was the author of the plays he meant the opposite. Paul B (talk) 22:29, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
And as Jonson said "Look Not on his Picture, but his Booke"! Smatprt (talk) 23:04, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. That sentence clearly says that the person in the picture is the same as the author of the book: his picture; his book. Paul B (talk) 12:50, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, this is my fault: let's not allow the seemingly endless "was he or wasn't he" debate escape from the "authorship" talk page. May we get back to the point here: the {{NPOV}} tag? --Old Moonraker (talk) 08:07, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Saying that there was no doubt for the first 150 years is as non-NPOV as it would be to start the article by saying that for 400 years researchers have been searching, generally unsuccessfully, for a literary trail connecting the Shakespeare of Stratford to the writing of the poetry and plays. The comment in the paragraph about "only a small minority of academics" is also non-NPOV unless you point out that this is the conclusion of a survey of English Literature professors. Look at the arguments raised at; they do not mention anything about "codes." The arguments raised in Mark Twain's book are simple and have not been adequately addressed in the 100 years since he wrote them. But this is not the place for us to convince each other of whether there is room for doubt or not, it is a place to discuss the proper way to summarize the topic. The paragraph needs to be rewritten so as not to belittle the Anti-Stratfordian position and to raise at least one reasonable argument made by the Anti-Stratfordians, so as to convey some sense of the issue.

By the way, after looking at the quotes at, I have to agree with Moonraker about Leslie and Dickens, and I've written to the site suggesting that they remove these names. The others all seem credible, and in place of Leslie and Dickens, a list of prominent figures could include Supreme Court Justices Stevens and O'Connor. In my own mind, the best argument is that no written manuscripts remain, indicating that someone wanted to hide their origins. But any reasonable argument would suffice to raise the summary paragraph to NPOV. Including the partial list of "proposed candidates" is not necessary unless it is to point out that referenced authors, such as Gibson, see them as being less credible than Shakespeare himself. (No candidate has yet been proposed convincingly, which is why there is still doubt.)

I personally would be interested in learning more and hope that the main article can be fixed up to be NPOV and to include good links. For example, the Stratfordian site lists three pieces of evidence connecting Shakespeare the actor to the works within his lifetime. These are: a reference to the playwright as a "fellow," perhaps of actors, in a 1601 student play in Cambridge; the John Davies poem, To our English Terence; and the citation in the Annales. If there are links to additional evidence, please let me know.Jdkag (talk) 14:29, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Authorship POV and the "Fringe" view

The discussion of authorship POV at

relates to whether or not to include the issue of authorship in the Shakespeare entry. Now that it is in, it should be made NPOV. There needn't be more than two or three sentences, but those sentences should not be sentences belittling the theory. That means putting one or two links to Anti-Stratfordian books and websites, in addition to the links to Stratfordian references. The doubt about Shakespeare authorship is not a fringe theory by Wiki standards and shouldn't be represented as such by emotional Stratfordians. I would also remove references to possible candidates, as this is also an emotional issue.

I think we should leave the POV heading until the three sentence summary can be made neutral. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jdkag (talkcontribs) 13:22, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Actually - the ONEWAY discussion at NPOV does not concern this particular article. Also, to clarify, wiki has an extremely broad definition of "Fringe" - which basically categorizes anything that departs from mainstream scholarship - be it "minority" or "alternative" views - as "Fringe". Smatprt (talk) 20:16, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
It most certainly is a fringe theory in Wikipedia's sense, and has been repeatedly adjudged so. No significant scholars support it and never have. The reason you are not getting replies, Jdkag, is that no one wants to re-hash once more arguments that have been gone over repeatedly and ad nauseam. Paul B (talk) 14:09, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Please point out the "belittling" language. And I suggest you read WP:FRINGE. Tom Reedy (talk) 18:20, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Jdkag, it would be helpful if you could be more specific about the "belittling" language you detect. Otherwise, it might appear that you are simply being overly sensitive. As you note - there are emotional issues at play, and these can make all sides somewhat paranoid and "loaded for bear". Smatprt (talk) 20:16, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

"Ethnicity = Catholic" in infobox

Reversions explained: WS may have had a Catholic family background, but this isn't "ethnicity". Great Britain is an anachronism. --Old Moonraker (talk) 10:28, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

yea ur right, but he belongs to a Catholic and as far i'm concern he remained to be a Catholic until his death.

And secondly removing nationality is utterly nonsense there is no denying that is indeed a British and he hasn't taken any other citizenship of a country.--Kkm010as© 13:11, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Kingdom of Great Britain was established only in 1707 - until that year, separate Kingdoms of England and Scotland existed (though under single ruler since 1603). As for the notable works - I don't see the point why to pick three plays only from such a great corpus of work - IMHO it's better not to single out anything because Shakespeare's work is so much notable (and known) as a whole for the public, that there's no need to single out any individual piece from it. --ja_62 13:31, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
As ja_62 says, he was English by nationality, not British. I don't know what you mean by "he remained to be a Catholic until his death", since he never was one legally, if by "Catholic" you mean "Roman Catholic". He was baptised into the Church of England (which had established the Thirty-Nine Articles defining its differences from Roman Catholicism the year before). In one sense the C of E is a "Catholic" church, but it is not Roman Catholic. Using the term Catholic is simply confusing and misleading. Paul B (talk) 13:53, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I totally agree with you but the ? is we should come to a clear conclusion that what this persons nationality and ethnicity is, its too much confusion but still i want to put both confusing facts. and why you people stopped or refrain from discussion. Their should be a clear conclusion that what this writer ethnicity and nationality.--Kkm010as© 15:48, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

I fail to comprehend what your points exactly are, but as there are many speculations on Shakespeare's religious beliefs at the best - it is not possible to came to an easy and generally accepted conclusion what his religious stance exactly was. With the exception of Church of England as the church he was verifiably connected to.
Moreover, religious affiliation is not necessarily the same thing as ethnicity - and neither Catholics nor Anglicans are an ethnoreligious group.
As for the "English" nationality - yes, it perhaps should be inserted in. --ja_62 17:25, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I totally agree with you about the nationality, should i now put "English" as nationality. And about the ethnicity WHAT CAN SHOULD BE DONE ?--Kkm010as© 06:06, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Nothing should be done about it. Leave it blank. 'Ethnicity' need only be used when it is a useful concept. In India, as you will know, there are many specifically ethnic groups within the overall nationality, based on traditional endogamous religious and tribal affilliations. That doesn't apply in England. There may be one or two cases in which it would be appropriate to define a person's ethnicity, if it distinctive. This is not one of them. Paul B (talk) 10:15, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
The template documentation expressly says: All fields are optional. Any unused parameter names can be left blank or omitted. No need to fill in every parameter.--ja_62 10:30, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah ur right in India ethnicity do matters a lot. OK i 'm keeping it blank secondly should i put the nationality or i would keep it blank too.--Kkm010as© 12:15, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Vandalising comments removed GiftigerWunsch [TALK] 21:13, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Monologues and scenes for actors from Shakespeare's works

{{editsemiprotected}} I would like to suggest a website that has an extensive list of monologues and scenes from Shakespeare's works which can be useful to actors looking for material to work on or researchers. Monologues and scenes have a summary of the story leading to the scene, information on the type of monologue and location. I think what makes it interesting is also that the database can be searched by specific criteria, not only gender and type of monologue/scene but also by the number of characters (for scenes), emotions explored in the scene and main action. Here's the link: Natkollar (talk) 20:05, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done Promotional site requiring registration. SpigotMap 20:09, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you very much for replying promptly to my posting. I respect your decision but I would like to make it clear that the website is not "promotional" and does not require registration. It would be great if you could provide a better reason or if you write that is promotional at least point out what it is promoting. The reason I thought it could be of interest is because it actually has one of the biggest databases of monologues from Shakespeare's works and the only searchable database of scenes. Also the website has been reviewed by two highly respected newsletters and research blogs, the Internet Scout Report and, which consider it a useful resource:

Again, I respect your decision. Only it would be great if you could point out a better reason for not including it. Thank you Natkollar (talk) 23:26, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

The website is "a casting portal and business networking website for actors, directors, casting directors, producers, agents and managers." "Business network" gives it away, a bit. --Old Moonraker (talk) 05:53, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

To Old Moonraker- I am not sure what "business network" gives away, a bit. The website is free and nothing is sold there. Membership is not a requirement. The fact that actors, directors, casting directors, producers, agents/managers use the site to network is one aspect of the website. Another is that it has one of the largest online resources of monologues and scenes, including Shakespeare. If you think is not a good resource, I accept that. Just curious about what "business network" gives away, a bit. Thank you —Preceding unsigned comment added by Natkollar (talkcontribs) 07:51, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

the new atlantis - not listed in works

In his The New Atlantis, he remarked that Jews “hate the name of Christ and have a secret and innate rancor against the people among whom they live.” He also disapproved of non-Jewish usurers as “Judaizers” who would wear “tawny bonnets” like Jews. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:14, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

You are referring to a work by Francis Bacon, not Shakespeare.-- (talk) 07:19, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes

This article is one of a number selected for the early stage of the trial of the Wikipedia:Pending Changes system on the English language Wikipedia. All the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Queue are being considered for level 1 pending changes protection.

The following request appears on that page:

Comments on the suitability of theis page for "Pending changes" would be appreciated.

Please update the Queue page as appropriate.

Note that I am not involved in this project any much more than any other editor, just posting these notes since it is quite a big change, potentially

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 00:39, 17 June 2010 (UTC).

I'm not quite clear on how all this is going to work, but in any case protection for this article is certainly warranted. Some time ago an administrator decided to unprotect it and he slapped it back on within a day or so because of all the vandalism it attracts. A glance at the number of edits and reverts in the past few days since pending changes has been adopted should be convincing enough. Tom Reedy (talk) 01:11, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Shakespeare authorship question and WP:ONEWAY

Although I suspect topic fatigue has set in for many editors, it would be much appreciated if some would weigh in on this discussion about whether inserting the Shakespeare authorship question into Shakespeare's plays is a violation of WP:ONEWAY. The discussion preceding the current one has more information. Same actors, same topic, same arguments, but it would be nice to get this settled so we don't have to go through this on every article. Tom Reedy (talk) 12:57, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

I don't think it's a violation of WP:ONEWAY, because the question is not a "fringe theory". It is a serious historiological issue, and I think it ought to be mentioned (with appropriate references, of course) when there is a substantive discussion in an article about Shakespeare and/or his life and times as they relate to his works. -- Ssilvers (talk) 20:38, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
It has been repeatedly and overwhelmingly determined to be a fringe theory, however, discussion is not to be held here, but there. Paul B (talk) 23:53, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

ANI discussion

A discussion is being held here that would interest most Shakespeare editors. Tom Reedy (talk) 02:56, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

The discussion has been moved to here. Tom Reedy (talk) 01:50, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Daveallen1983uk, 14 October 2010

{{edit semi-protected}} William Shakespeare has also been given scrip writing credit on the 1st series BBC 1980s sitcom Blackadder

Daveallen1983uk (talk) 19:53, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

That's a joke, he didn't actually contribute to the series since he was dead at the time.Alistair Stevenson (talk) 20:02, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Not done: per above. Thanks, Stickee (talk) 22:01, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

A call to Shakespeare editors

I know most editors don’t think the Shakespeare authorship question deserves serious study, but I happen to agree with James Shapiro and Irvin Matus that ignoring it is tantamount to deserting the public, who very much believe that authorship is important and interesting. Sam Schoenbaum, Stanley Wells, Jonathan Bate, and a host of other Shakespeareans have thought it worthwhile to write about.

With the upcoming film Anonymous due to be released in 2011, I think it’s going to be important that a neutral, well-sourced Wikipedia authorship article is available for reference. Whether academics like it or not, Wikipedia is probably the first place people turn to for information on a topic. Whether what they find is accurate is up to us, those who are stricken with the compulsion to write and edit Wikipedia articles for no compensation whatsoever except for whatever intangible rewards we find in doing so, a motivation that is not always easy to explain.

The reason for all this rhetoric is to invite good editors to take a look at the Shakespeare authorship question article and go over it with a fine-toothed comb. Nishidani and I have been working on this version for quite some time now, and early this week an editor moved boldly and replaced the old, contentious article with ours. It surprised us both, because we thought we were months away from that point, and the article is still not complete (although it’s much better than the one it replaced). It’s now in the mainspace, and I think we have a historic opportunity to be the first team of editors to take a fringe article to FA status. By doing so we can stabilise the article and hopefully put behind us a long history of contention and ill-will.

We’re using all reliable sources and striving to keep a neutral point of view and avoid undue weight. Our goal is to just present the topic baldly, conforming to Wikipedia policies and guidelines with no editorialising or rebuttals. If you don’t wish to help edit the page, your comments on the talk page would be much appreciated, but the rewards will be great for those who join us (with apologies to Will and Ben):

He that edits this page and sees it to FA,
When the history of Wikipedia is written
Will stand a tip-toe when this article is named,
And rouse him at the name of Shakespeare.
Old admins forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What edits he made to that page,
In each of which he seemed to shake a lance,
As brandished at the eyes of ignorance.
This story shall the good Wikipedian teach his son;
And Shakespeare authorship shall ne'er be mentioned,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that edits the SAQ
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so fringe,
If he can edit to NPOV
This day shall gentle his condition;
And Wikipedians the world over
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
Of those who took the SAQ to FA.

Tom Reedy (talk) 18:29, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

I absolutely agree that we should have a good Shakespeare authorship question article. I'm excited that someone has taken the subarticle in hand. I can't promise to help at the moment, as I am on the academic job market and due dates for jobs are now, but I might be able to give a good review in a month or so. Would this be helpful? Awadewit (talk) 03:07, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

A further call

Now that Smatprt has been topic banned, are there any Shakespeare editors that could pitch in to bring the SAQ article up to standards? Tom Reedy (talk) 21:58, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Jkled1, 27 October 2010

{{edit semi-protected}} William Shakespears birth date is the same as his death date April 23. You should change that I didnt want to because your page requested not to

Jkled1 (talk) 01:51, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Thanks, Stickee (talk) 04:22, 27 October 2010 (UTC)


I would have liked to see a larger section on how he influenced language by creating new words and phrases. Or is that a separate article somewhere? Dbjorck (talk) 14:00, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

There's a bit of a problem there in that it isn't absolutely certain that he created any new words or phrases. The OED lists the first known appearance in print of words and some phrases, and, of course, many of those first known appearances are those in Shakespeare's works, but we just don't know which he originated. I'd agree, however, that there probably ought to be more on his language, and plenty of books have been written about it. What Wikipedia does have, as far as I can see, is Shakespeare's style, List of titles of works based on Shakespearean phrases and Category:Shakespearean phrases. There may be some hidden gold somewhere else that I've missed. --GuillaumeTell 19:12, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Peer review request

I have asked for a peer review of the Shakespeare authorship question page here to get opinions on how the article can be improved before I take it for FA review. Please feel free to comment. Tom Reedy (talk) 04:18, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

The "William Herbert and Philip Herbert edition"

I propose to revert to the two actors who did the work: John Heminges and Henry Condell. Happy to have the two aristocrats (but with the iw links inserted correctly) mentioned, as noted in the edit summary. --Old Moonraker (talk) 09:29, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

The Folio is dedicated to the pair of Herberts in question, but the statement that it was commissioned by them, or is the "William Herbert and Philip Herbert edition" is more than problematic. Needless to say, this claim is part of the Secret Aristocratic Masterplan Model. However H&C's dedication makes it clear that the double-act are appealing to the Herberts, not doing their bidding: "Whilst we study to be thankful in our particular for the many favours we have received from your L.L., we are fallen upon the ill fortune, to mingle two the most diverse things that can be, fear and rashness— rashness in the enterprise, and fear of the success. For when we value the places your H.H. sustain, we cannot but know their dignity greater than to descend to the reading of these trifles..." etc etc. Paul B (talk) 15:22, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Please split the article!

The current article is dishonest, as its unity suggests the bard of London and the realtor of Avon are one person, even though that is not a court-proven fact. To the contrary, the unexpected bailing of JA suggests otherwise! ("to leak or not to leak, that is the question")

Therefore this article should be split into two articles: a., William Shake-speare (playwright) b., Will Shaksper (merchant-realtor)

Part a., should address the Bard as a spiritual being, free from any earthly references, so its contents stand, even if noble oxen ford the river to invade the scene. Part b., should address the (very little) solid info out there about a certain W. S., who lived in Stratford-upon-Avon. (talk) 21:40, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Get a life. Paul B (talk) 17:07, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
That's fun! Horwendil (talk) 20:37, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes, please split the article - after having read the book by Kurt Kreiler "Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfand: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford", Insel Verlag, Francfort-on-the-Main and Leipzig 2009. But the book is in German.--Zbrnajsem (talk) 11:38, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

There are a great many like it in English. See Shakespeare authorship question. Paul B (talk) 12:02, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Such books are regarded as fringe theory by academic Shakespearians. Until such time as respected peer-review journals start giving any credence to the Shakespeare isn't Shakespeare crowd, this sort of stuff deserves no more than a foot note in the main article.--Peter cohen (talk) 18:18, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

I have now no time to discuss with you at large, Peter cohen. However, you should be more respectful towards the Oxfordian theory. The people who adhere to it don´t represent anything like a primitive "Shakespeare isn't Shakespeare crowd" as you suggest. It is a very serious theory, by no means anything like a "fringe theory". You should get informed, there are so many sources, my dear. The book by Kurt Kreiler, printed in Germany 2009, is excellent scholarship, believe me. Please read also the "Declaration of Reasonable Doubt about the Identity of William Shakespeare", and related information. Or do you want to say that men like Mark Rylance, Sir Derek Jacobi, Jeremy Irons and Michael York are part of "a crowd"? That they would support a theory of which they would not be convinced that it is the right one? Or the US justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O´Connor, Harry A. Blackmun, Antonin Scalia? Or Mark Twain, Henry James, Charlie Chaplin, Sigmund Freud, Georg Cantor, and many others? --Zbrnajsem (talk) 12:17, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Zbrnajsem, I assure you that we are all very familiar with this stuff. The proper place to discuss it is on the Shakespeare authorship question Talk page or the Oxfordian theory talk page, and even then you should be making specific suggestions regarding content of the articles per WP:TALK. None of the people you list are experts on Shakespeare. They are actors and people with no professional knowledge of the era or historical method. Paul B (talk) 12:34, 22 June 2011 (UTC)


Hi there, what madness is this?! the article should talk about his lost years. it should not in any way state as fact that the man was an actor in london, as we can only guess and do not know.

Guesswork is not fact. the prime article should not be locked and is incorrect of pure hard fact. it should read - he 'may' have been an actor, he 'may' have been a schoolmaster we do not know Mark —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:26, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

What 'madness' are you talking about? Of course it is a fact that he was an actor in London. That is very well attested. The so-called lost years deserve a brief mention, for sure, but there's not much to say. Paul B (talk) 15:30, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Sonnets section

The second paragraph of this section is cited to a website. I don't think this measures up to the standard of this article, however good the site may be, thoughts? Wrad (talk) 16:09, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

The sonnet section is a mess. The website is useless, and must be excluded. There's such an abundance of good sources for this topic, many of them in the bibliography, that it should be rewritten from them. Marcy North just published last year an interesting paper on the 1590s vogue for the sonnets, and the anomaly of Shakespeare's being published when the genre was already 'old hat'. In any case, if no one cares to chip in over the next week or so, I'll give it a go.Nishidani (talk) 22:33, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Here is what that section looked like when the article was promoted to Featured (August 2007) for comparison. Given the extensive discussions and work that was put into both quality of the individual sections as well as the overall length and balance of the article, I would suggest that would be an appropriate comparison. Sadly, quite apart from this damnable flu that renders me incapable of, well, thinking straight (thank the gods for the lovely lovely drugs!), I know far too little about the Sonnets to be of much help with this. --Xover (talk) 00:11, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, WP:BOLD here. I removed the 2nd. para. Wrad fingered it as problematical, and I take Xover's link to the old version as indicative of how the section not only looked after a long process of editing, but should look before we tamper with it for expansion. Both the details, and the source, generate several problems. I tried, after glancing over it last night, to tinker with para 2, but it's best just to remove it. The details on sonnet form are best left to the linked page on Shakespeare's sonnets or the Italian sonnet genre. Secondly, the apparently technical stuff about Shakespeare wrestling with a 'vowel-rich' foreign form, to domesticate it to the different nature of English, strikes me as, well, question-begging and odd. Surrey and Wyatt had domesticated the form some 50 years before Shakespeare lent his hand to it, Sidney, Spenser, Barnfield (not Richard Field as the earlier editor had it, let along Davies) and many others were polishing the form as Shakespeare began to write in it. For the record, this is the second para I have removed, if anyone thinks it worth reworking rather than expunging.

The production of Shakespeare's sonnets was in some way influenced by the Italian sonnet: it was popularised by Dante and Petrarch and refined in Spain and France by Du Bellay and Ronsard, whom Shakespeare had probably read in translated versions.[2] The French and Italian poets gave preference to the Italian form of sonnet—two groups of four lines, or quatrains (always rhymed a-b-b-a-b-b-a) followed by two groups of three lines, or tercets (variously rhymed c-c-d e-e-d or c-c-d e-d-e)—which created a sonorous music in the rhyme-rich Romance languages, but strained the resources of English. To overcome this problem, Shakespeare chose to follow the idiomatic rhyme scheme used by Philip Sidney in his Astrophel and Stella (published posthumously in 1591), where the rhymes are interlaced in two pairs of couplets to make the quatrain.[3]

Nishidani (talk) 11:57, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from LelievreS, 3 February 2011

{{edit semi-protected}} I would like to add another bibliographical reference to this article, the following book by René Girard (1991): A Theatre of Envy: William Shakespeare. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195053397. The French translation, Shakespeare : les feux de l'envie, was published before the original English text. This book is often regarded as one of the most important essay written on Shakespeare, which has refreshened our views in the academic area. I think it deserves to be quoted in this article about Shakespeare. Thank you in advance. LelievreS (talk) 21:45, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for taking an interest! The article as it stands does not contain a general bibliography or Further reading section, and all references provided in the Bibliography section are to works directly cited in the article. Thus I doubt it would be appropriate—no matter its merits—to add this one. Did you perhaps have in mind some point not currently covered in the article that should be added, for which it would be cited; or perhaps its use as an additional citation for an existing part? --Xover (talk) 22:04, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Marking as not done. If specific content is suggested from the potential source, it can added of course. -Atmoz (talk) 00:31, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Well for one thing according to a review it "makes a convincing argument for elevating A Midsummer Night's Dream from the status of a chaotic comedy to a masterpiece." I for one did not know that needed to be done. Tom Reedy (talk) 17:17, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I dunno. That bit about Pyramus and Thisbe is rather badly written. Paul B (talk) 17:21, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Edit request

From the beginning of the article: 'until the rise of Canadian born poet Brandon Stone, author of revolutionary works such as "Scions of Time".[1]'

That should probably be removed.

Yes check.svg Done Alistair Stevenson (talk) 21:00, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Moving comment from top of page

-- (talk) 16:40, 28 February 2011 (UTC)Shakespeare was born on the 23rd April

Nobody knows when he was born. Please read the section of the article entitled "Early life". --GuillaumeTell 22:38, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Edward III moved to "histories"

What's the justification, please, for moving Edward III from "Apocrypha" to "History"? This was an unsummarized change and there's only desultory mention, AFAICS, in the talk page archives. I suggest putting it back where it was. --Old Moonraker (talk) 05:47, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, User:Paul Barlow. --Old Moonraker (talk) 11:01, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I suspect that The Shadow-Fighter may have been misled by the lede of Edward III (play) which stated confidently that the play was by WS. I've changed that article and plonked it back in 'apocrypha' for now. Paul B (talk) 11:13, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I noticed that, but I haven't yet recovered sufficiently to edit anything connected with authorship, and I was driven out early on! The main article certainly needed another look—thanks again. --Old Moonraker (talk) 11:30, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
After seeing the above, I noticed that Edward III appeared in the Histories section of Template:Shakespeare, so I moved it to the beginning of the Apocrypha section. My tidy mind also noticed that the said Apocrypha section appears to be arranged in random order, or is there some rationale that I haven't noticed for this? My tidy mind spotted as well that the Apocrypha listing at the bottom of William Shakespeare is in alpha order, except for Sir Thomas More which appears at the end. My feeling is that both lists ought to be singing from the same hymn-sheet and since (I assume) we can't be certain about the dates, then alpha order has got to be better than random order. Or so my tidy mind tells me. I'll be happy to do the necessary if there's a consensus here. --GuillaumeTell 16:25, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't think there's a rationale. People just add material piecemeal and the order gets broken up. Paul B (talk) 16:33, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I believe that I was the one who added most of the apocrypha to the navbox. I think, other than putting the ones considered to be at least partly by Shakespeare at the beginning, I went with the order in a book I had on the apocrypha at the time. It's not Tucker Brooke's because it didn't contian the plays, but essays about the plays. I know I didn't add Vortigern and Rowena, but I did add Thomas of Woodstock, which was not on the list from which I derived it. Before I got to it, only Edward III and Sir Thomas More were included in that section. I believe that author's order had something to do with earliest printing date, whcih probably isn't that menaingful. --Scottandrewhutchins (talk) 17:09, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Johannes Factotum

Please edit Johannes Factotum as a link to wiki: Jack of all trades, master of none, as i cant edit i cant put the link in. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:33, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Done --Old Moonraker (talk) 11:44, 8 May 2011 (UTC) (talk) 07:53, 25 August 2011 (UTC)If you read the first paragraph about Wllm Shakespeare you will find before the chapter section that some wit has written "there is no point to learn shakespeare its just a waste of time" you don't have to look far, it's there right before the "contents" box. I tried to fix it but couldn't. Please someone, get rid of that if you can98.238.152.51 (talk) 07:53, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Can someone take a look at this? (talk) 07:55, 25 August 2011 (UTC)If you read the first paragraph about Wllm Shakespeare you will find before the chapter section that some wit has written "there is no point to learn shakespeare its just a waste of time" you don't have to look far, it's there right before the "contents" box. I tried to fix it but couldn't. Please someone, get rid of that if you can98.238.152.51 (talk) 07:55, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. A patrolling 'bot has now picked this up. --Old Moonraker (talk) 08:01, 25 August 2011 (UTC)


"there is no point to learn shakespeare its just a waste of time", could someone please remove that? (talk) 11:47, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, but as the above section says (probably posted while you were writing this message), the edit has already been reverted by ClueBot. Johnuniq (talk) 12:14, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

When he got married

he actually got married to Ann Hathaway who was 26 and pregnant — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:00, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Uh, and your point is....? --GuillaumeTell 15:17, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Henri328, 25 August 2011

Henri328 (talk) 18:14, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Already doneBility (talk) 18:21, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

William Shakespeare was born 23 April. The same day he died. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:54, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

No, all that anybody knows is that he was baptised on the 26th April. If you have proof that he was born on the 23rd, please cite your source. --GuillaumeTell 22:46, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

widely regarded as the greatest writer

Just a question on the sourcing: do the three authors cited (Greenblatt, Bevington, Wells) individually support the statement, or is the statement a (perhaps reasonable) synthesis based on 'three' being considered to be 'wide'? Uniplex (talk) 16:13, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Good question! I've just had a look: Greenblatt and Wells refer to his greatness and the universality of his appeal, which seems acceptable without undue synthesis. Bevington allows this reading unequivocally, devoting his two-page "Conclusion" to the topic. --Old Moonraker (talk) 16:53, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I've never found this acceptable. It sounds like anglophonic hegemonic opinionizing. I think it true, personally, but a lot of highly educated people I've met from different cultures prefer their own icons. The French, from Voltaire to Pellissier, have remained unimpressed or quizzical, to cite one instance. Writer is too generic. You might get by with dramatist.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Nishidani (talkcontribs)
As I understand it, we're simply relaying what is stated by the cited, reliable sources; if there are significant alternative views, they can be represented with due weight. My main interest was about the acceptability of synthesis in this type of situation. From the possible counter-arguments you suggest, it is clear that synthesis would be a very dangerous thing; however, from Old Moonraker's response (thanks), it seems that all is okay. Uniplex (talk) 17:31, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
It does sound suspiciously like weasel words.--Scottandrewhutchins (talk) 17:50, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I find the whole concept of weasel words inherently weasely. We can't say universally regarded, so widely regarded is about as clear as we are likely to get. Paul B (talk) 18:18, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Not to badger the point, but three anglocentric Shakespearean scholars recirculating German Romantic opinions are not much of a witness to the world's taste. The Japanese are more moved by Chikamatsu as Indians are by Kalidasa; and Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides all outproduced by a mile Shakespeare, and what they wrote has survived 2500 years with astonished appraisel undiminished, unlike Shakespeare who has had his downs and ups; many French critics have for long have preferred Racine, as many Italians Dante. When you are secure in an opinion, don't bruit it about. Who cares for such judgements, even if they happen to coincide with one's own. It's pure blague.Nishidani (talk) 18:40, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

It is instructive to take the trouble to read what the sentence actually says. It doesn't claim that Shakespeare is the world's greatest writer; it says "... widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist." Tom Reedy (talk) 13:45, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Sure. Actually, Tom, I do construe what I read. 'Widely regarded (missing =in the English-speaking world) as the greatest writer in the English language the world's pre-eminent dramatist.' It's anglocentric, and modernist in its judgement. Sophocles with his 120 odd plays, and his award-winning record of beating for the prize competition from Aeschylus to Euripides, wrote a masterpiece like Oedipus at Colonus when he was over 90, and it still dazzles. Of the 300 odd plays just that triumvirate of Athenian genius produced over a century, only a 10th. (31 or 33 depending on attribution) survived the merciless onslaught of tempus edax and copyist-fatigue. Everything we have is breathtaking in the original, much startling in its complex dramatic emplotment, poignantly lyrical in tone and tack-sharp in its stychomythical rhythms of vernacular repartee. Hamlet,Macbeth and Lear are variously present in the stories of the house of Agamemnon or Oedipus, etc. Nishidani (talk) 14:34, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The Book of Lists included a list of the greatest plays ever written as compiled by John Gielgud. He put Hamlet #2 to Oedipus the King.--Scottandrewhutchins (talk) 16:08, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's 'anglocentric', anymore than placing Italian artists of the Renaissance in a 'pre-eminent' position for many centuries is Italocentric, or indeed asserting the pre-eminence of German composers in the 18th-19th century is Germanocentric. There are many cases in which there is international acceptance of national pre-eminence in particular fields at particular times, including, of course, the international acceptance of the importance of ancient Athenian culture. If we said Elgar is the 'pre-eminent' composer of orchestral music then that would be anglocentic. As for the complaint that it is 'modernist', I'm not sure that's relevant. It's in the present tense. It's the current view - the view of the modern era, to which WS himself belongs. Paul B (talk) 17:24, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

H.L. Mencken was the greatest writer in the English language; everyone knows that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Carolduncanshusband (talkcontribs)

The analogies don't work becaue you periodize Italians (Renaissance) and Germans(18th-19th century) whereas, as we have, it Shakespeare is 'the world's greatest dramatist' period, which means, since the year dot, down to our dotty times. In poetry, you never, in principle, should speak of the 'greatest'. All great poets are on a par, whether they have written much or little. There can be no sure ranking in genius or mode. When I say the point made is true, I am saying that in my reading is true, and not mistaking my subjective prejudice with some vacuous concept about international opinion.Nishidani (talk) 18:17, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Strangely, I've only just seen this reply. I was noting that composers and artists from those periods are reckoned the greatest. beethoven, Mozart and Bach are still the main contendors. They are not just greatest for that period. I was not aware that all great poets are on a par. There can be no sure ranking, but there sure can be and are rankings. The vacuous concept of international opinion (the "opinion of the world" as Johnson would say) has quite a bit of support - internationally. Paul B (talk) 10:52, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
Re: " I was noting that composers and artists from those periods are reckoned the greatest. beethoven, Mozart and Bach are still the main contendors. They are not just greatest for that period."
Mozart was Austrian, not German. Beethoven was a German who moved to Austria and established himself there. If by Bach, you mean J. S. Bach, during his life he had only a local reputation. C.P.E. Bach was much more highly regarded (during C.P.E. Bach's life). In any case, three composers cannot establish the "pre-eminence of German composers" either "in the 18th-19th century", as you originally asserted, or forever, as you asserted later.
There is no need for the article to assert that Shakespeare was the world's greatest writer, however qualified. However qualified, it's still POV. If you want the article to say that Moe, Curley Joe, and Larry call him the world's greatest writer, that's fine so long 1) as the attribution is in the main text, not merely in a footnote, 2) Moe, Curley Joe, and Larry are notable, and 3) Moe, Curley Joe, and Larry calling him that is notable. Whether or not they are (in this case) can be discussed here. TheScotch (talk) 03:38, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
We actually do edit from a POV: that of the academic consensus as stated by reliable sources. Those sources agree that Shakespeare is "widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist", not only in the academy's opinion, but in popular opinion as well. Please use the search function; this particular topic has been discussed many times. Tom Reedy (talk) 15:53, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
Mozart was not "Austrian" rather than German, because German was an ethnicity not a nationality at the time. There was no German state. Indeed Joseph II's titles included the term "King in Germany". Austria was part of "German" territory. Mozart is part of the cultural history of German music, and is perceived as such. You are confusing the current names of nation states with issues of ethnocentrism, which is what this debate is about. Obviously I mean JS Bach, that's who people mean when they say "Bach". This is pointless pedantry, since you miss the point that I am talking about evaluation now, not during the lifetime of the individuals concerned. Shakespeare would not have been identified as the greatest ever playwright in his lifetime, so that Bach comparison is irrelevant. Paul B (talk) 09:00, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Re: "Obviously I mean JS Bach, that's who people mean when they say "Bach". This is pointless pedantry, since you miss the point that I am talking about eveluation now, not during the lifetime of the individuals concerned. "

During C.P.E.'s lifetime when people said "Bach", they meant C.P.E. Bach, and the "pointless pedantry" is yours (as is the temporal equivocation)--yet your analogy is simply perpetuating a musically uninformed popular misconception. Anyway, it's pretty damn obvious that the "widely regarded" qualification is there only because you know can't get away with an unqualified "greatest". I am arguing that the article doesn't need to say "greatest" in any way, shape, or form. TheScotch (talk) 06:39, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Please try to read more carefully. I said I am talking about eveluation now, not during the lifetime of the individuals concerned Hence the utter irrelevance of your reply "During C.P.E.'s lifetime when people said "Bach", they meant C.P.E.". The misconception is entirely yours. You appear to be uninformed about history, and of course I was well aware of the reputation of CPE Bach in his lifetime. The phrase "widely regarded" is used because it is the most accurate one. That is all. Paul B (talk) 10:17, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Shouldn't some phrases be wikilinked?

For example, Johannes factotum, in the way I just linked it here? Not everyone will understand these phrases and after all, isn't that why we have Wikipedia? I have edit permissions, but I would prefer it if someone agreed with me before it's changed. MagnoliaSouth (talk) 20:35, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Johannes Factotum is wikilinked - look a few lines down from the first usage. The reason it is not linked when first used is that it appears in a quotation. The general rule is not to interefere with quotations. Sometimes links are placed in them, but the usual practice is to avoid that if there are other places to link the term. If you think there are other useful links to phrases, add them. Sometimes editors may simply not know that a phrase has its own article. Paul B (talk) 20:41, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Royal patent versus letters patent, and wikilinking same

The article refers to a Royal Patent, but searching wikipedia brings up Letters Patent instead. So which is correct? In either case, shouldn't the term be linked to the appropriate article? I'll leave it to people who are more versed on the topic to decide, but I thought it should be mentioned and discussed. (talk) 07:06, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

The Letters Patent, sealed on 19 May 1603, was the official document permitting Burbage, Fletcher, Shakespeare "and the rest of theire Assosiates" to perform in public "for the recreation of our lovinge Subjectes", but the real point comes later: "for our [sc. James I in his two bodies] Solace and pleasure when wee shall thincke good". Here "royal patent" seems equivalent to a royal order and, uncapitalised as at present, seems to fit quite well. On the one hand: the document; on the other: the command conveyed in the document. Is that any help? --Old Moonraker (talk) 07:55, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Media suggestion

In the section about plays, would it be appropriate to add this media as an example performance? Pinetalk 10:09, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

The American actor James Earl Jones performs Othello's Act I, scene III monologue from Shakespeare Othello at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word on May 12, 2009.

Audio only version

Problems playing these files? See media help.

Don't think so. It would open the gate to the article being packed with hundreds of these. Tom Reedy (talk) 19:47, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

OK. Pinetalk 07:59, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 28 November 2011

There is currently vandalism on the wikipedia page for William shakespear in the first line. I would like to be able to fix this vandalism. BCthroughNL (talk) 20:41, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks for pointing it out. If you want to sort it yourself you need to be autoconfirmed--Jac16888 Talk 20:51, 28 November 2011 (UTC)


The text mentions that "Only a small minority of academics believe there is reason to question the traditional attribution"[9] which I thought was ambiguous and subjective (how much is "small"), so I replaced it with what I felt was a more accurate sentence reflected by the source. However, the sentence is restored on the grounds that "the source is misleading". In which case:

  • In what way is the source is misleading?
  • How do we judge the accuracy of once sentence over the other? --Iantresman (talk) 13:56, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Previous discussion here, to save re-plowing an old furrow. --Old Moonraker (talk) 15:04, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
It was also addressed at this discussion. Essentially, the survey is presented as a summary of the views of "Shakespeare professors", but it is not. In fact it is an arbitrary survey of teachers in private and public colleges. ("The professors teach Shakespeare in the English departments of public and private four-year colleges and universities, which were selected randomly." [10]) Since Shakespeare is taught in virtually all English courses, this does not mean that the "professors" had any special expertise in the subject beyond being English teachers. They were chosen at random - so Shakespeare specialists were not the subject of the survey. The question as asked is deliberately misleading (see RS discussion for details) and it was framed by a journalist who notoriously promotes the anti-Strat cause and has been heavily criticised for misleading and distorted reporting. See [11]. Paul B (talk) 16:11, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the links (if only Wikipedia had a means of searching a single article talk page). In which case by the same reasoning, I content that the summary sentence is also unreliable on two counts (1) the source is unreliable (2) the summary sentence is subjective in its use of the word "small". It seems to me that it the sentence should be either (a) removed (b) should sumarise the survey without being subjective in quantity (c) should just note that there was a survey.
Personally I don't think the NY Times survey is unreliable. It is irrefutable that there was a NY Times Survey, and they have made some attempt to summarise and described the data, so it is not a worthless piece of "research". It is only how we summarise the survey that is at issue? --Iantresman (talk) 18:01, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
The last bit is a remarkable non sequitur. The fact that it's irrefutable that there was a survey has no bearing on it reliability. It's irrefutable that there was a book called The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. Its irrefutable existence does not make it reliable. Its worth or worthlessness as a survey is determined by its academic reliability, which is pretty much non-existant, since there was a misleading question and the respondents were self-selecting, chosen arbitrarily without any evidence of expertise on Early Modern English culture. If the results of the survey are presented in the text then it gives it legitimacy as a "true" representation of opinion. Including it as a footnote is different, since it merely refers the reader to the report, though I'd prefer more footnotes making the main point. Paul B (talk) 21:46, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
It surely depends on what facts we are describing. If I'm stating a bold-faced "fact" that there is bloodline descended from Jesus, and referencing The Holy Blood, then of course the book is not reliable. If I'm claiming that some authors have claimed there is a bloodline, then the book is irrefutable evidence of that fact. Of course it doesn't support the bloodline claim.  :] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
The non sequitur is the transition between the first and second part of the sentence: "It is irrefutable that there was a NY Times Survey, and they have made some attempt to summarise and described the data, so it is not a worthless piece of 'research'." That's like saying "It is irrefutable that there was a book about the bloodline of Jesus, and they have made some attempt to summarise and described the data, so it is not a worthless piece of 'research'." This is about the reliability of literature, not the fact that claims have been made, which, of course, we all accept. Paul B (talk) 21:12, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Likewise I have no claim on the veracity of authorship of Shakespeare. My only criticism is the use of the word "small" in the statement "a small minority of academics". Small is subjective. My first thought was that it perhaps meant one in a thousand. Which academic had been asked? Does include English teachers? Historians? Either way, the survey does contain some hard figures which are not subjective: i.e. irrefutable facts, if correctly attributed and described, and wholly reliable.
Where in the NY survey do I confirm "small minority", as I can't find it reliable sourced? --Iantresman (talk) 22:49, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Look at the next three sources. IIRC, before the NYT survey those sourced the entire sentence. After the survey was done, it was added after the first clause of the sentence, since the survey doesn't speak to the last clause. And one in a thousand would not equal "small"; it would equal "almost unanimously". We use words in their usual meanings; "small" means "Of a size that is less than normal or usual; little." 6 percent is certainly a small percentage by anyone's standards. Tom Reedy (talk) 22:34, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
So I assume that the source is Q15 of the NY survey, in which case I interpret the result differently: indeed 6% specifically questions Shakespeare's authorship, BUT an additional 11% also possible question it, making 17% that question it. That is still smaller than the 82% who specifically don't question it, but is 17% small? It is definitely smaller, and definitely a minority, but who draws the line of what percentage represents small? I'd favour removing the subjective word "small", in which case the sentence retains its conclusion, and without using the subjective and vague "small". --Iantresman (talk) 23:15, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Sorry. "Possibly" doesn't qualify as "believ[ing] there is reason to question the traditional attribution". Possibly means just what it says: perhaps yes, perhaps no. "Small" is also a word with a clear-cut definition, and 6% is well within the parameters of that definition, and the term "small minority" is an accurate description. This has already been hashed out, discussed, dissected, and the consensus of the editors of this page have agreed that the wording is accurate and not misleading. If you want to pursue it yet again, I suggest you follow the Wikipedia dispute resolution process. Tom Reedy (talk) 02:01, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
And "possibly" does not qualify as not believing, so I contend that the number is between 6-17% (up to 22% if we consider the NY Times estimate that data is ±5%, which brings the total possible figure over a fifth) which the subjective word "small", and the sentence does not make clear. When my salary was cut by 6%, I did not consider it "small". I am sure that when the Merchant of Venice was told that he would lose 6% of his flesh, he would not consider it small. So I am happy for you to disagree, but (a) I disagree with this use of "small" (b) the sentence could easily be change to remove any ambiguity and subjectivity. --Iantresman (talk) 09:37, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
The size of your salary cut is not relevant to this use of the word. Again, I suggest you follow the Wikipedia dispute resolution process and notify all interested editors when you do so. Tom Reedy (talk) 16:00, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Dispute resolution won't be necessary, we're allowed to disagree, and in my opinion, "small" does not cover "up to 22%". I shall drop the suggestion. --Iantresman (talk) 17:40, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
No, but it's not "up to 22%", since "up to" is not a meaningful statistic. The 'possibly' answer may even refer to the entirely mainstream view that Shakespeare was not the principal author of several plays, or it may be a generic statement that ultimately anything is just about possible. Paul B (talk) 18:49, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

A man for whom 1 pound is 6% of his total weight would weigh about 17 pounds... Wrad (talk) 02:08, 2 January 2012 (UTC)


I think we should add more discussion on the authorship dispute. Will Shakspere of Stratford could barely write his name. He did not speak English of the variety understood in London, and he left school at 14. He was a drifter, a fugitive, and a greedy land-grabber. It should be obvious to anyone who looks at the facts that Will Shakspere did not write these plays, that "Shakespeare" was a pseudonym, and that we've been honoring the wrong person for 400 years. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:29, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

It is mentioned here, but there is a long established consensus that it be only briefly noted. There are many other articles in which it is discussed, principally Shakespeare authorship question. All of your assertions are disputed by Shakespeare scholars, but this is not the proper place to discuss the issue in detail. Paul B (talk) 18:31, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, we know what you think by all your other edits. Tom Reedy (talk) 23:20, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

In 1600 there was a consensus that the sun revolved around the Earth. I'm not sure we should always go with the consensus. It might also be noted that this "consensus" you constantly talk about is not really a consensus. It's a manufactured "consensus." Plenty of Shakespeare scholars do not agree with it. What is the proper place to discuss these things in detail? If you go into other articles on the authorship question, these issues are deleted off the discussion page, and changes made to the article are deleted. No one by the name of "William Shakespeare" wrote these plays. Will Shakspere did not write them, either. Most likely most of the writing was done by Edward de Vere. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Carolduncanshusband (talkcontribs) 02:47, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

And we would have told Galileo to not publish his new ideas here. While some scholars may think that Shakespeare was a pseudonym, we don't give that undue weight. As the majority of reliable sources assume that Shakespeare was not a pseudonym, that is what this encyclopedia will report. Attempts to crusade for WP:TRUTH will not end well for your account and will only be a minor inconvenience to this site (at most). Ian.thomson (talk) 02:58, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Surely Galileo could have published his ideas in the discussion section. You would allow that, wouldn't you? Where exactly should a present-day Galileo speak out, if the consensus favors suppressing his view? There is a conspiracy among Shakespeare professors, most of them anyway, to bury the Oxfordian authorship theory. They will not even discuss it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Carolduncanshusband (talkcontribs) 05:06, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

No, no one can publish original research on any page. There are thousands of people wanting to add individualistic interpretations of issues in Wikipedia, yet this is an encyclopedia, not an opinion forum. Particularly for a topic like this, which has been extensively studied, only the best reliable sources are acceptable. Wikipedia cannot be used to right great wrongs. Johnuniq (talk) 06:51, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Who decides what the "best reliable sources" are? What is reliable? What is good? You're just using self-reinforcing criteria to perpetuate a viewpoint you have no desire to change. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MillardFillimore (talkcontribs) 01:48, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Ok, you're obviously Carolduncanshusband getting around your block, but as I explained on your old talk page before, we have guidelines for reliable sources, which you can read here. Ian.thomson (talk) 02:52, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Do you, MF, honestly believe there is a willful deliberate conscious conspiracy by scholars to "suppress" the truth about DeVere?--WickerGuy (talk) 05:28, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks to Ian.thomson for going to the trouble of launching an SPI, the new editors (including MillardFillimore) have been indef blocked (see WP:Sockpuppet investigations/HenryVIIIyes). Johnuniq (talk) 07:10, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Disputed edit ref "curriculum dictated by law"

First of all my appology for posting this at the bottom without a headline. Please disregard that posting if it shows up on the "saved page". Regarding my recent edit to Wikipedia, William Shakespeare, Early life (second paragraph) which was undone by Reedy: Original text: “Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era, but the curriculum was dictated by law throughout England, and the school would have provided an intensive education in Latin grammar and the classics.” Text as edited by me: “Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era, however the school would have provided a substantial education in Latin grammar and some exposure to the classics.” Noting that Wikipedia policy is “verifiability, not truth”, and that “secondary sources” are preferred over “primary sources”, I point out, nevertheless, that the primary sources (that is the government “statutes” or Royal Injunctions) that Baldwin and Cressy rely on, do not prescribe anything remotely approaching a standardize curriculum of literary “classical” texts. To be absolutely clear, the relevant Royal statutes and injunctions, which are wonderfully brief, make no provision with regard to specific literary texts. And, to clarify what may be an underlying source of confusion, the term “statute” or “statutes”, as it appears in Baldwin in reference to curriculum, always refers to statutes for individual schools (such as Eaton or Westminster), that is, internal statutes and not Royal or Government “statutes” applicable “throughout England”. However, since, as matter of Wikipedia policy, the issue here is “not truth”, but “verifiability”, the challenge I present to Mr. Reedy is to verify, from Baldwin, the claim that: “curriculum was dictated by law throughout England”. I believe that the closest Baldwin comes to such a claim is his own claim of “essential uniformity”, which (putting aside the questionable nature of that claim) can hardly be equated to, “curriculum was dictated by law throughout England”. Therefore, unless I have missed something, if Baldwin is to be used accurately, the statement “curriculum was dictated by law throughout England”, is not verifiable by that source. Nor, by the way, is it verifiable by Cressy. With regard to the second claim that the Stratford grammar school would have “provided an intensive education in Latin grammar and the classics”: that would indeed coincide with Baldwin’s opinions and statements (as I read Baldwin), though, clearly, without a “curriculum...dictated by law”, such statements stand exposed as conjecture. Ssteinburg (talk) 12:27, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

I've cut your earlier posting of the same comment. I for one, don't feel strongly about the exact wording, though the word "intensive" is certainly used by Baldwin. The extent to which curricula were prescribed by law is more complex. 13:24, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
It would be nice to know who I’m talking to and what precisely is being proposed. If the intent of Wikipedia policy would be, in effect, to cite a source such as Baldwin without regard to the accuracy or verifiability of his statements, indeed disregarding the fact that he contradicts himself, then it hardly seems important to me that his “exact” wording is used. Though it may be beside the point for Wikipedia, the claim for intensive literary training at the grammar school level, as made by Baldwin, is not supported by the evidence he provides or by evidence provided by Cressy or any other authority I’m aware of. Be that as it may, the claim of “intensive” literary training is based on the claim of standardized literary curriculum (“dictated by law”). If you look at the curriculum information provided by Plimpton, for Zouch, Rotherman, Harrows, and St. Bees, it is clear that, not only was there no notable standardization of literary texts, at grammar schools of the “lowest class” (like Stratford or Rotherman) there were often few total texts available. Clearly, with a very limited number of literary texts available, Rotherman would not have provided “intensive” literary training. There is no reason (in Baldwin or Cressy) to assume that Stratford was different from Rotherman, etc. So where are we? Should the article say what is true (based on fact) or should it be left as it is making two blatantly false claims by a generally accepted source? Ssteinburg (talk) 14:45, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
You are talking to anyone who reads this page, and anyone of those readers can reply to you to discuss the issue. I have not had time read the whole of the relevant sections of Baldwin or Cressy. I was just registering a response. Your comments seem to contravene WP:OR since you are choosing to interpret the historical evidence and to disagree with an accepted source on the basis of your own personal views. Obviously what is or what is not "intensive" is not something that can objectively be proved, but it is what the source says. Do you have any evidence that there were a "limited" number of texts available in Stratford? Find another source on Tudor grammar school teaching that disagrees with Baldwin and quote from it. Paul B (talk) 14:55, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
There was no signature on the post I was responding to. Clearly “anyone” may read what is posted, but I was responding to the previous post and not to “anyone”. So, in both cases, I am presumably talking to Paul B. I was really looking to have this discussion with Mr. Reedy who undid my edit. However, if criticism of an “accepted source” by pointing out factual historical inaccuracy on a critical point or points, is Original Research than I am guilty of Original Research, though I think that is a bit of exaggeration. My personal investigation into these questions does not go beyond the well known sources and the primary sources they cite. Putting aside my objections to Baldwin, and my interpretation of the facts, the problem here is that people here are attributing claims to Baldwin that he did not make. My primary specific objection is that the claim, “curriculum was dictated by law throughout England”, is not supported by Baldwin (or Cressy). If there is language approximating such a claim in Baldwin or Cressy it should be easy to provide it. In response to your question, and direction regarding “Tudor grammar school teaching”, Baldwin is contradicted by Stowe and Plimpton. However, I am under no illusion that arguing the case against Baldwin (no matter how powerful the arguments) would gain me anything more than additional claims of Original Research or irrelevancy or whatever. Lastly, to your statement, “Obviously was [what] is or what is not "intensive" is not something that can objectively be proved, but it is what the source says”: some may find it remarkable that an acknowledgement that something cannot be “objectively proved” should be followed by the admonition that it be accepted as “proved” because “it is what the source says”. Is it Wikipedia policy to be indifferent to truth and factual contradiction of sources? I think I understand the policy here on sources and I more or less agree with that policy but I think you are in danger of violating other Wikipedia policies if you turn common sense upside down. Ssteinburg (talk) 16:11, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
You can tell who is writing by looking at the edit history. There was a signature, but I'd accidentlly typed five rather than four tildes, which leaves off the name, making only the time stamp visible. I'm rather prone to typos, as you may have noticed. of course "intensive" does not have a rigid definition. It's the term that a specialist chose to use because he thoufht it was most appropriate. You will not be guilty of OR if you quote what Stowe and Plimpton say that contradicts Cressy. But if you extrapolate from what they say to create your own argument it will be WP:SYN. You need to provide details rather than just make assertions. Will reply to other points when I can. Paul B (talk) 16:24, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I’m prone to typos also, and I don’t know my way around here very well. But, how about we not make this overly complicated? I’ve attempted an edit to correct what I claim is a false attribution to Baldwin and Cressy. Reedy undid my edit saying that citing Baldwin was sufficient. I’m saying Reedy’s rationale misses the point. The point, I assert, is that the claim in the paragraph in question, that “curriculum was dictated by law throughout England”, is not supported by Baldwin or Cressy, and moreover, that it is not supported by national statute or royal injunction or any “law” of England at the time. However, staying with the matter of what Baldwin and Cressy said, if I am wrong it should be easy to quote the passages that support the claim I am disputing. Ssteinburg (talk) 17:23, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I do not have Cressy to hand. See pp. 179-80 and 183 in Baldwin. Tom Reedy (talk) 12:56, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
I am quite familiar with the pages from Baldwin you cite. The royal injunctions quoted there apply to grammar, not to literary texts. That is quite clear if one takes the time to read the injunctions. Furthermore, the statutes of individual schools contain lists of authorized texts with wide variation, thus contradicting the notion that literary text curriculum was standardized or, more specifically, “dictated by law”. Specifically, the “law” quoted by Baldwin does not standardize literary text curriculum and Baldwin does not state that literary curriculum is “dictated by law”. You will not find that in Cressy either. You could go look for another source to cite, however, since the statement “dictated by law” has no foundation in actual “law”, any citation that supports the claim would simply be specious. Now, you appear to be threatening me with sanctions, or have sanctioned me (I’m not that familiar with the system here), and you have undone four edits that I’ve made in good faith, all designed to simply correct fallacious or misleading statements. You also are intent on maintaining the fiction that the Groatsworth attack “on Shakespeare” is a historical fact. All of this strikes me as “gamesmanship”. But, prove me wrong. Quote something from Baldwin that says that literary “curriculum was dictated by law throughout England”, or words to that effect, and show us something that proves Shake-scene was Shakespeare. Ssteinburg (talk) 15:01, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Baldwin does not use that exact phraseology. Here are the relevant extracts:

The way in which these cathedral schools of the new foundation were leveled up to the Eton-Winchester curriculum is typical of the standardizing efforts which were being exerted at this period by authority. As we have seen, King Henry had by 1540 moved to standardize the grammar. … Henceforth, this by royal command was to be the only Latin grammar used in grammar school. Despite many scholarly assaults upon in and attempted modifications, it remained in use till about the middle of the nineteenth century. (179-80)
So in the reign of Henry VIII the ideal of essential uniformity determined by proper authority has been attained. And for the re-founded cathedral schools the Eton system as evolved from Winchester is the favored one, while Paul's grammar becomes the authorized basis of the grammar curriculum everywhere. Henceforth, this authorized system will receive minor modifications; but the modifications will, for the most part, apply uniformly to all schools. For every regular grammar school at a given period in the century the curriculum will be essentially uniform, though there might be slight variations in organization, routines, and teaching methods. (183)

A royal command during this period was just that: dictated by law, the King being the ultimate authority, and objecting to the exact wording is merely quibbling. As to your objection, "The royal injunctions quoted there apply to grammar, not to literary texts", you do know we're talking about a grammar school, don't you? Exactly what do you think a grammar school of the time taught? There is a reason it was called a grammar school. If you read Baldwin, you will learn that the students did grammar exercises by translating the classics, such as Terence and Ovid, the very same authors that were major sources for Shakespeare. In short, the sentence you object to is an accurate summation of Baldwin as it reads, but if you believe that changing "dictated by law" to "standardised by royal decree" is warranted, I would have no objections.

As to Groatsworth, this article, as per Wikipedia policy, reflects the current scholarly consensus. When the consensus changes, the article will follow suit. Tom Reedy (talk) 22:24, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

We’re at the point where we need to take this to a higher level for adjudication. Kindly tell me what the next step is. Ssteinburg (talk) 07:27, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
There is no clear next step, although you can ask for assistance with procedures at WP:HELPDESK. They would probably point to WP:DR, which isn't terribly helpful in a case like this. Asking for opinions at the talk page of the relevant wikiproject is always worthwhile, although sometimes you won't get a response (see the projects listed at the top of this talk page—OMG I see that LGBT has got added here as well). Generally there needs to be more engagement with the arguments presented by the other side before anyone would want to consider the case. For example, is there anything that Tom said above that you think is wrong? What/why? Or are you saying that while what he said is correct as far as it goes, it does not address some point? What/why? What about the suggestion to change "dictated by law" to "standardised by royal decree"? Re the sanctions business: that's standard; all new editors are provided that warning on their talk page. The effects are a bit vague, but in essence it means that editors must be even more scrupulous than normal—see WP:5P for an overview, but ignore "ignore all rules" as it does not help if each side in a dispute does that. Johnuniq (talk) 09:14, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I will press on a bit further.
In the case of Groatsworth I’m simply arguing that the distinction between fact and scholarly consensus should be respected in the article. But, let me elaborate. The text I attempted to change treats the interpretation of “Shake-scene” and “upstart crow” etc, as “Shakespeare” as historical fact. Jay Hoster (a Stratfordian) for example, argues that Greene was referring to Ned Alleyn. Clearly there is room for disagreement on the identity of Shake-scene. Tom says the article “reflects the current scholarly consensus”. This is true. But the consensus regarding that interpretation does not convert interpretation to fact. That interpretation is no more factual than the interpretation of Sogliardo as Shakespeare in Jonson’s Everyman Out of His Humour. By comparison, the reference to “Mr. Shakespeare” in Return to Parnassus is clearly a reference to “Mr. Shakespeare” and is, therefore, a historical fact. So, to summarize, I am simply saying that the language in the article referring to Groatsworth should respect the difference between “consensus” and “fact”. That is all I attempted to do with my edit. Otherwise I added nothing and took nothing away.
Regarding the statement, “curriculum was dictated by law throughout England”, the case for my argument is underscored in the quotation from Baldwin that Tom quoted. Baldwin says, “As we have seen, King Henry had by 1540 moved to standardize the grammar.” Note the word “grammar”. This is critical! The Royal Injunctions speak of “grammar” and specific texts for teaching “grammar”. They do not speak of “curriculum”. Royal Injunctions were “law”. Thus it is fair to say that “grammar” or “instructional texts for grammar” were “dictated by law”. That clearly was the intent of the Injunctions. However, the Injunctions clearly do not speak to “curriculum” which, obviously, is much broader, and is taken to be inclusive of classical literary texts such as those of Ovid. To be very specific, while it is generally understood that literary texts (such as Ovid and Terence) were used for the purpose of teaching Latin grammar, there is nothing in any of the relevant injunctions that sets forth a prescription to use the works of Ovid or Terence or similar purely literary classical texts. A simple solution that would be satisfactory to me would be to replace the word “curriculum” with “grammar”. That would be consistent with both the letter and the intent of the Injunctions. Ssteinburg (talk) 13:02, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
You are incorrect. Please acquaint yourself with the text book that was used in the grammar schools of the time. And the curriculum of a grammar school of the time was grammar.
As to Groatsworth, this is a general encyclopedia article and not a venue to discuss the pros and cons of any particular point. The scholarly consensus accepts that Groatsworth refers to Shakespeare for several reasons. Chambers, Schoenbaum, and Wells refer to it as an allusion to Shakespeare, and the Dictionary of Literary Biography volume 263, titles the section about it "Allusion to Shakespeare in Greene's Groats-worth of Witte", while others are introduced with "Possible Allusion". If you want the standards of Wikipedia to be changed to accomodate your view, this is not the venue in which to fight that battle.
As an aside, I would also like to say that anti-Stratfordian editors probably have the highest consumption ratio of bandwidth to constructive edits of any group of Wikipedia editors. It grows very tiresome to address the same concerns over and over, and it would be nice if other editors could be allowed to spend that time working on other, more constructive projects. Before spending your time and that of others in fruitless pursuit of righting a great wrong, take a few minutes and search the archives using key words to see if the topic has already been discussed and addressed. I think you'll find that more often than not you're ploughing a field that has been harrowed to dust. Tom Reedy (talk) 16:48, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
I hope other unbaised editors are paying attention here.
No, I am not “incorrect”. I assume that by the “text book” you are referring to is Lily’s Grammar. In any case, that is irrelevant to my argument. You now want to construe “grammar” (as referred to in the injunctions), as the “curriculum” used “at the time”. The term “curriculum” is not used in the injunctions. So, why not simply use the term “grammar”? The answer, I believe, is that you want to sustain the myth that the “law” dictated a broad “curriculum” that included purely literary works such as those of Ovid and Terence. Anyone who takes the brief time necessary to read the injunctions will know that there was no such dictate. But, if you want to use the word “curriculum”, I propose that article refer to “grammar curriculum”. That would clarify the matter to my satisfaction.
When you say this is not a “venue to discuss the pros and cons of any particular point”, I have to ask: what is the “point”? I don’t dispute the degree of scholarly consensus on Groatsworth. I can list over 30 biographers who treat the matter as historical fact. I’m not asking Wikipedia to “accommodate” my POV. I am simply preceding on the assumption (possibly false) that Wikipedia policy intends to distinguish conjecture from fact. If I’m wrong I ask you, as an experience editor, to explain the policy.

In response to your “aside”, you seem to be saying that those who disagree with you should not bother. Why not go ahead and post a notice, lock the article down, and stop all discussion with outside editors? Who cares about the “five pillars”? And, as an aside, if this work tires you, maybe you should take a break.Ssteinburg (talk) 18:15, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

To further clarify the problem, I provide below, in quotation marks, two excerpts from the related Wikipedia article on the ‘Shakespeare Authorship Question’.
“Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era, but the curriculum was dictated by English law;[38] the school would have provided an intensive education in Latin grammar, the classics, and rhetoric.[39]”
“Instead, his classical allusions rely on the Elizabethan grammar school curriculum. The curriculum began with William Lily's Latin grammar Rudimenta Grammatices and progressed to Caesar, Livy, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Plautus, Terence, and Seneca, all of whom are quoted and echoed in the Shakespearean canon.”
As currently written, both Wikipedia articles construe “curriculum” as something broader than “grammar”, when in fact, in term of specific texts, the Royal Injunctions refer only to texts for grammatical instruction (such as Lily’s Grammatices), and make no reference to literary texts such as those listed above (“Caesar, Livy, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Plautus, Terence, and Seneca”). Clearly, if one construes “curriculum” to includes such texts, one cannot say that that “curriculum” was “dictated by law”. If one intends to understand the "curriculum at the time" and understand what would 'for certain' have been taught in the Stratford grammar school, this distinction is critical. Ssteinburg (talk) 12:53, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
If you would read the links I provided, you would learn that the grammar school curriculum was grammar. That is not conjecture: there was no band practice, no reading instruction, no music, no geography, no social studies, no history, no physical education—it was all Latin grammar. And the school would have provided an intensive education in Latin and the classics, because the text that was mandated by royal decree used the classics for instruction. And no, this is not a "critical distinction", nor is this a big problem.
About Rudimenta Grammatices from the Lily article: "Part of the grammar is a poem, 'Carmen de Moribus', which lists school regulations in a series of pithy sentences, using a broad vocabulary, and examples of most of the rules of Latin grammar that were part of an English grammar school curriculum. (See Latin mnemonics.) The poem is an early reinforcement of part of the reading list in Erasmus' De Ratione Studii of the Classical authors who should be included in the curriculum of a Latin grammar school. Specifically, the authors derived from Erasmus are Cicero, Terence, and Virgil." Tom Reedy (talk) 19:02, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I finally accessed the edition of Cressy that is cited in the article. The relevant citations are under the headings "Royal Injunctions, 1559" and "Canons of 1571", pp. 28-9. The first reads "Elizabeth inherited Cardinal Poles's procedures for examining schoolmasters and developed them into a national system of control," and then quotes a section of the injunction: "Item, that every schoolmaster and teacher shall teach the grammar set forth by king Henry VIII of noble memory and continued in the time of king Edward VI and none other...." The second reads "The control of schoolmasters was strengthened in 1571 .... The church canons of that year set forth the prerequisites for the grant of a teacher's license and elaborated the formal duties of schoolmasters," and also quotes part of those canons: "... Schoolmasters shall teach no grammar but only that which the Queen's Majesty hath commanded to be read in all schools throughout the whole realm...."

I erred above in stating that math was not taught. According to S.J. Curtis' History of Education in England (1953), arithmetic was taught to the younger students in the first two forms by the usher (pp. 89-90), and "History and geography were taught incidentally in connection with the authors read," as well as "a little geometry and astronomy to the higher forms" (90). They did not, however, teach reading or writing. Tom Reedy (talk) 23:03, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

At risk of whining, am I supposed to take Wikipedia policy seriously? At the top of this page it says “Be polite and welcome new users. Assume good faith”. Pardon me, but what I getting from you Mr. Reedy seems to me dismissive condescension and avoidance of the issue. You say to me, “If you would read the links I provided, you would learn that the grammar school curriculum was grammar.” I think it would be quite clear to anyone reading my posts here that I have read and am quite familiar with the background material we are discussing and that you are struggling through that material to find legitimization for the claims I am contesting. Your latest response again serves to circumvent the issue. I say again, the “law” (Royal Injunctions) does not “dictate” a curriculum including any specific purely literary texts. Clearly, however, there are a number of statements in both Wikipedia articles that are designed to give exactly the impression that literary texts (Caesar, Livy, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Plautus, Terence, Seneca, etc.) were “dictated by “law”. You’ve obviously searched through Baldwin and Cressy but you haven’t provided any quotation that supports the specific contention that Ovid or Terence (etc.) were included in the royal mandate. With the Lily “article” you are really reaching (Lily’s suggestions). By the way, if those suggestions became a legal requirement, you will find that in the surviving lists of curriculum from Harrows etc, they were ignored. Did Harrows break the “law”? You can infer, if you want to, that such works were typically part of a state-directed “curriculum”, and to that purpose you can quote Baldwin who effectively made that assertion (though he did not make the claim that it was set in “law”). However, to claim that a “curriculum”, including literary texts as mentioned above, “was dictated by law”, is factually incorrect and, in my opinion, intentionally deceptive, the point being to perpetuate the oft made false claim that “we know what books were taught in the Stratford grammar school”. The fact is the “law” did not prescribe which literary texts were to be used and there are no records of curriculum for that school. Therefore, we do not know which literary texts were used for instruction at that school. There may have been twenty or more. There may have been four or five. We do know. We do know that the Stratford grammar school was in the “lowest class” (Baldwin). If you want to infer which or how many literary texts would have been available at Stratford, what that does that suggest? Ssteinburg (talk) 09:07, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Look, I'm tired of going round and round about this. Early on I offered to change the statement to "standardised by royal decree", and you later said you would be satisfied with "grammar curriculum". How about we merge the two and rewrite the sentence to read " Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era, but the grammar curriculum was standardised by royal decree throughout England, and the school would have provided an intensive education in Latin grammar and the classics."

If you don't agree, take it to dispute resolution, because I'm done with this. Tom Reedy (talk) 14:46, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree. Will you make the change to both articles? For the record, I disagree with the statement "intensive education in...the classics", but I recognize that Baldwin very clearly made that assertion and that it is generally accepted, and that, within Wikipedia's polices regarding "varifiability", there is no point is pressing that issue here. Thank you.Ssteinburg (talk) 16:25, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Done. It is not only Baldwin who says that. Check out S.J. Curtis, History of Education in England (1953, 1971). The method of teaching was rudimentary grammar instruction, followed by translating Latin scriptures and authors. That was pretty much it in the grammar schools, from the time they were 7 until they were 14. The only thing that changed is that the authors got more sophisticated, and they would throw in a smattering of Greek in the upper forms. Tom Reedy (talk) 19:21, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Wilam Shakespeare = Michele Angelo Crollalanza (Sicilian family)

williaum shakespare — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I'm sorry, but that does not meet our reliable sourcing guidelines, which may be found here. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:42, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Macbeth authorship

Macbeth has a dagger after it, indicating that the play was only partially written by WS. I could find nothing to support this in the Wik/macbeth article.Kdammers (talk) 09:11, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Parts of the published version were written by Thomas Middleton. It's usually believed that he adapted the original version, rather than co-wrote the play as such. This is discussed in the "Date and text" section of the Macbeth article. Paul B (talk) 09:28, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
you can also see details at [12] - Nunh-huh 09:34, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Gary Taylor thinks Middleton rewrote a lot of the lines, cut chunks out and also added passages. He even thinks the Witches were changed from more mystical figures in the original to ugly hags in his version. Get a hold of his edition of the collected works of Middleton; he annotatates every line he thinks may have been adapted or re-written by Middleton. Paul B (talk) 09:44, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 9 April 2012

On Shakespeare Festival 2012, every play of the author is going to be staged in different languages. It says that there's going to be 37 plays. So Shakespeare had 37 plays not 38.

Ahdiker (talk) 08:46, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Read the article. The 38th is The Two Noble Kinsmen. In reality we can't be absolutely clear about the number of plays he wrote, since some may be lost and in other cases we can't be sure how much he actually contributed to the text. The exclusion of The Two Noble Kinsmen is due to historical doubt about its authorship, though frankly, I've never quite understood why Pericles, Prince of Tyre got canonised before TTNK. TTNK is also the only play not included in the BBC Television Shakespeare, a 'complete' production of the works which also only does 37 of the plays. Paul B (talk) 09:49, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

James S. Shapiro on BBC4 television

Tonight at 9pm UK time and at the same time for the next two weeks, Shapiro presents three programmes entitled "The King & the Playwright: A Jacobean History". The episodes are entitled "Incertainties" [what sort of word is that?], "Equivocations" and, uh, they aren't saying what the third is called. Here's the bumf and a clip, together with repeat times. For those who can't get BBC4, the episodes will probably each be available via the BBC iPlayer for a week. --GuillaumeTell 16:41, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Living in London

I would like to elaborate. The old, and suggested new text, is:

By 1604, he had moved north of the river again, to an area north of St Paul's Cathedral with many fine houses. There he rented rooms from a French Huguenot named Christopher Mountjoy, a maker of ladies' wigs and other headgear

By 1604, he was north of the river again. This was in an area with many fine houses known as Cripplegate, which adjoined the gateway of that name in the city wall. There he lived, essentially as a lodger, in the probably quite large house cum workshop that accommodated the family, apprentices and servants of Christopher Mountjoy,a French Huguenot maker of decorative ladies' headgear. Various writers and actors lived in and around this area, including two of Shakespeare's closest colleagues in the King's Men - John Heminges and Henry Condell, the future editors of the First Folio. (talk) 09:33, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Well, there's nothing wrong with the suggested additions - though they need to be cited, but we don't need too much detail here. It would be better to elaborate in the Shakespeare's life article. Paul B (talk) 15:40, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 24 May 2012

i think you should add a game quiz after the article and put it so it can be fun for the people after they read — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:52, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

The purpose if Wikipedia is information, not entertainment. There are already thousands of sites for games. Mediatech492 (talk) 19:57, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

minor confusion

I am little confused; at info box; occupation says Playwright, what does it mean ? Or does it should be simply Play writer ? regards :)--Omer123hussain (talk) 23:15, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

"Playwright" is a standard word referring to someone who writes plays. For example, see wikt:playwright. Johnuniq (talk) 23:21, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Oddly enough the word is supposed to have been invented by Shakespeare's chum Ben Jonson. Sometimes it's misspelled as "playwrite", as though it means "writer of plays", but "wright" just means 'maker' - somone who has wrought something, as as in shipwright, wheelwright etc. Paul B (talk) 00:27, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 25 June 2012

his birth date is 23 april 1564. You can search it from google. (talk) 14:10, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Not done: this has been requested many times before. See here, and a few other places on that page, for the explanation.--Old Moonraker (talk) 14:28, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Folger Shakespeare Library needs help help uploading their collection images

Hi everyone. The Folger Shakespeare Library wants to upload their collection of images, many (or most) which are documents. See the images here. If you are able to do so, please get in touch with User:Kaldari. Thanks! SarahStierch (talk) 17:04, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Translations of Shakespeare

I'm surprised to realise we have no dedicated article about the translations of Shakespeare's works into other languages.

My interest was peaked piqued by reading in Maciej Słomczyński the claim that he was "the only person in the world to translate all the works of William Shakespeare". It's a huge claim, and desperately in need of a citation, which I've now called for.

Then, I got to thinking about this. There are legions of Shakespeare translations, into German, French, Russian, Spanish, Italian and all the rest, and many of them were done by very notable people, but most would have been piecemeal translations of individual plays etc. For example, I know Boris Pasternak did a Russian translation of Hamlet and maybe a few other plays (*), but no more. I also have in my library a Russian translation of all 154 Sonnets, by Samuil Marshak, but I'm not aware he ever tackled the plays, and our article makes no such claim. I can't think of anyone who is known for having translated Shakespeare's entire oeuvre into another language, unless the Słomczyński claim can be verified.

I assume there are publications of Shakespeare Collected Works translated into any other language one cares to name, but is any of these publications the work of a single translator?

Where would one start on gathering together material for an article dealing with the various translations of Shakespeare? -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 06:22, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

(*) I now see that Pasternak translated Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Othello, King Henry IV (Parts I and II), Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 07:32, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies has an article on Shakespeare, so I would suggest starting there. If any library near you has Shakespeare and the Language of Translation edited by Hoenselaars, Translating Shakespeare for the Twenty-First Century edited by Homem and Hoenselaars, Foreign Shakespeare: Contemporary Performance edited by Kennedy, or European Shakespeares: Translating Shakespeare in the Romantic Age by Dirk Delabastita, take a look through those too. I also found an article called "Translating Shakespeare for the Theatre" by Jean-Michel Déprats, who oversees the translation of Shakespeare's work for the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade. There is also a journal devoted to the subject called Multicultural Shakespeare: Translation, Appropriation and Performance (previously Shakespeare Translation), and electronic copies of many back issues can be bought rather cheaply here.
For translation of Shakespeare into individual languages and cultures, try checking out Translation, Poetics, and the Stage: Six French Hamlets by Romy Heylen; "Shakespeare in German"; "Shakespeare Translations in Spain"; Shakespeare in Catalan: Translating Imperialism by Helena Buffery; Shakespeare on the American Yiddish Stage by Joel Berkowitz; "'Classical' Versus 'Contemporary' in Hebrew Translations of Shakespeare's Tragedies"; "Religious and Cultural Considerations in Translating Shakespeare Into Arabic" Amel Amin-Zaki, in Between Languages and Cultures: Translation and Cross-Cultural Texts edited by Dingwaney and Maier; and "Shakespeare Translations in South Africa: A History" by Alet Kruger, in Translators' Strategies and Creativity edited by Beylard-Ozeroff, Králová, and Moser-Mercer. - Cal Engime (talk) 00:44, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Jack, the claim made by Maciej Słomczyński perhaps may be documented as an assertion. It is however false. Tsubouchi Shōyō began his translation of the collected works in the 1880s and finished it, I think, in 1928, when Słomczyński was only 6 years old. I doubt that he completed his version of the omnia opera in his infancy. I might add that Pasternak's translations, while brilliant, are really poetic reworkings that cut the Jacobean rhetoric to the bone. None of those is a useful guide in Russian to the Shakespearean texts.--Nishidani (talk) 12:50, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the responses, both of you.
Cal Engime, those resources seem well worth checking out.
Nishidani: Tsubouchi's article says "He also did a complete translation of the plays of Shakespeare, ..."'. No mention of the sonnets and poems. Maybe that's the point of the Słomczyński claim - the first to translate literally all of Shakespeare's works. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 21:14, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Quibble about "town council"

A footnote refers to "September 1769, when the actor David Garrick organised a week-long carnival at Stratford to mark the town council awarding him the freedom of the town", which is cited from a book by Ian Mcintyre called Garrick (1999). In the 18th century there were no town councils, I suppose what is meant is the Corporation of the borough, which perhaps made Garrick a freeman. Can someone with the resources needed please try to fathom this? Moonraker (talk) 21:55, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Sure. The event organized by Garrick was the Shakespeare Jubilee. Regarding the town councils, I'm not sure what the editor was thinking of. The 'freedom' bit is just bad metaphorical language, and Garrick's not a particularly compelling source; Deelman's Shakespeare Jubilee would probably be better. The 'cult' they're talking about will eventually become known as Bardolatry, a lit-crit joke describing the phenomenon of treating Shakespeare like a god exacted by some enthusiasts. The poem they're talking about is known often as "Garrick's Ode" and can be accessed as an ebook in the public domain. Cfsibley (talk) 22:57, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Apologies, misunderstood the question. It's a misquote--it was the Stratford-upon-Avon Corporation, not the town council. This should clear the mess up. Cfsibley (talk) 23:16, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
In 1768 the Stratford Corporation "resolved unanimously that Garrick be made the first honorary freeman of the borough and directed that the document conferring this honour 'should be presented to him in a small neat chest constructed from a mulberry tree planted by Shakespeare himself.'" p. 223 of Stanley W. Wells' Shakespeare: For All Time (Oxford University Press, New York, 2003) I was incorrect: the document is the Freedom. Cfsibley (talk) 18:59, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, I thought it must be the Corporation. My real objection to "town council" was that it suggested some kind of local democracy. "Freeman of the borough" sounds right. Moonraker (talk) 01:02, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
To be honest, Moonraker, I find that whole footnote decidedly sketchy. I haven't been able to acquire the Garrick (1999) source, but I find it at least somewhat in conflict with most of the research I've done on the subject. Firstly, while 1769 saw the first official & recorded event marking Bardolatrous worship, Hume and others have pointed out that worship of The Bard predates even the 1730 hype. Secondly, the phrasing "David Garrick organised a week-long carnival at Stratford to mark the town council awarding him the freedom of the town" makes it sound like the Shakespeare Jubilee was celebrating the event of his new freeman status (gained in May of the same year). It's true, as Wells puts it, that it seems he attained freeman status as part of the Corporation's desire to deck-out Stratford with Bill's bust without footing the bill (check out page 223), but the Jubilee wasn't primarily to celebrate Garrick's honor—it piggybacked on said honor. The rest is solid, though it should include a link to the verse. Any thoughts about whether these changes should be made? I tried to effect the first two but couldn't get the insert-citation-within-footnote style right. Cfsibley (talk) 03:35, 29 November 2012 (UTC)


Hello, what does 'glover' mean? It is written in the first sentence here.--Sogenius (talk) 14:54, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

See glover. Essentially a leather-goods merchant. Paul B (talk) 15:34, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you!--Sogenius (talk) 13:00, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 4 Feb 2013 (Shakespeare Monologues)

I think it would be helpful to add the following link to Shakespeare's Monologues in the external resources.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Evanlemke (talkcontribs) 23:44, 4 February 2013‎ (UTC)


Another possible author, as well as De Vere etc., is Henry Neville — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:41, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

The way to link his name is to enclose the article title in double square brackets: Henry Neville (politician). -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 09:28, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Just one of many many. See List of Shakespeare authorship candidates. Paul B (talk) 16:41, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Grain hoarding

A study by Aberystwyth University says he was prosecuted for food hoarding in 1598 and the background of famine at the time may have had an influence on Coriolanus.[4]
  1. ^ See Kurt Kreiler, Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfand: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford (2009).
  2. ^ Honan 1998, 183.
  3. ^ Bruce MacEvoy. "Shakespeare's Sonnets", 2005. Retrieved on 20 January 2011.
  4. ^ "William Shakespeare: Study sheds light on Bard as food hoarder". BBC. 1 April 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 

There has been more than one attempt to introduce the factoid that a new study has "discovered" that Shakespeare was prosecuted for grain hoarding in 1598. In fact this has been known for decades (indeed, for over a century, since it is mentioned by Sidney Lee). It is, IMO, not appropriate to glue on material about every speculation coming from scholars that happens to take the fancy of the mainstream press, but this is ancient news. IMO the topic would be appropriate for the Shakespeare's life article, but not here. Just type the words "Shakespeare grain hoarding" into Google Books to see how many hundreds of books have discussed this over the last half century [13]. Try it with "Shakespeare tax" too [14]. So I don't think we should be "crediting" Aberystwyth University with this non-discovery. Even the connection to Coriolanus is old news. See many of the readily available discussions of the issue. [15] [16] [17]. In other words, editors have always had this material available should they have chosen to include it, so it should not be added as a new discovery, but rather discussed whether it is appropriate at all for the main article. Paul B (talk) 13:14, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

BTW, Jonathan Bate says of this "discovery" that the authors have "given new force to an old argument about the contemporaneity of the protests over grain-hoarding in 'Coriolanus." [my italics] Paul B (talk) 13:35, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Fair enough Paul, but as one of Britain's least knowledgeable people on Shakespeare, it would be useful for me to know that it has been disproved. No doubt other readers will feel the same. Could I suggest that the article -or similar -is referenced and than discounted. Regards JRPG (talk) 14:14, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
It's not been disproved. He was prosecuted. But so were his neighbours. It was normal practice in the area. Since Shakespeare was in London most of the year, it's often argued that it was his wife or father who actually responsible for the day-to-day decisions about the Stratford household, but we don't know. Paul B (talk) 14:21, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
I have to say that both the BBC article and what you have just written are of interest to me ..and I suspect other non-expert readers. Can I suggest we have a short referenced section summarising what is known (or not known) about this? Then hopefully the article will have further improved and others can learn from what you've discussed. Regards JRPG (talk) 15:05, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Having looked at the background to this again, I think it's not correct to say he was "prosecuted". He simply appears on a list of people with malt-stores, along with many other people in Stratford. According to Shapiro this evidence was first identified by James Halliwell-Phillipps. You can see the context here [18]. I do think this can and should be included in the article on Shakespeare's life. There's already a discussion there. Paul B (talk) 19:47, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Apologies Paul, I was having a senior moment -or two! Of course it should be in the other article. JRPG (talk) 20:44, 2 April 2013 (UTC)


he died on the same day on his birthday no actually knows when his birthday was through the only one who knew was shakespear him self. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:48, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Type "birthday" into the archive box at the top of the page. This has been widely discussed. Paul B (talk) 15:23, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

A Three Word Suggestion

I had to get two numbers from further down in the article, subtract one from the other, and bring the number (24 years) back up to the summary of his works to get a taste of how quick Bill was shelling this stuff out. I'd like to suggest a 3 word addition in the intro paragraph, shown in bold below...

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) – 23 April 1616)[nb 1] was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.[1] He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon".[2][nb 2] His extant works over 24 years, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays,[nb 3] 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, two epitaphs on a man named John Combe, one epitaph on Elias James, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.[3]

Pb8bije6a7b6a3w (talk) 05:45, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

We really don't know how long his career was, because no one really knows when he began writing or when he stopped. The numbers we have are approximate. Tom Reedy (talk) 19:38, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 24 January 2013

Most sources agree that William Shakespeare was born on April 23, not the 26th as the site currently states. Please change his date of birth from April 25, 1564 to April 23, 1564. (talk) 04:14, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

If you look carefully, we state that the 26th is the date of baptism. There's no evidence that April 23rd is his birthdate, that's just something someone made up based on the near coincidence of his date of death (April 23rd) with his date of baptism (April 26). They thought it would be nice if his birth date matched his death date, so they claimed it was so. But in the absence of evidence, we're certainly not going to elevate this "irony" to fact by putting it in the article! - Nunh-huh 04:40, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Britannica says that his birthday "is traditionally celebrated" on April 23rd, I think that would be a suitable compromise. Sasha (talk) 16:44, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
The article already states that his birthday is traditionally observed on April 23rd. - Nunh-huh 17:33, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Edit request for Shakespeare article


I had searched for the day Shakespeare was born and all the other sources on internet indicate that he was born on April 23 and not April 26 as stated on Wikipedia. I found this consistently on both and I would like to request you to do some more research to see which of the two dates is correct.

Thank you

[1] [2]

Madhuvasu (talk) 18:09, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Just saw that this has already been addressed. Sorry for the repetition! Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Madhuvasu (talkcontribs) 23 April 2013

Closed per above comment. —KuyaBriBriTalk 20:26, 23 April 2013 (UTC)