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WikiProject Shakespeare (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
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ATTN: this article is unsourced and ridiculous. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:09, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

When I was a kid the word "Bardolatry" referred to being a fan of Brigitte Bardot. That's the only way I ever heard it used.Calypsoparakeet 22:12, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
The article is not ridiculous. The word bardolatry appears in dictionaries and is a noun with the meaning of "the idolization of William Shakespeare". Just because someone hasn't heard of a word doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It is hardly likely to be a well known word outside of the Shakespearian world. ♦Tangerines BFC ♦·Talk 23:51, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Poor article[edit]

All that bardolatry means is the excessive adulation of Shakespeare. It doesn't cover a coherent belief system, an approach to reading literature (other than the generic "Shakespeare is the best"), or an opinion on whether Shakespeare's works are best encountered on the page or through the medium of actors. This article is bad because it attributes things to the term that the word just does not carry. Its "explanation" of pro and opposing views reads like parody. This article would be immensely improved if it would just stop talking about bardolatry as though it were a real religion or philosophy, with the accompanying cant. 05:48, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

I made a few edits to try to address some of the problems discussed here. 06:18, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
You're going in the right direction, but I don't think you've gone far enough. Bardolatry is a joke-name, a parody of the belief that Shakespeare is god-like. There are very few people who self-identify as bardolaters and those who do (Harold Bloom for example) are at least partly doing so tongue-in-cheek. Reading the article at the moment you'd conclude that bardolatry is an actual belief system. AndyJones 07:10, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Shaw's actual attitude[edit]

I haven't got my copy of "Shaw on Shakespeare" handy, but I think two things are worth noting. First, if this article is so vague and bad and whatnot, can't it be improved by citing more of what Shaw actually wrote about Bardolotry? Then, the truth of any of the claims aside, it at least will reflect the idea of Bardolotry accurately.

My second point is that Shaw had many targets when he talked about bardolotry. I offer that perhaps his main targets were people like Henry Irving and Breerbohm Tree -- the great actor-managers whose "love" of Shakespeaer often led them to utterly decimate the plays. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree. That approach would definitely help. AndyJones 19:50, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Samuel Johnson[edit]

Most scholars say that Johnson was not a "Bardolater" but instead was rather neutral, and thats what made his analysis of Shakespeare so great. Although he considered Shakespeare great, he examined his flaws and pointed out a significant number of them. Ottava Rima (talk) 01:54, 20 August 2008 (UTC)


In the Victorian Bardolatry section, Shaw is quoted as having said, "Oh, WHAT A DAMNED FOOL SHAKESPEARE WAS"[sic]. I've been staring at this line for a while now, and I can't figure out why it warrants a [sic]. Could someone explain to me the grammatical issue here? I'm probably just missing something very obvious. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:16, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

It's because of the CAPITAL LETTERS. Paul B (talk) 23:28, 15 November 2010 (UTC)


Is it necessarily a portmanteau? The element latry on its own means 'worship'. —Tamfang (talk) 00:42, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

The morpheme —olatry means "worship of". Speaking strictly linguistically, it's not a portmanteau. Cfsibley (talk) 00:26, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
olatry, like ology, is not a morpheme; the o is a linking vowel, to keep the consonants of two roots from colliding. (That's Greek; in Latin the linking vowel is more often i.) —Tamfang (talk) 08:57, 19 March 2014 (UTC)


Problematically, this article's defintion of bardolatry cites a less-reliable (and, in example, contradictory) source than the OED. That definition says nothing about excess: "Worship of the ‘Bard of Avon’, i.e. Shakespeare. (Occas. used of other writers.)", the first usage of which is by Shaw in 1901[1]. Cfsibley (talk) 23:45, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

It's a pun on "idolatry", which in Christian cultural tradtion always implies excessive or illicit worship. I see no problem with using both definitions "worship, often impliied to be excessive" or some such phrase. Paul B (talk) 00:19, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
    • ^ "bardolatry". OED Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 27 October 2012.