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Featured article Hamlet is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on January 27, 2008.

Deterioration of the References section[edit]

I just quickly scanned the References section and note quite a bit of deterioration in the form of references to bare URLs, footnotes with the whole citation in the note (instead of Author Date), and some that at least superficially appear to be to very low quality sources. I've added a cleanup of this to my todo list and when I get around to it I plan to not just fix these but also backtrack the relevant refs back to the main body text and prune mercilessly where I think there is correlation between poor sourcing and poor additions to the article. You may consider this fair warning. :-)

While I'm at it I may (not sure yet, it's a big job and may not be worth it) also convert everything over to citation templates to ensure consistent formatting and enabling structured metadata (most likely using {{sfn}}, {{efn}}, {{reflist}}, and {{notelist}}).

Comments or objections would be most welcome, but preferably before I start work on it so I don't waste my time. It'll probably be at least a couple of weeks (and I'm apt to be distracted, so may well be longer), but please do share your comments sooner rather than later so that we have time to reach a proper consensus. I know most of the regular editors in the Shakespeare project don't check this talk page very frequently so I like to leave plenty of time for interested editors to be able to comment. --Xover (talk) 18:25, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Video game mention[edit]

If this is going to be categorized under "Plays adapted into video games", wouldn't it be worth mentioning the video game somewhere? Rampage470 (talk) 14:44, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

Salvageable bit from Philosophy?[edit]

I've removed the following bit from the Philosophical section.

Text moved from Philosophical section

Nevertheless, if the sentence is analysed in the textual context[1] it is easy to understand how Hamlet was being sarcastic: "Man delights not me", he concludes. Amaral[2] argues that this is the result of melancholy. This condition was a main subject of philosophy in this epoch. After a period of confidence in reason's ability to unveil reality (Renaissance), 'Mannerism' started questioning its power. Hamlet shows traces of this. In this sense, Hamlet is not feigning madness, but he is indeed trapped between the world everybody expects him to see (the lies told by Claudius and accepted by all, i.e. social decorum) and the world revealed to him by knowledge (the reality of the murdering, as testified by his father's ghost). This condition of being trapped between two different ways of seeing reality was also pictured by Shakespeare's contemporary Cervantes, in Don Quixote. This profound meditation was examined by the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer in The World as Will and Representation. Schopenhauer uses Hamlet to clarify his main argument. He argues that the world as we see it is a conjunction of representations. These representations are formed by the projection of our will towards the world. We can only see objects of our desires. In this sense he argues that only art could show us that reality is such a construct. Exactly as Hamlet did: "If the whole world as representation is only the visibility of the will, then art is the elucidation of this visibility, the camera obscura which shows the objects more purely, and enables us to survey and comprehend them better. It is the play within the play, the stage on the stage in Hamlet." [3]

In his openness to embrace the ghost's message, Hamlet assuages Horatio's wonderment with the analytical assertion, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."


  1. ^ Hamlet Act II, scene 2 "and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition; that this goodly frame the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave o'er hanging firmament, this majestical roof, fretted with golden fire: why, it appeareth no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so."
  2. ^
  3. ^ Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. I, translated by E. F. J. Payne, Dover Publications, 1969, pp. 266–267.

I can't make heads not tails of the text, and it is in any case in dire need of copy-editing, and the two cites are suboptimal (one looks like someone's dissertation, in Portugese I think, and the other looks like a pretty blatant copyvio). Anyways, I've removed it from the article but I'm leaving it here in case someone feels like having a go at salvaging it. --Xover (talk) 20:56, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

Featured article that lacks vital information[edit]

I haven't read it all through. Though the lead and a brief overview. But I think the standard for Featured article is not quite met here, currently. Worst is that it isn't stated where this play unfolds, according to the great author himself. (Kronborg Palace at Elsinore or Helsingør, where the Sound Dues was to be paid for sailing through Øresund for centuries. (some 45 km north of Copenhagen, certainly not a "17th Century suburb".) Also - a featured article should have a lead that covers the main body of the article, it shall be a summary of the article. All inline references are to be put in the article, and not in the lead. (This becomes obvious logic if following the rule about a (good) lead only should be a summary of the rest of the article) I hereby suggest the contributors to include the vital matter of where Shakespeare lets his play unfold - and to make a lead that's a summary of the main text, and having all inline references in the main text. Otherwise I will suggest that the featured status ought to become "good reading" only. And that would be very unnecessary, if needed. Boeing720 (talk) 03:33, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

@Boeing720: I'm sorry, but could you please indicate which parts of the article you did read, so that we may address your concerns above? The lede, as a summary, must necessarily omit some details; so without knowing which parts of the article you have read it's hard to tell which parts you find to be lacking. The lede, like the plot summary, are not usually cited on Wikipedia, but for this particular article it turned out to be necessary for various reasons. --Xover (talk) 08:48, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
I read the lead. I'm not concerned with the describing of the play. But fact is, these words are omitted in the text Kronborg, Elsinore, Helsingør (and for that matter also "Helsingor"). The historical palace and the town where Shakespeare himself unfolded this great play. That alone is sufficient for a downgrade. (But I just want the article to become up to featured standard). About the lead - There seem to be more than one school of how a good lead ought to be. But others than me have thought me (years ago) that a good lead is like if the entire article is written first, and thereafter is the lead written as a summary which attempts to be encouraging to further reading. That way is all inline references assembled outside the lead. Now, I do not say this is how to actually create an optimal article, as it usually takes a long time and often is the work of many contributors. But - yes, a summary which make readers want to study further, and preferably with all inline references in the main body. But especially the omitted facts must be put in to the article. (I have even searched the entire article for the lacking words with a software tool, and neither Elsinore or Kronborg /Kronborg Palace are mentioned even once.) Boeing720 (talk) 01:36, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
@Boeing720: Well, I can certainly tell you with some certainty that the lede does not summarise the lede, for what I imagine are obvious reasons. I believe, however, that you would, if you read the article, find that it does summarise the article quite well. There were quite a few experienced editors, copy editors, and reviewers involved both before and during its FAC, and the lede received a significant amount of attention. However, where you might be getting led astray is that the lead section is not just a summary of the article, but also an introduction to the article.
Why you are so focussed on the play's setting escapes me, however. The lead mentions that the play is set in Denmark, and the second paragraph of the plot summary sets the action "… on the ramparts of Elsinore, the Danish royal castle". This is about as much weight as is appropriate given the attention paid this aspect by the reliable sources. --Xover (talk) 06:02, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
Let's forget about the lead then. But now you say it yourself, Shakespeare unfolded the play at Kronborg in Elsinore. The weight you talk-about is sooner why there ? (and not in Copenhagen, Denmarks Capital City ?) My answer is the Sound Dues was to be payed just a bit south of this palace, not inside (Kronborg has an older origin as fortress, but during the 16th Century was it rebuilt to a Renaissance Royal Palace. It's further located at the peak where Øresund is most narrow. The Palace became famous among sailors and their officers after this rebuilding. And from the mid 1500'reds has the palace been famous all over the Western World. And it's still famous. Shakespeare had obviously also heard about this astonishing palace which seems to float on the sea.
And also the Hamlet play has been played every year for a long time now. So - in a featured article, nothing must of this magnitude be forgotten. Please also read the Kronborg and Helsingør articles. Boeing720 (talk) 01:41, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
@Boeing720: Ah, I see now from whence the confusion stems. Yes, you are quite right that Kronborg is quite remarkable, and famous in its own right. However, that is an argument in favour of an article on Kronborg, or the expansion of that article. For this article, however, the relevant criteria is to what degree the play is tied to Kronborg, as determined by what the reliable secondary sources focus on; and that must be weighed against all the other details that could be included in the article. Since none of the major critical editions of the play, that I am aware of, focus on the actual historical or modern location (Kronborg and Elsinore), it would be giving the issue undue weight to discuss it further or give it greater prominence in this article. --Xover (talk) 06:01, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Here are various kinds of sources alright. [1] ,[2], [3], [4], [5], [6] You have also forgotten about the annual celebrations and lots of other essential matters, related to this play and thia article. Perhaps Kronborg Castle is better however. Boeing720 (talk) 19:24, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
And to Xovers second matter, how is Kronborg and Elsinore tied to the play. Sometimes things are so simple, that one "cannot see the wood for all the trees". Shakespeare himself chose this particular place, and is even the inventor of the English name Elsinore (in Danish "Helsingør") The Telegraph appear to more or less think as I wrote above. If he never had visited Denmark at all, must he have heard of Kronborg by sailors. Anyway all are in agreement - can you find a source which even puts a shadow of doubt that Shakespeare didn't specifically set the play to this castle - and not any other, real or imagined ? Is it undue weight to mention the 911-terrorism act to have occurred at Downtown Manhattan, New York City ? Why mention Denmark at all , if the actual location is "undue" ? Hamlet could do as any Prince couldn't he ? Boeing720 (talk) 19:45, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
@Boeing720: It appears that you are starting from Kronborg and then looking for connections to the play. This will inevitably give you a false impression: while Kronborg historically had geopolitical, military, and economic significance, its modern notability stems largely from its claimed connections with Hamlet. Hence why two thirds of the articles you found were on travel and tourist sites.
However, when you start in the other direction—that is, from the play itself, which is the subject of this article—the impression is quite different. In the 613 pages of The Arden Shakespeare edition of Hamlet, Elsinor is discussed specifically only once: in a note to 1.2.173 that reads "Elsinor modern Helsingor; the first mention of the play's specific location".[1] The Oxford Shakespeare edition (416 pages), the New Cambridge Shakespeare edition (270 pages), and the Folger Shakespeare Library edition (342 pages) do not discuss it at all. None of these editions even mention Kronborg, and nor does any of the extant versions of the play (Q1, Q2, F1).
The connection is obvious, certainly, but it's not an issue the major modern critical editions have chosen to discuss. If over 2000 cumulative pages (counting the Q1/F1 companion edition from Oxford) of the primary critical editions do not consider the matter of sufficient import to devote space to, how much more disproportionate would it be in the 30-odd pages of this article? --Xover (talk) 18:29, 24 April 2017 (UTC)


Kronborg Castle is also reported to be the setting in this article. I do think that Boeing720 makes a fair point when noting that the wording should not give the impression that Hamlet takes place in all of Denmark. Could it perhaps be said that the work is set "in a Denmark town" or "in a town in Denmark"? AndrewOne (talk) 18:10, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
@AndrewOne: You're citing a travel guide, in this instance not significantly more reliable than the local tourist board site cited above. I have, personally, no doubt Kronborg is the inspiration for the castle in Hamlet's "Elsinore" (but to what degree it's the real place and to what degree it's Shakespeare's imagination I am less certain), nor even that some suitably reliable source could be dug up that discusses it (but that won't be the NYT travel section!). However, the issue is one of (un)due weight: the article has already been cut drastically (take a look at the number and size of the {{main}} links in there) to keep it at a manageable size, and the copyediting to keep the prose comprehensible even when cramming a lot of information into each sentence was extensive. The coverage this issue currently receives is commensurate with its prominence in the sources (see the edit conflict above).
Think of it this way: everyone knows that something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and Hamlet is well known as the Prince of Denmark, but asking random people on a college campus about "Kronborg" will likely get you guesses about German beers and battery-operated sex aides. I fear "Elsinore" will elicit a similar response, but that I chalk more up to the failings of the modern educational system. In any case, that the play is set in Denmark (as mentioned in the lede), and that the scene is set (1.1) on the ramparts of a castle in Elsinore (as mentioned in the plot summary), is in line with both the level of detail the average reader might be expected to possess, and the prominence supported by the sources. Anything more would be according it undue weight. --Xover (talk) 18:51, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
I do not begin in one end or the other, please. Kronborg is tied to this play the same way the play is tied to the Castle. Through William Shakespeare. Some English sources may well have forgotten to mention it, but most modern ones do. We are further obliged to use a global perspective, please do not forget that. I originally didn't want to make changes to this excellent featured article. But to simply state where Shakespeare himself chose to unfold this great play, is not undue. And just like stated in the Telegraph article, was this fortress from the Middle Ages rebuild and finished some 15-18 years before the very first performance. It's not really a castle that very special by itself. Notably smaller than the Tower, just as an example. (And there is a in my opinion far more beautiful castle or palace in Hillerød just 10 miles away - but that one isn't visible from the sea.) Kronborg's location is without doubt unusual, at a peak, at low altitude (not on top a cliff; daily tides are of little impact there), which has caught the eyes of sailors, sailing in or out of the Baltic Sea for centuries. (And strengthen by the fact that the Sound Dues were to be payed in the bay just south of the castle; Today the bay is a harbor). This isn't said in order to "begin" at Kronborg, but purely as an explanation. I doubt if Shakespeare knew very much about it, but he certainly had heard about it somehow. Anyway, the fact, that William Shakespeare himself, chose this castle - and no other, is not undue in relation to either the play or to this splendid article. But what has German beer has to with this ? I flew from Heathrow to Copenhagen just last month, and as the English lady beside me appeared slightly uncomfortable by not hearing a message from the Captain, I told her what "runway 22 left" meant. And as we flew over Northern Zealand and the weather was excellent I just briefly showed her the narrow strait between Elsinore and Helsingborg. She then instantly began to ask something about Hamlet. So Elsinore and Kronborg are not unknown in England, as suggested. (About those German beers only). To omit imperative facts, can't I see anything good in. Shakespeare could easily have chosen some other castle , town and country, but he did chose Kronborg (in Elsinore). Presumed reasons explained. (also by the Telegraph) And don't we have any educational striving for those who read our articles ? Boeing720 (talk) 01:36, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
The link doesn't work. About "the article has already been cut drastically" - this is news to me. And nothing I support (assumed the standard was of equal level). But I can't see any connection. Xover, you appear to have great knowledge as well as sources. Couldn't you make an effort to put the cuts back (instead) ? Boeing720 (talk) 01:48, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
About undue. This sentence from the lead, or part of ...and has been described as "the world's most filmed story after Cinderella" - what's that if not undue ? A fairy tail don't compare to a Shakespeare Play, does it ? And King Lear isn't Cinderella either. This was just a comparison. I don't suggest to cut that part out too. And even if Kenneth Branagh never mentions Kronborg or Elsinore in the TV-version , are we talking about Shakespeare's original. And there is Kronborg mentioned, isn't it ? Boeing720 (talk) 04:42, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Boeing720: I'm outdenting and replying point by point as this thread is beginning to get hard to follow.

  • "… we talking about Shakespeare's original. And there is Kronborg mentioned, isn't it ?"
    • No, as I mentioned above, none of the extant versions of the play (Q1, Q2, F1) mention Kronborg at all. They mention Denmark, and they mention Elsinore, and it's made clear most of the action takes place in and on a castle in Elsinore; which makes Kronborg a reasonable assumption, but not explicitly named by Shakespeare or his early editors (Heminge and Condell, say). And, crucially, his modern editors have chosen to discuss the play's many film adaptations but not the potential connection with the real Kronborg. In fact, they hardly even discuss Elsinore: only incidentally, and only in a single footnote in a single edition (of the 5 i checked).
  • "… Shakespeare could easily have chosen some other castle , town and country, but he did chose Kronborg (in Elsinore)."
    • Even apart from the question of Kronborg, it's debatable how much "choice" was involved there. Shakespeare got most of the story from Saxo's Gesta Danorum, by way of Belleforest's Histoires tragiques, so the setting in Denmark was probably inherited from his sources. Whether Shakespeare actually picked Elsinore, or inherited that detail too, depends on the Ur-Hamlet, which is sadly lost. See the #Sources section and the Ur-Hamlet article.
  • "About 'the article has already been cut drastically' - this is news to me. And nothing I support … Couldn't you make an effort to put the cuts back (instead) ?"
    • I don't mean that in the sense that some mean person showed up one day to hack off bits and pieces of the article. Wikipedia has policies, guidelines, a manual of style, and processes (such as the FA process and its criteria) designed to make sure all articles fulfil certain goals. One, among many, such is that articles are limited in their total size (out of concern for the reader). Thus, when preparing this article for the FA process, the editors working on it were obliged to identify sections that were too long and too detailed, and either delete them or split them out into separate articles. You can see examples of this in Characters in Hamlet, Sources of Hamlet, Critical approaches to Hamlet, Literary influence of Hamlet, Hamlet in performance, and Hamlet on screen. All these articles were made with the material removed from the corresponding section in this article. The point of bringing this up is to illustrate that there are constraints on what can be included in an article; and this particular article is bursting at the seams already.
  • And when working under a size constraint, one must necessarily prioritise between what to include and what to leave out. Since leaving that judgement entirely up to the whims of the Wikipedia editors working on the article would leave the project vulnerable to the biases of those editors, the guideline is to instead rely on the reliable secondary sources to tell us what is significant enough, in this context, to include. And as enumerated above, the main authorities for this—the major modern critical editions—simply do not consider it of sufficient relevance to devote space to it. And if they do not, then for us to do so would be to accord the issue undue weight.
  • Note that I am not in any way opposed to discussing this somewhere; it's just that that "somewhere" can't be this article. If suitable reliable sources could be found—and popular press travel guides are not sufficient: it should be supported by scholarly works published in peer-reviewed scientific journals or published on a university press—the issue might find a place as a section in the Kronborg article, or possibly as a separate standalone article. --Xover (talk) 07:29, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
OK - if Kronborg isn't mentioned by name in the play, then I can see your point. And I was wrong. But nevertheless is "Denmark" far too vague, and since Elsinore is mentioned by Shakespeare that ought to be included in the lead instead. You really impress me with this deep knowledge and I do not question reliable. But the BBC and the Telegraph are recognised as reliable. Now just wait here a moment. I assume you then will say, your very deep sources are superior according to secondary sources or something like that. And from certain perspectives they naturally are. But in what sense ? They obviously go deep in historical research, deep in all famous quotes and in dialogue, history etc. But just don't bother to examine the more well-known matters - or simply oversees them. Anyway, the level which for instance BBC and the Telegraph explain their stories at, are not less reliable than what f.i. Thompson and Taylor explain at their level. Who are they, by the way ? Actually are errors in general more likely to occur in deeper research than in less deeper. At the very least, I hope we can agree that reliability doesn't equal examin-depth ? (any objection to that ?) I'm truely not interested in destroying the article nor its status. (The headline I chose might suggest that, I just want to clear that bit up. And please forgive me if I have made any such impression).
Even though Elsinore isn't a big deal in the play, is it still there. (I have watched both "the Kenneth Brannagh version" and earlier a similar TV-version.) And with your reasoning one could equally say that Denmark also is undue. It's only that quote - "something's rotten in the state of Denmark", which comes very, very early, in which Denmark is mentioned, (or next to) and (please correct me if I'm wrong) is said by a nameless guard of some kind. And has presumably become somewhat famous over time. Perhaps not really intended to by Shakespeare ? And in any case could the play have been unfolded in any European country by the change of very few word, compared to it all (except for England, which I believe would have been dangerous to use, during the 17th Century). So why is this particular balance, if I may call it so, the only acceptable ? I'm sorry but I think "Denmark" is insufficient. Deeply so, as we have an undisputed answer. Also - we have an international perspective to remember as well as our readers (we all hope our articles to be read, don't we ?) expects something of an article, and in this case I strongly believe they would like to know "Where in Denmark ? If that's known", and otherwise will Copenhagen be assumed. Isn't that a valid point ? I neither can see what harm this article would suffer, by mention "set in the Danish town Elsinore" instead of "set in Denmark". I think most would find the most possible precision to be better. And you do yourself admit that Elsinore is, the in the play mentioned location. It isn't really a question of sources. You find it undue, only by your own interpretation of your sources, not the sources themselves. I'm sorry to say. Would a part of (a great) English culture kind of "be stolen" if the article mentions Elsinore the way I (now) suggest ? Xover, with the minor exception of your talk about our guidelines, you really impress me, but not convince me. Boeing720 (talk) 03:07, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
You can find the full citation in the article, but "Thompson and Taylor" are Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor, and their 2006 publication is Hamlet from The Arden Shakespeare, third series. Both of them are, obviously, specialists in this field; and their being the editors (a term of art here; think "author" in colloquial terms) of one of the main critical editions of the play is ipso facto proof that they are among the leading specialists on that play. The Arden Shakespeare, along with the Oxford Shakespeare and the New Cambridge Shakespeare, are the main critical editions of the Shakespeare canon, and have been publishing successive individual play and Complete Works editions for decades (since 1899, in Arden's case). These editions' raison d'être are to provide the text of the play, edited to choose the best parts of the various early texts (see #Texts for why that's necessary) with explanatory notes (fully half of each page is typically such notes). However, each of these editions also includes prolegomena as an introduction to the play, whose scope is roughly analogous to Wikipedia's article on the play (except, of course more detailed and in a different context, and for a different audience). Thus the prefatory material in these editions provides the best guidance for the relative importance of various aspects of the play, so that when we are forced to prioritise we do not do so based solely on our own (inherently biased) preference (personally I would probably expand the "Sources", "Date", and "Texts" sections tenfold if left unchecked, and most people would be bored to death by the third paragraph).
Quite apart from these series of editions having an inherent interest in preserving their own reputation (the same would be true of a newspaper like the NYT, say), they are academic publications whose whole point is verified knowledge, provided by specialists, subjected to formal peer review, and published by an academic publisher with broader scope of reputation than that single series of publications (e.g. Bloombury Academic wouldn't let the Arden Shakespeare push sub-par work because it impacts the reputation of all their titles); and in two cases, on university presses with the prestige of the university on the line (Oxford and Cambridge in this case). Something similar is the case for the journal articles cited in the article. Contrast this with sources such as the New York Times and other popular press publications: their publishing schedule is fast (daily, or several times a day, often), their resources for fact checking are stretched thin, all their product are written by non-specialists, and for a non-specialist audience. The article cited above is even more problematic because it is from the NYT's "Travel" section, so, far from being concerned with scientific accuracy, it is what the journalists and editors of the paper would themselves call a "fluff piece"; and whose chief aim is to make a location sound interesting, entertaining, and worth visiting. For instance, several of those travel guide articles quote the same "William" who is a resident of Elsinore (it's not clear whether he's a local history buff or actually employed by the tourist board) and use him and the Elsinore tourist board as the authority for their information on the play and its setting. That is, they are inherently biased, and lack the mechanisms to correct for it as well as the incentive to do so.
So, yes, for most such issues, the scholarly publications have primacy over popular press publications, when they are available. This is not always the case, of course. Wikipedia has tons of articles on popular culture (I believe Pokémon is the canonical example) where only "low quality" (and I don't intend that phrase to have negative connotations; I'm using it strictly descriptively) sources would be available. So, for instance, we have several articles on stage performances and movie adaptations of Hamlet where we liberally cite newspapers' reviews of the performance or movie. And for most other topics a reliance on such sources is necessary because scholarly sources are simply not available. However, for Shakespeare in general, and especially for Hamlet, the amount of scholarly attention over the centuries is so vast that there is almost no detail not covered at least once. And in fact, quickly searching JSTOR and Oxford Journals I found a few (surprisingly few, actually) articles discussing Kronborg in the context of Hamlet (they appear to be focussing on what level of information Shakespeare had on Kronborg, but I haven't read them yet so I might be mistaken).
In any case, my point above is that almost every article on Kronborg will mention Hamlet, but virtually no publication on Hamlet mentions Kronborg. That is, what the reliable sources tell us is that while Hamlet is very important for Kronborg, Kronborg is not really very relevant to Hamlet, and so we shouldn't artificially inflate its prominence in this article.
The same reasoning applies, to a lesser degree, for Denmark and Elsinore. As I explained (and cited) above, none of the critical editions discuss Elsinore directly (a single, short, footnote in a single edition), despite Elsinore actually being mentioned several times in the play's text. "Denmark" on the other hand is somewhat more prominent: the play refers to King Hamlet (Prince Hamlet's father) as "Old Denmark", and King Claudius as "Denmark", and the critical editions usually explain that this is a reference to the respective king as a personification of his country. And, as mentioned, the "something rotten" quote and Hamlet being the "Prince of Denmark" are well known associations with the play. Combine this with the fact that the plot is closely tied to the succession of the throne of Denmark, and there is grounds to include mention of it in the lede. Elsinore on the other hand, has far less significance to the play, and so it is relevant to mention it only in the plot summary where it sets the scene (it locates the action for the reader, providing context for the following plot summary).
You argue for "most possible precision", which, taken without context, is a good thing; but the highest possible level of precision is also the highest level (amount) of detail. That is, precision and space (in the "readability" sense) are here competing concerns. We cannot include all possible detail, for the highest possible precision, and so we must choose what details (level of precision) we include. This is generally true of the article, and especially so in the lede, and yet more so in the first paragraph of the lede. Anywhere else in the article I probably wouldn't have cared enough to argue the point of whether to include Elsinore or just Denmark (I might still disagree, I just wouldn't have bothered arguing about it); but in the beginning of the lede the requirements for clarity, readability, and economy of prose are such that even issues otherwise small are made significant. And here the reliable sources tell us that this detail (Elsinore) is too much precision relative to its import. --Xover (talk) 09:50, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Well, I admire your passion. And - I have to (and do also willingly) trust everything you have enlighten me about, regarding the sources you have mentioned. No doubt about that. But when arguing "Wikipedian guidelines", you actually reverse the intentions of them. Or does any of your sources specifically (or at all) state "Elsinore is not of importance to the play" or anything in line with that ? If not so, what you wrote earlier "the main authorities for this—the major modern critical editions—simply do not consider it of sufficient relevance to devote space to it.", becomes your own interpretation of the deeper sources. And then I can go back to the Telegraph, BBC and presumably hundreds of "more shallow" but still well-recognised sources that mention Elsinore directly with both Shakespeare and Hamlet. An analogy - if a well respected Oxford professor in military history put together a major comprehensive 2000 pages work about "Adolf Hitler as military commander", and fails to mention the Holocaust (due to the limited scope). Then could this work, as a source be used here in order to declare "the Holocaust" to be undue for our article "Adolf Hitler" !? (please remember it was an analogy) Further Hamlet to Elsinore or Elsinore to Hamlet, you may have some points there. But if you had payed Helsingør a visit, then I'm certain that you no longer would find Elsinore to be undue for a brief mentioning in this article and its setting. Not essential, but as I wrote, from a such perspective neither is Denmark. But not of so little matter that it's undue. I find that to be utterly wrong. However I certainly do not want to cause the destruction of this article, which you appear to fear, so I simply give up - but under protest and a plead or entreat for you to reconsider this tiny matter about "Where in Denmark ?" for the future. Thanks Boeing720 (talk) 22:44, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I generally don't recommend using Hitler as an example: it's fraught and easy to get wrong, is still to some degree personal to a lot of people (just think i terms of Sweden's "neutrality" during the war, and how it is viewed in Denmark and Norway), and there are infinite other options available.
So let's use Alexander the Great as an easy substitute: a work on Alexander as military commander might very well omit mention of Aristotle due to its narrow scope. Much like Susanne L. Wofford's "A Critical History of Hamlet" (1994) might omit mention of Elsinore due to its narrow scope. However, the critical editions of the play are general overviews of the topic; they do not go into as much detail on its critical history as Wofford does, because they are broader in scope and must cover everything just at a lower level of granularity. In other words, they are not Alexander as military commander but rather Alexander III of Macedon.
And in this particular case I checked five different such general works, by six authors, and by four different publishers (that is, with slightly different approaches and editorial focuses); none of whom considered it important enough to discuss. Had these suggested sufficient import to include it, then, yes, we could have supplemented their coverage with details from the popular press sources (BBC and The Telegraph, say).
To expect these sources to say "Issue X is not important" is circular reasoning: it's impossible, and pointless, for them to list all the myriad things that they consider unimportant, and by virtue of mentioning them they would have implicitly indicated import ("The lady doth protest too much").
But all that being said, I want to thank you for bringing this issue up here. I was quite surprised to find that so little attention has seemingly been paid to the play's historical setting, and, it seems, none at all to Kronborg specifically. The connection appears obvious to me, personally, so I would have expected to find more scholarship devoted to it. As time allows I may do some digging to see what can be turned up, so that, for example, our article on Kronborg could be expanded with more information about this. For instance, the story (plot) in the play far predates the Sound Dues and the building of Kronborg (something like 5–6th century), so the specific setting is much more likely to have been added by Shakespeare or one of his immediate antecedents (Belleforest et al). In the many thousands of books and journal articles published on Hamlet, there must be someone that has covered this sufficiently that we could explain the connections in the Kronborg article. --Xover (talk) 06:04, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
OK, lets be general here first, any comprehensive "deep" work can avoid bringing up "normal stuff" about a historic person or event, due to its perspective or / and scope. Hence, rather than to use interpreted omissions in deeper sources, are actual statements in well-respected media sources preferable. About the talk-page here, discuss Hamlet when someone like you is involved may possibly intimidating others (meant in the good way). I myself surely wouldn't - with the tiny exception for, what I now refer to as the "Where in Denmark ?" question. Who knows ? My admiration for your knowledge and passion for this topic is huge. But that also makes me a little sad. As Shakespeare mentions Elsinore to be the place where his version takes place. About what predates what, I read about Ur-Hamlet (briefly), but that version does not predate either the Sound Dues and certainly not the first Kronborg. Which was a pure fortress, of which a tower of similar age exist just across the water in Scanian Helsingborg; Kärnan (Swedish) or Kærnen (Danish) (which means "the core", just by the way).

All three are of Medieval origin. (the first Kronborg, Kärnan and the Sound Dues ; introduced in 1429). And the Renaissance had at that time not yet began, atleast not ouside Florence. 1475 is a good approximation for the end of the Middle Ages in Europe in general, according to myself that is... But you now introduce Hrólfs saga kraka (sounds Icelandic, but doubt Iceland was inhabited that early) from the 5th or 6th Century to be something of "absolute-Ur-Hamlet" ??? I was obviously wrong about Kronborg to be mentioned in the play, but Elsinore is. I have only meant that "Where in Denmark ?" (still) seem to be obvious question for all who read this excellent article. There are also the Great Belt for ships that wanted to sail to or from the Baltic Sea, but Øresund is the shortest way by far. And even before the Sound Dues was (and still is) Øresund's most narrow part both easy to sail and normally catches the eyes of any sailor. It's about 3 nautical miles between Elsinore/Helsingør and Helsingborg and with Kärnan and the first Kronborg on opposite sides, isn't strange at all that Helsingør became Elsinore for British sailors. And here am I and the Telegraph correspondent in agreement, or next to. Someday you should pay the Northern Øresund area a visit. Sorry but I'm feeling sleepy. I thank you for your politeness, thoroughness, passion and knowledge of this topic. Now I really must go to bed. Cheers, Xover. Boeing720 (talk) 01:00, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

POLONIUS by Victor Cilinca[edit]

– moved here from Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Newsroom/WikiProject_desk - Evad37 [talk] 23:55, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

Dear Sir/Madam, I'd just like to suggest you should include on the PLAYS INSPIRED BY HAMLET site a play called POLONIUS by Victor Cilinca, a Romanian dramatist. The play, in my translation and Richard Wright's, was published in 2011 by Wildsidepress. You can find it on Amazon. All the best, Petru Iamandi — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 06:28, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

Hi Petru. I wasn't previously familiar with Cilinca's Polonius, so thanks for teaching me something new today! However, what is included in articles on Wikipedia is mainly dependant on its coverage in reliable secondary sources. A quick and superficial search did not turn up much coverage for this play, so until that changes it will have to wait. If you would like to encourage coverage of it on Wikipedia, the best thing to do would be to find any reliable sources about the play (books discussing it, particularly those issued on university presses, or articles in scholarly journals, or reviews by well known critics in a well-regarded newspaper or magazine) that we could use to support its inclusion. --Xover (talk) 02:52, 14 June 2017 (UTC)