Talk:Hamlet/Archive 5

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I'm about to nominate for GA[edit]

I think we're at the point where we need to go through the GA process in order to keep things from coming to a standstill. It will help us find things that may come up for FA. It will also help us move on to FA. I think we're ready to nominate. Wrad 18:48, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Fine with me. I get the impression Proteus is halfway through the referencing exercise, though. Proteus, are you happy to go ahead? AndyJones 07:59, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
And Proteus, before you respond, just know that most of your improvements are carrying this article from GA to FA, so we may be ready even though you're not technically done. Wrad 15:31, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm going for it. I'm sure the reviewer will bring up stuff we missed, but that always happens. Wrad 18:04, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh, don't let me stop you. I work so slowly anyhow. There is more material I have to add, but no need to keep the process waiting. DionysosProteus 00:29, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Thompson and Taylor $[edit]

Andy divided up the Arden 3 into two separate volumes, which I think is a good idea. I've amended the biblio slightly, as the convention is to use 2006a and 2006b. However, for many of the citations in the article it is not clear which volume is being referred to. For ease of searching for a find-and-replace, I've temporarily inserted a $ next to each one; can someone with the Arden edition/s please replace these $ with either "a" for the first volume (Q2) or "b" for the second volume (Q1/F). Author-dating the rest of the notes now. DionysosProteus 18:21, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

  • OK, I'm on that now. They'll almost invariably be Q2, although the Kathleen Irace comment led me into making these changes in the first place: it turned out to be in the Q1/F edition (your 2006b). AndyJones 18:58, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
    • Done. Page failed a FIND "$" test, so I think I caught 'em all. AndyJones 19:06, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

More Citations questions[edit]

Okay, so I've author-dated all of the citations in the article now. I think that makes it a lot easier to locate them. I've also added the "window" for the Secondary sources, because the list is so long now. I thought a window rather than tiny-type would look better. Please take a look to see if it meets with your approval.

The author-date system requires that citations for articles within books give the START and END page numbers for the entire article in the bibliography section, so there are a few loose ends that need to be tied up. They are listed below. If you have a copy of the book, please add in the page numbers at the end of its entry in the bibliography, after the ISBN number. Then please DELETE the entry in the list below. Thanks, DionysosProteus 15:25, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

The List[edit]

  • Brian Vickers The Critical Heritage had references to 1.447 and 4.92. I've interpreted this as volumes one and four respectively. Is that right?
  • Wofford's "Critical History of Hamlet" - start and end page numbers of this section of the book.
  • I have a copy of this at home and will add it. Wrad 19:59, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm having trouble finding my copy of this. Stand by. Wrad 16:31, 27 October 2007 (UTC)


I hate to say this to you, but a lot of these had page numbers before, but you lost them when you changed the ref format. A lot of them can be found in the page history. Sorry. Just be more careful when you move things. Wrad 15:35, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Did the SQ ones -- is it really productive to list all of those articles from the Wells and Stanton book separately?Brandon Christopher 15:59, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Agree. It would seem more logical to just list the one book... Wrad 16:06, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
No, I can see what Proteus is getting at, and I think it will work. I'll return to wikipedia later this evening & add more. AndyJones 16:12, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
So far as I can tell, mostly the page numbers in the article were the ones actually referred to, whereas Proteus is now asking for the page numbers of the entire articles, which I know I for one hadn't included in sections I'd written. Note that I have Wells&Orlin, Jackson and Wells&Stanton at home so I'll look those ones up - probably today or tomorrow. AndyJones 16:11, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Erm, I'm looking at an old, pre-my-formatting version, and no, I can't see the page numbers. There are single page numbers for the individual citations, but not the start/end numbers for the article as a whole, which we need to include in the biblio. The numbers for the individual quotations are still there in the footnotes. The only exception to that is "Pictorial Shakespeare", which is what I asked to clarify above; it looked like the entire article was being cited, but couldn't be sure.
About listing them individually: I think on balance that it's a good idea to keep them separate. Yes, they are mostly taken from those two Cambridge Guide books, but I think it's important to make it clear that the scholarship is taken from a wide array of contemporary scholars, not to mask that diversity under a Wells and Stanton (2002) citation. Otherwise, the majority of the citations will appear to come from one place (they do physically, but not intellectually, if you see what I mean). You've used the Cambridge Guide as a convenient way to survey the field of scholarship, rather than merely "relying on one source". I certainly recognise many of the names of the individual contributors, and that helps me to place the argument more precisely (on a personal note). DionysosProteus 16:18, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
All of the journal articles used the page range of their articles, not page numbers for specific things, they were just really short articles, which made it look like they were specific page numbers. Also, I think if we play it right, the Wells and Stanton being put under one roof wouldn't mask anything, but it might be too much work to change it now. Let's just hope Andy still has his copy with him and it should be a simple fix. On another note, most wikieditors are very much against scrolling reference lists, but I have something that can fix that problem easily. We just list the refs in a smaller font and put them in two columns. That should make it more manageable. Wrad 16:25, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Erm, I don't mean to be contentious (though I so often am), but that doesn't seem to be the case. I had a brainwave and realised that the contents page is scanned in on the Amazon page for the book, so I'm checking that out now. The Garrick article, for eg. is p.21-35, but the original footnote only gives p.21-22. I'll be able to fix most of the biblio entries myself now, it looks like. One of the reasons I like the MLA author-date system is that there's no ambiguity about those sorts of things. But ah, now on re-reading your note, I see that you say "journal articles" - sorry, didn't spot that first time round. With regard to the scrolling lists, what's the objection? Is it a backwards-compatibility thing? A smaller font is a possibility, though not so sure about two columns. DionysosProteus 16:37, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Scrolls are objected to because they pose big problems if you want to print the article. Also, maybe all the articles aren't cited right, but the ones I added were mostly pretty short and covered the whole article. Wrad 17:49, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Don't like the scroll, either. A smaller font would be good, though, I think, as it would be consistent with the footnotes themselves. AndyJones 19:56, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

"All of the journal articles used the page range of their articles, not page numbers for specific things, they were just really short articles, which made it look like they were specific page numbers" may be true of Wrad's contributions to this article, but certainly not of mine, where I just reffed the page I was citing. I'll start looking at those, now. AndyJones 19:47, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Excellent, you seem to have got them all, from the three books I just mentioned. Great work. AndyJones 19:54, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it is great work. I may have been focusing so much on GA and FA that I got more critical than complementary. What you're doing is very necessary for FA and is truly good work. Wrad 19:58, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that three-columns is the right choice for the Secondary Sources. I did a preview with two and single; the single is one-third of a screen longer, which seems fairly marginal; two is more efficient and shorter. I'd like to go for one or the other of those. DionysosProteus 00:51, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

OK, I'll change it to two columns. I was wondering about the same thing. Wrad 00:56, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that's better, I think. Though it is somehow more awe-inspiring in that format; there are so many!
With regard to the edit history & question about the Bloom citation serving for the whole paragraph in the feminist section (2nd paragraph there): I thought this was one of yours. I know I'm not providing an answer, but thought it needed to come here as a question. Anyone else know? DionysosProteus 02:25, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Section on Political context[edit]

I've just undone the edit to the political context. Firstly, French wrote in 1869 - the present tense for a suggestion made more than 100yrs ago isn't appropriate.
Secondly, the quotation from French definitely belongs in the footnotes, if at all, since it merely repeats the information in the previous sentence. This has nothing to do with hiding anything. Its about removing a rhetorical elaboration.
Thirdly, identifying these arguments as part of a project to support Oxford authorship claims: your edits go against the information presented above. It is not since the 1980s that they have been used in this way--all of the citations provided in the second paragraph do this (when they are addressing the comparison) as the sources on the website indicate. You can't claim that numerous mainstream scholars have noted these differences without providing the evidence for this. The current copy offers French (who was a genealogist) and Dover Wilson.
Finally, identifying these arguments as "arguments" is in no way POV. Just as Freud's theory about Hamlet's hesitations being caused by an oedipal conflict, they are interpretations and suggestions and should be identified as such. French calls all of his suggestions "conjecture", which is what it all is.
DionysosProteus 15:34, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Theme section really needed?[edit]

I've been wondering whether we really need a theme section in this article. Most of what is in themes is covered in other sections, the article is getting kind of long, and if people want to see things separated into themes, they can go into the Critical approaches to Hamlet subarticle. Thoughts? Wrad 20:38, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I decided to Be Bold and removed it, but the discussion is obviously still open. Wrad 22:28, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I think they should be ruthlessly cleaned out. Are there any that anyone feels is a "must keep". Speak now or forever... so on and so on. Wrad 23:04, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

For my money, the following six are the keeps (as for the rest, let the wrath of Wrad's merciless boldness sweep them away for good):


The contentious one (I imagine) is the last, but from what I saw it was well-written, entertaining and informative, so it gets my vote. I could live without the MIT Ghost one if there were strong objections to it. I've amended the layout to my preferred too. DionysosProteus 00:38, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

I would take issue with the blog, but I'll look over it more first. Also, the "Women who have played Hamlet" may do better on the Prince Hamlet page, in my opinion. Wrad 00:54, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Whoa! MAT[edit]

Can we summarize the MAT bits more. They are taking up a lot of space. We don't want to be guilty of WP:Undue weight(i.e. devoting too much space to something which in the real world isn't a major part of the subject at hand. For example, the new MAT bit takes up about 8-10% of the article's prose. Very weighty.) Maybe summarize it into one paragraph or less. Right now it takes up a good tenth of the article. Maybe what we need is a Hamlet in Performance article to go into more detail? Wrad 17:09, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, I would offer that, from the perspective of theatre history, the MAT production is the most important production of Hamlet ever. There isn't another that comes close in significance. Stan. is the most important influence on modern acting and this production was a test case for his new methods, and Craig invented modern stage design, with this production being his most well-known production. To have two practitioners of their stature collaborate is almost unheard of. It's about 4.5% (I checked :) )DionysosProteus 17:25, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
4.5% of everything, including references, templates, and pictures. When it comes to the actual body of the article, it's about twice that, which I think is a bit much. But you're the theatre expert. Wrad 17:54, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
It's not that I'm resisting your suggestion to summarise - working on a version here - but I cut and pasted only the main body text into a document to do a word count. The main article without footnotes, captions, etc. is about 9040 words. MAT is 414. That's 4.5% approx. There is more material on this production (as you'd expect if it's as important as I claim it is), so my impulse is to give this prod. its own article. DionysosProteus 18:09, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Sorry to be negative - I haven't read this yet and I'm sure it's great stuff - but yes, please break this out to its own page or something. Stanislavski is important, of course, but many of the others listed in this section are too, and there's no way I'm going to find the time to give them due weight in this section unless I live to 150 or something. AndyJones 18:15, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
I have read this, now, and yes it is great stuff, but I really do think it is far too detailed for this article. Breaking out - and then reducing to a sentence or two here - seems needed, to me. We can always work at our leisure on expanding the new article Wrad has created. AndyJones 18:43, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
I really like the info, too, and maybe I overstated it a bit. I'll leave it to you and Andy to decide since I really don't know much about the performances of Hamlet. Wrad 19:15, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
There's a skinny version there now, which is just under the size of the picture, with a wikilink to an expanded version. DionysosProteus 19:59, 27 October 2007 (UTC)


I just looked up Hamlet in the index of Shakespeare and Sexuality and found a section in an article by Ann Thompson which supports what this article says about Carolyn Heilbrun and Gertrude. I recall some question about that, here on the talk page, but I cannot remember what the issue was. Would it help if I added this source? AndyJones 18:39, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes Yes! Add it to the end of the paragraph on Heilbrun! Wrad 19:16, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Did so. AndyJones 19:29, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

British spelling[edit]

I think that this article should use British spelling, like we used for the Shakespeare article. It will make the FA process easier. They've been getting picky about this at FAC lately. Wrad 20:09, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

  • OK. Have gone through the article using Word on British setting and made grammar and spelling changes. I'm a Brit, of course, so all bits by me are already Brit spelling.
  • Spell-check had a real downer on passive voice, which is used a lot in this article.
  • We're not consistent about whether punctuation marks go "inside," or "outside", quotation marks.
  • Stats:
    • Words per sentence: 21.3
    • Passive sentences 16%
    • Flesch Reading Ease 37.9
    • Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 12.0
  • I liked its suggested change from "maid, wife or widow" to "house cleaner, wife or widow". AndyJones 13:37, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
    • Didn't pick up all the "-ize" endings, frustratingly, but I was able to go through and search for "ize" to capture those. I cannot think of a way of finding the Americans' "o" for the Brits' "ou" in words like hono[u]r and colo[u]r, though. I can hardly search for "o". Let's keep an eye out for those, therefore. AndyJones 15:35, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
I'd suggest using regular expressions (available in the wikEd user script to search for words ending in "or" and replace it with "our". - SigmaEpsilonΣΕ 19:33, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
I just checked all the ORs. I think anything else that can be caught will be when we pull in some good copyeditors. Wrad 19:44, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Intellectualization and patronizing. I'll have a look for others later. Funnily enough, for BrEng articles, I usually use -ize spellings (Oxford spelling) rather than -ise ones (Cambridge spellings) because Oxford makes the text look less jarring to American eyes. (I'm not proposing changing it back now that it's done.)--ROGER DAVIES TALK 09:56, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
These are both quotations, which is probably why they have been left unchanged. However, the Freud passage is presumably simply one of several translations. Paul B 10:09, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Whoops! I took the first as a paraphrase rather than a quotation. I also meant to tie the second into my remark about Oxford spelling but didn't.--ROGER DAVIES TALK 11:21, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Formatting for prose in What a piece of work is a man[edit]

I notice Andy tried to reformat for prose in the What a piece of work is a man speech, which I think is a good idea. I was going to have a go at it myself, but I notice that it using Q2, which I don't have, so I wasn't sure about line breaks. If someone else that does have access wants to have a go, I was going to try using a typewriter typeface and extra spaces to achieve a justified layout. It may not work or may look strange, but I thought it was worth a go. DionysosProteus 15:00, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

  • I don't think we need to worry too much about the line breaks of the original text, and the reason I say that is that the professional editors of Shakespeare don't. The NPS edition breaks lines at "seems to", "canopy", "firmament", "why it", "con-" (of congregation) etc. whereas Ard3 breaks at "seems", "canopy" "this" "why it" "pestilent" etc. That's the reason why line numbers are inconsistent from edition to edition: verse lines are pretty much the same, but the moment a scene lapses into prose, the conventions of the modern edition (the choice of font and its size, and the width of its page) define where the line-breaks go. My view, FWIW, is that for Wikipedia purposes it's better to lay out prose as continuous prose and let the breaks fall where they will. AndyJones 15:34, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Just a quick query about Edmund Kean[edit]

The text reads: "Edmund Kean was the first Hamlet to abandon the regal finery usually associated with the role in favour of a plain costume and the first to play Hamlet as serious and introspective." (after I altered it slightly). Is the second statement really true? He wasn't played as a serious character before? Otherwise, shouldn't it just be "played as introspective"? DionysosProteus 22:34, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Not sure, but I have the source at home so I can check that out this evening. AndyJones 08:47, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
    • My computer was broken that night, but it's fixed now. So is the sentence, I think: this is a fairer reflection of what the source says. AndyJones 20:16, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Good article nomination on hold[edit]

This article's Good Article promotion has been put on hold. During review, some issues were discovered that can be resolved without a major re-write. This is how the article, as of October 28, 2007, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: Symbol wait.svg The article is written very well, and certainly meets the GA standard for prose. However, there are blockquotes of less than four lines present. Per the Manual of Style this is undesirable and should be removed. I'll still be shuffling about, making little changes here and there probably. But consider these as not really part of the pass or fail status of the review.
2. Factually accurate?: Symbol wait.svg Attribution is good, providing ample inline citations for the majority of sections. However, the Synopsis has no citations whatsoever. Since the synopsis of one of most well-known and celebrated English language works is probably not a serious place of debate, I'm going to partially IAR in this case and just ask for a cite at the end of the section. Otherwise, the referencing is sweet perfection. Well done.
3. Broad in coverage?: Symbol support vote.svg Covers all points concisely
4. Neutral point of view?: Symbol support vote.svg Fair treatment given to all significant points of view.
5. Article stability? Symbol support vote.svg Not the subject of any recent or on-going edit wars.
6. Images?: Symbol support vote.svg Well-used and possessing proper tags where present.

Please address these matters soon and then leave a note here showing how they have been resolved. After 48 hours the article should be reviewed again. If these issues are not addressed within 7 days, the article may be failed without further notice. Thank you for your work so far. — VanTucky Talk 22:43, 28 October 2007 (UTC)


For readability, please place any comments or questions pertaining to the hold below rather than within the body of the review. Thank you

I would just like to say that (excepting the few very minor things I've brought up) the article is far beyond GA class at this point. With a wee bit more inline cites, the article will easily meet Featured status. VanTucky Talk 22:43, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the short blockquote, and also converted the cquotetxt in the philosophical sections to blockquotes, in conformity with the Manual of Style. This leaves the second quotation at four lines, but given that it's being compared with the speech in blockquote above, that seems appropriate.
A little confused, though, by the request for citations for the synopsis. Can anyone point to another article with a synopsis that has inline citations? Don't really understand what would be citable for that kind of section. DionysosProteus 23:20, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
I'd also have to object to the synopsis citation request. I think it's not necessary since other GA's synopses don't do it. Also, we reference several editions of Hamlet at the bottom of the page, so it is referenced, just not inline. I think an inline reference would look odd, you know what I mean? Wrad 23:41, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
I've had a look at the plays (there are so few!) in the Featured Article list for guidance on this. From what I can see, looking at The Country Wife, The Relapse, as well as novels like Oroonoko and The Lord of the Rings, the featured articles with synopses don't have any citations. I guess we could identify the modern act/scene divisions at the end of each paragraph to identify which scene the text refers to, but beyond that I can't imagine who we could cite as "evidence". DionysosProteus 02:05, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
On the question of citations in the synopsis see Wikipedia:When_to_cite#When_a_source_may_not_be_needed (third bullet). That is an essay, but written by Wikipedia's featured article director. AndyJones 08:41, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for correcting the quotes. It seems that the project-wide consensus seems to be that inline refs aren't needed for synopses. I disagree, but considering the examples given I don't think it's arguable. One thing that I've noticed in the meantime is that, though it works in the title of the section, calling it "textual problems" is really awkward and vague. It's too broad for a new reader of the article like myself; it could mean practically anything. I certainly wouldn't fail the article over it, but it's definitely not FA-class prose. Putting it in quotes makes things worse, because it makes it seem like either it's an uncited direct quotation or that it's supposed to be ironic (not a desirable quality in encyclopedic writing). VanTucky Talk 22:58, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I fixed it. Will you please just pass it and let us move on? You've said multiple times that it's beyond GA. Any other comments you have are welcome at the peer review. Thanks. Wrad 23:09, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
You need to keep a civil tongue in your head. First you come to my talk page telling me to hurry, then you start pushing just as I'm in the middle of copying the templates to pass the damn article. If you weren't willing to go through a complete review then you should have taken it straight to FA. GA is not a peer review, and I do not appreciate your rudeness. VanTucky Talk 23:13, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
I said please. Sorry if you're that upset. I was just tired of dealing with two different reviews at once and this one was dragging on. I'm eager. Wrad 23:15, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
The quotation marks problem is traceable, I think, to a very bad decision by Wikipedia to adopt the American convention on the use of inverted commas and quotation marks. In Europe, if I want to indicate that I'm using a word in an unusual way, or that I'm introducing a word that you're unlikely to have heard before, I'd write: in a 'protean' way; if I was quoting someone, I'd write: in a "protean" way. The US uses quotation marks for both cases, so it becomes impossible to distinguish between a direct quotation and an indication of word usage. That seems like an important distinction to me, but the MoS editors aren't very receptive on the point. They also only seem to recognise 'this use' (in "this use" format, of course) as a scare quote (as VanTucky Talk's "ironic" reading implies); that is, they seem to recognise only a negative connotation. Anyhow, that's how I see that.
With regard to the title of the section, the query about its vagueness does resonate with me; I didn't see it before, but it does now seem to require a certain familiarity with the issues of textual criticism. I'll have a go at introducing a little 'guide for dummies' (as it were... I'm not quoting) to ease the reader into that section. Once it's up, let me know how it reads. DionysosProteus 23:50, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Linking of years in the article[edit]

Hello all. Had a series of exchanges with SandyGeorgia about the linking of the years in the text. She suggests looking at each one individually and confirming that the link offers information that forms an appropriate context. I've only looked at 1599 and 1601 so far, both of which clearly do (first recorded performance of Julius Caesar and beheading of Essex respectively). Calling it a night here now, but can we look at this together? Coming from a broadly New Historicist / cultural materialist approach, I'm keen to have as many of these as can be demonstrated to be appropriate. It might be appropriate to pipe a link to the year in literature article rather than the year article itself - for example, 1599 rather than 1599. I think I've fixed the other edits that she flagged in the edit history. DionysosProteus 04:44, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

You're interpretation is correct from what I understand of the MoS on this issue. Piping to a more specific topic is directly advised in the guidelines. VanTucky Talk 23:02, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

New Quarto image[edit]

First page from the first quarto of Hamlet, published in 1603

Hello all. I've uploaded a scan of the first page of Q1 so that it's available if we want to use it. I know that my library has a copy of the facsimile edition of Q1 too, so might be able to get the frontispiece too.

DionysosProteus 04:03, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Frontispiece from the first quarto of Hamlet, published in 1603

Here's the scan of the frontispiece of Q1. DionysosProteus 14:09, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Automated Peer Review[edit]

Here are the automated peer-review comments, to work through (quite quickly, looking at them):

  • Please expand the lead to conform with guidelines at Wikipedia:Lead. The article should have an appropriate number of paragraphs as is shown on WP:LEAD, and should adequately summarize the article.[?]
    • Not done. Not sure how to use this information. Does the lead not summarise the article? And it's got four paragraphs. Is that an appropriate number? Or too many or too few? We'll need more specific observations than a script can provide before we can action this one, I think. AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
      • This is just the computer being silly. I don't think I've ever seen it not run up this message on an article. Our lead is fine. Wrad 15:38, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Per Wikipedia:Context and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates), months and days of the week generally should not be linked. Years, decades, and centuries can be linked if they provide context for the article.[?]
    • This has been discussed above. Maybe we do need to go through and unwikify years where they appear in isolation. AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
      •  Done. I see a lot of work done on this recently. AndyJones 11:54, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
  • There may be an applicable infobox for this article. For example, see Template:Infobox Person, Template:Infobox School, or Template:Infobox City.[?] (Note that there might not be an applicable infobox; remember that these suggestions are not generated manually)
    • I'm against an infobox. This has been discussed before. AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
      • Not done AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Per Wikipedia:Context and Wikipedia:Build the web, years with full dates should be linked; for example, link January 15, 2006.[?]
    • This needs checking. Clearly the script has found some unwikified dates. AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
      •  Done. I found one, and think I looked pretty thoroughly. Brandon Christopher 16:24, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (headings), headings generally do not start with articles ('the', 'a(n)'). For example, if there was a section called ==The Biography==, it should be changed to ==Biography==.[?]
    • This must be a reference to The Text of the Play, which I think must have arisen from someone else's objection to Textual Problems. Easily fixed though, I imagine. AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
      •  Done, in the sense that I've changed the heading. I'm happy for it to be amended further, though. AndyJones 12:07, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (headings), headings generally should not repeat the title of the article. For example, if the article was Ferdinand Magellan, instead of using the heading ==Magellan's journey==, use ==Journey==.[?]
    • Not done. The only heading which breaches this rule is "Editions of Hamlet" in the references section, and I think that's clearer than "Editions" would be. AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Per WP:WIAFA, this article's table of contents (ToC) may be too long- consider shrinking it down by merging short sections or using a proper system of daughter pages as per Wikipedia:Summary style.[?]
    • Discussion needed here, perhaps. I think my preference is to keep the subheadings in the "Performance History" and "Analysis and Criticism" sections. Does anyone think it would be better to merge any of it? AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
      • I think our TOC is of borderline length, but given our complex subject I think it's fine. For another page it might be a problem, but here, not really. Wrad 17:54, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
  • This article may need to undergo summary style, where a series of appropriate subpages are used. For example, if the article is United States, then an appropriate subpage would be History of the United States, such that a summary of the subpage exists on the mother article, while the subpage goes into more detail.[?]
    • Any sections too long? Really what I don't know is whether the page as a whole is too long. Many sections have main articles we can use summary style on, if needed. AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Watch for redundancies that make the article too wordy instead of being crisp and concise. (You may wish to try Tony1's redundancy exercises.)
    • This comment is not specific enough to be useful. An outside proofreader would be helpful at this point. AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Vague terms of size often are unnecessary and redundant - “some”, “a variety/number/majority of”, “several”, “a few”, “many”, “any”, and “all”. For example, “All pigs are pink, so we thought of a number of ways to turn them green.”
    • This comment is not specific enough to be useful. An outside proofreader would be helpful at this point. AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The script has spotted the following contractions: doesn't, if these are outside of quotations, they should be expanded.
    •  Done. Fixed. AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Please ensure that the article has gone through a thorough copyediting so that it exemplifies some of Wikipedia's best work. See also User:Tony1/How to satisfy Criterion 1a.[?]
    • Yes. AndyJones 08:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
  • AndyJones 08:25, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Date again[edit]

Hello all. I'm a little troubled to find on receiving my copy of Shapiro's 1599 that he doesn't date Hamlet to 1599... the lack of a page number always troubled me. What he actually says is:

So Shapiro dates the play to late 1600, or, since he says that further work remained to be done before it could be performed, early 1601. If the article is going to claim 1599, can we find a source to cite that says that? DionysosProteus 15:05, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

There was one that I added. I think it's still in there (with page numbers). Wrad 15:28, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I've looked at this section as it stands today, and I've also briefly scanned the relevant (quite detailed) section of the Ard3 intro, which supports the conclusions reached in this article. That part of the article also seems thoroughly sourced. Are we happy with it, now, or do either of you still perceive problems? (I could add more material from Ard3 if anyone thought it would help.) AndyJones 12:05, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Wrad, I don't think that your note is still there--I looked back over the edit history and all I can see is a MacCary p.12-13 for the old version of the entire dating section. It doesn't say who dates the play at 1599. The logic there was a little nonspecific, as it used Harvey's note to place 1599. So, Andy, it would be good at least to add the Arden3 final decision to note 14, and if they give the decisions of anyone else, to say who settles on which year. DionysosProteus 16:45, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I added my note to our list of refs for 1599-1601. See below discussion. Wrad 16:32, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Before FAC[edit]

So, our Peer Review isn't getting us much, so I was thinking we may want to outline what we need to do before FAC here ourselves. Feel free to add to the list below:

  1. Get page numbers for everything. I can personally handle Wofford and Saxo sources. What else is needed?
    • Done with Wofford and Saxo. Those were the big ones, and if I remember right, the only ones left. So I think we're done there. Wrad 02:53, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
  1. Get a copyeditor who hasn't been involved in the recent expansion to have a look and see if there is anything we missed.
    • Awadewit has offered herself if we don't find someone else before the 15th. Wrad 02:53, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
  1. Review "Date" using the essay on the subject in the intruduction to Ard3. I can have a look at this in the next few days, probably AndyJones 08:59, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

--Wrad 01:22, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Cant' see much else, quite honestly. To my mind the article is ready: that doesn't mean it is, just that it may need fresh eyes. AndyJones 08:59, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
    • I've added some page numbers. My books don't have anything to add. The 1599 dating comes from the supposed references in the play to Julius Caesar, dated to mid-1599, which we already say. However, MacCary is one scholar who argues for 1599 on this basis, so I added him to our long list of refs for the 1599-1600 statement. Wrad 02:33, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Ard3 dating would be good; if anyone has a copy, recording Jenkin's conclusion in Ard2 would be useful too. Good to have MacCary, though 1599 is a bit of a stretch since As You Like It is squeezed in between them. DionysosProteus 18:09, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
    • Well, I would say that mid-1601 is a stretch since the Earl of Essex had been put to death months earlier, but whatever those scholar guys say I'm willing to put on here. I personally think 1600 is the best date, with possible revisions extending into 1601. Wrad 18:12, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The Essex ref comes from Harvey's note, though, which also references Owen's 1607 epigrams. :)

DionysosProteus 18:18, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) I've done a partial copy edit/review to see what's missing. I've left some internal notes to (1) explain rationale for changes and (2) pose questions. Search on <--! to find these. Sorry I ran out of time this morning. Very good stuff; bridges the gap between scholarly and acessible admirably. --ROGER DAVIES TALK 09:49, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Forgot to mention ... n quarto need standardizing on either initial cap or lowercase.--ROGER DAVIES TALK 11:28, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I think it needs to be decided exactly what text we are dating. Shapiro says Shakespeare drafted Hamlet in 1599, and then wrote a second draft. The scholarly text accepted today is neither of these and was probably not performed on stage, it's the Good Quarto. (See 'Essays and Soliliques' in 1599). Bardofcornish (talk) 20:29, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Victorian Branagh film[edit]

I changed the sentence on this film back to saying Victorian, because that's the most common way I've seen it described. It is set in Victorian times. One need only to check any source on the subject to see that this is how critics describe it. Wrad 23:02, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I am at a loss to understand your point. The term Victorian refers to the period 1837-1901 in Britain. It is sometimes used by extension to refer to the same time-period in other countries, but very rarely applied to Denmark. In any case, it is a long period of over 60 years. The costume used in the film is fin-de-siecle. It not 1840s, 50s or 60s. Indeed aspects of the costume suggest the early 20th century, not the late-19th, so maybe 'around 1900' would be most accurate. 'Victorian' is absurdly vague. Paul B 23:08, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
What I'm saying is that the sources say that the film uses Victorian costumes and settings. Our duty is to keep to our sources. Therefore we should say "Victorian" and not "around 1900", which would be original research unless, of course, we had a source which said "around 1900", in which case it would be preferred since it is more specific. Wrad 00:06, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I didn't say "around 1900" in the article. I said "late 19th century". I only referred to 1900 on this talk page. The late nineteenth century is part of the Victorian era, so there is no contradiction. The film is essentially derived from Branagh's 1992 stage version, which is regularly described as Edwardian [1]. Here's an interview with Branagh which says it is "set in late-Victorian surroundings" [2]. The book Shakespeare and Appropriation edited by by Christy Desmet and Robert Sawyer states that it is set in the 'late nineteenth century". Here it is in google books [3]. Paul B 00:26, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
OK, good enough for me. Wrad 00:56, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
OK. Thanks. Paul B 00:57, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Your sources are good enough for me, too, but have you added them to the article? Keyishian just says "Victorian", which is where I got the sentence from. I'm not sure I even agree that the film is actually set "in Denmark" in any meaningful way, though: the setting is a well-known English stately home, where characters dressed in [faux-]English fashions speak English with English accents. Of course they talk about "Denmark" as the name of the place where they live, but the setting is no more Denmark than it is in the Ethan Hawke film. (That's just my 2p worth: I'm 100% happy with the changes to the article.) AndyJones 08:59, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, yes, of course it's about as Danish as the landscape of Millais's Ophelia, but that doesn't alter the fact that's where it's supposed to be. Paul B 09:11, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the fashions are faux-English. If anything they appear to be mittle-European, though of course they aren't accurate costume of any definite place or period. Certainly the military uniforms are very un-British, so I guess Branagh's trying to make it look as plausibly 'Danish' as he can. Paul B 12:34, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Run time[edit]

There's a discussion on the Hamlet (1996 film) page about the run-time of the film. I see that it's advertised on Amazon UK at 232 mins [4] and at US Amazon at 242 mins [5], so for whatever reason there is clearly a difference in length. Not having seen the US version I can't say whether the difference is in the editing of the film, longer credits or some format factor, but of course we obviously can't go into the details on this page. However, I suggest that we simply say it's "around four hours" long, rather than over or under. Paul B 21:55, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


I don't think our "Dating the play" section has quite got it covered. I've started a sandbox (possibly even for a main article, although a whole article on dating a play seems like overkill) at User:AndyJones/Sandbox/Dating Hamlet. AndyJones 21:57, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Excellent work Andy. Much clearer and better laid out than the present version. Well done. I support substituting this for the current section. While lengthy, it's hard to do the issue justice without the being as thorough and complete as Andy has been.Smatprt 22:11, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I'd rather make it a subarticle with a summary in this one, personally, we're already on the edge when it comes to length, and this would tip us over. Wrad 23:44, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
This has provoked some debate at the help desk, here: Wikipedia:Help desk#Moves from userspace to mainspace. AndyJones 17:16, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not remembering the conflict you seem to be referring to (if you indeed have debated a subject with me), but you're perhaps misunderstanding what I'm saying. The content is encyclopedic, but the way it's written seems to come across as just a timeline rather than a discussion of efforts to date it. Perhaps the bulleted format and lack of connecting prose is simply misleading me. Leebo T/C 18:02, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
It wouldn't bother me, but I can't speak for Orange Mike, who's being told his opinion should be disregarded as deletionist in a forum away from the discussion. Leebo T/C 18:21, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Just forget what I said about him. The fact is, it's not OR, and it could really make a great article. Besides, to call someone deletionist is hardly an insult, it just means they tend to delete things. An argument for deletion can be very fairly called deletionist. I've removed my previous comments because I think my personal experience with him is not relevant and will only start fight.Wrad 18:30, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Alright, I will not refer to it beyond this, but my comment was related more to transparancy than the substance of your remark. Leebo T/C 18:37, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm aware that it was a dumb thing to say. Wrad 18:59, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Sorry this proved to be divisive. To be honest, as someone who spends a bit of time at AfD, I always find it a bit of a shock when anyone suggests that mainstream Shakespeare stuff isn't suitable for Wikipedia. Anyway, I do have a couple of points. Firstly, I don't mind discussing bulleting, but where there's a list of facts to present, it seems vastly clearer to me than continuous prose would be. Secondly, don't those who complain that this is a timeline realise that you have to present the evidence in an order. We are discussing dating so chronological order seems exceedingly obvious to me. If that's an inapproprate choice then what alternative is appropriate? Alphabetical (Antonio's Revenge first)? Random? Qualitative (best first, whichever that is)? Numerical? AndyJones 20:23, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

When I mentioned my opinion that it shouldn't be a timeline, I was referring to the general structure one expects from a timeline (bulleted progress with short disconnected text describing individual dates). I'm not against chronological order, which doesn't necessarily have to be presented in timeline format. Leebo T/C 20:36, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

OK, I've finished the sandbox page, except for adding in the footnotes. Unfortunately, it is now clearly far too long to be a section of the Hamlet page so the only way to bring it into mainspace is to make it a page in its own right, which is something we can worry about, later. (Here's the link again: User:AndyJones/Sandbox/Dating Hamlet. Below, I've started a talk-page sandbox, and other people should feel free to join me in editing it.

While I really like what you've compiled on your userpage, I don't really see anything that really needs improved in the above box. Unless someone can pinpoint something specific, I'd like to keep it as is. I think it is really good and well-written. We seem to have resolved the 1599 issue with a ref I added recently, and the authorship question in represented in what I think is a fair and reasonable way. It's been copyedited. I really like it. Wrad 01:27, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid I've come to the same conclusion! The problems that set me off on this course in the first place appear to have been resolved already, and having now researched the whole subject myself in some depth, I've come to the conclusion that the summary here is a very fair one that it would be difficult for me to improve upon. I don't really approve of quotation marks around "evidence" (although I can see why you might want to imply that Harvey isn't "really" "evidence" because his note takes you nowhere). I'll make that change on the page and remove the sandbox. AndyJones 09:38, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Q2/Q3 image[edit]

The image of the frontispiece claims that it is an image of the 3rd quarto, but the discussion of the texts of the play argues that the 1605 printings were not a separate quarto, but a second run of Q2. It then goes on to date Q3 to 1611. I haven't got my books at home, but I'm pretty sure that the 1605 printing isn't generally referred to as the 3rd quarto. I'm not entirely sure, so I'm leaving it to someone else to change if necessary.Brandon Christopher 02:22, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Ard3 agrees with you about this: Q3 means the 1611 edition. AndyJones 13:40, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Roger Davies' Comments[edit]

Roger Davies has been proofing this page, and doing a damn good job of it, if I may say so. In the process of doing so he has left various questions and comments for us to deal with, and (partly since I'm off work ill today, oh dear) now seems like a good time to attempt to resolve them. If I have understood the page history correctly, any such comments which remain unresolved must be visible, in red, in this diff. They are:

  • Richard Burbage... first performed the role<-- an approximate date? -->
    • I don't think we know. The best evidence that he often played the role comes from his funeral elegy. Any guess at when is necessarily conjectural and is tied-in with the question of dating which has an entire section of its own. Scholars think Shakespeare's Hamlet in the form we know it appeared on the stage for the first time around 1600 or 1601. My view is that it's better to leave a date out rather than give one which might not be correct. AndyJones 10:25, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The story of the prince who plots revenge on his uncle (the current king) for killing his father (the former king) is an old one. Many of the story elements—the prince's feigned madness, his mother's hasty marriage to the usurper, the testing of the prince's madness with a young woman, the prince talking to his mother and killing a hidden spy, his being sent to England with two retainers and substituting their execution for his own—are also part of a medieval tale by Saxo Grammaticus called Vita Amlethi (part of his larger Latin work Gesta Danorum), which was written around 1200 AD<-- This sentence is extremely long and unnecessarily convoluted. Three items are probably the maximum to list in parentheses. Consider recasting as two sentences-->
    • Presumably that's easily fixed by making it:
Many of the story elements are also part of a medieval tale by Saxo Grammaticus called Vita Amlethi, including the prince's feigned madness, his mother's hasty marriage to the usurper, the testing of the prince's madness with a young woman, the prince talking to his mother and killing a hidden spy and his being sent to England with two retainers and substituting their execution for his own. Vita Amlethi is part of Grammaticus' Latin work Gesta Danorum, which was written around 1200 AD
    • ...unless that generates new problems. (I removed "larger" following the logic that if something is "part of" something else the reader will assume the second something is the larger one). AndyJones 10:40, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
    • Or, it could have semi-colons (query if this is clearer):
Many of the story elements are also part of a medieval tale by Saxo Grammaticus called Vita Amlethi, including the prince's feigned madness; his mother's hasty marriage to the usurper; the testing of the prince's madness with a young woman; the prince talking to his mother and killing a hidden spy; and his being sent to England with two retainers and substituting their execution for his own. Vita Amlethi is part of Grammaticus' Latin work Gesta Danorum, which was written around 1200 AD
    • If going with the first one, I wonder if we really need a comma after "spy": the difficulty being that it's that "and" (not the "and" after "retainers") which completes the list. AndyJones 10:40, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Scholars have also uncovered references to it in Icelandic legend, though no written version of the Icelandic tale survives. <-- All this is very complicated. Can it be simplified or at least presented in a more linear way? -->
  • Torfaeus, an early Icelandic scholar (born 1636), described parallels to the Icelandic story of Amloi<-- tie Amloi into Amleth? -->
  • Torfaeus, an early Icelandic scholar (born 1636), described parallels to the Icelandic story of Amloi in the Spanish story of the Ambales Saga. <-- This is could be clearer. Icelandic story in Spanish tale? -->
    • Taking these three together:
      • Roger editing as I speak! I'll work on something else for a bit! AndyJones 11:15, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
      • OK, I'm back. The current text is as follows, and looks much improved:
Older written and oral traditions from various cultures influenced Saxo's work. Amleth (as Hamlet is called in Saxo's version) probably derived from an oral tale told throughout Scandinavia. Parallels can be found with Icelandic legend, though no written version of the original Icelandic tale survives. For instance, Torfaeus, a 17th century scholar, compared Amloi (the Icelandic version of Amleth) and Prince Ambales (from the Spanish Ambales Saga) to Shakespeare's Hamlet. Similarities include the prince's feigned madness, his accidental killing of the king's counsellor in his mother's bedroom, and the eventual slaying of his uncle.
      • Can we consider this  Done?
  • This story contains similarities to Shakespeare's Hamlet in Prince Ambales' feigned madness<-- !! -->
  • In Saga of Hrolf Kraki, there are two sons of the murdered king: Hroar and Helgi, who later take the names Ham and Hráni as a disguise. They spend most of the story in hiding, rather than feigning madness<-- !! -->
  • The Roman story of Brutus focuses on feigned madness<-- !! -->
    • Taking these three together, I'm not sure I know what !! means, and I can't really see much wrong with these sentences. Roger, you'll have to give us more guidance if there's action needed from us, I think. AndyJones 15:10, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The traditional story also is spread across several years, while Shakespeare's covers a few weeks.<-- replace encompass to heighten contrasting and comparing -->
    • Is this correct? How do we know it covers "weeks"? Why isn't it "days" or "months"? Anyway, I assume Roger's note means he has already fixed this, therefore:  Done AndyJones 15:10, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Shakespeare also added some elements that located the action in 15th-century Christian Denmark, rather than a medieval pagan setting.<-- Recast for symmetrical adjectival order period/ethos-->
    • Again, I'm assuming Roger's note means he has already fixed this, therefore:  Done AndyJones 15:10, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
  • ...the inclusion of Laertes and Fortinbras (who offer parallels to Hamlet<-- clarify parallel -->
  • Edwards explains that, with reference to the exchanges between Hamlet and Polonius immediately before the play within a play <-- Play within a play needs introducing-->
  • The internal evidence of the "little eyases"<-- explain, assumes familiarity -->
  • return to [[Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg|university]]<-- is this relevant?-->
  • He decides to disguise his true intents by feigning madness.<-- !! -->
  • AndyJones 10:25, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks very much, Andy. I'll incorporate appropriate bits later after I've completed the second pass. I'm doing this section by section and don't want to lose focus. I can probably resolve most of the inline questions now, I think, though they're handy for others to see where I'm coming from. This is an extraordinarily good piece, by the way, stuffed with interesting facts and, considering so many editors' hands have been on it, and considering the complexity of the subject material, very well written. --ROGER DAVIES talk 11:17, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Real life intervened as I had to rush off to affright the air of the vasty fields of France (whoops, wrong play). Anyhow, I'm back now and will post my peer review this evening as this will help clarify some of the inline questions and then continue with the copy stuff after that. --ROGER DAVIES talk 19:30, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Meddling in French affairs, eh? O gilt indeed! :) Wrad 19:38, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it was a gilt trip :)) --ROGER DAVIES talk 11:39, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Haha Wrad 15:56, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

SEcond Sentence, Paragrpah 1[edit]

The second sentence seems weak to me. I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like it needs some twisting. Meldshal42 00:18, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Do you mean this sentence: It tells the story of a prince, Hamlet, who plots revenge on his uncle (the current king) for killing his father (the former king), concealing his motives by feigning madness. ...? If so, can you explain what you think the issue is? AndyJones 11:24, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

No, I did not. Hmm. I think someone changed it. Before, it said something like: It is the story of Hamlet, the prince who does or something along the lines of that. I'm sorry, my computer is probably screwed up, because now it is the right one. I'm sorry, I'll search the past contribs. Sorry, Meldshal42 02:40, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

This sentence, I'm sorry, I forgot what it was about. Tis' the sentence: It is one of Shakespeare's best-known plays, one of the most-quoted works in the English language, and one of the few works universally included on lists of the world's greatest literature. The first phrase seems weak to me. Sorry for the trouble, Meldshal42 16:20, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

I think the problem is that claims to universality are almost always suspect. Do we have access to all such lists? If not, then perhaps "often" is more appropriate. Brandon Christopher (talk) 19:44, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Oedipus Complex in Hamlet[edit]

I have heard different arguments from people online and was interested if you would be able to include on differenet theories when interpretting Hamlet, such as the Oepidpus Complex or other theories on why Shakespear wrote Hamlet


Foxxy 03:10, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

1603 title[edit]

Due to a discussion here, a consensus of editors with the project had decided that the lead should only include the common title of the play, and not the titles of any quarto versions. I'd like to have this title removed from the lead per that discussion. To see the reasoning behind this, see the discussion at the link above. Wrad 16:25, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Vehemently disagree. We should go with this one. --ROGER DAVIES talk 16:30, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Haha, yeah. That's the general idea. -- Wrad (talk) 17:06, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Hamlet & Lacan[edit]

Copied from User talk:AndyJones#Hamlet & Lacan:

Do you fancy writing a paragraph on this to drop into the psychoanalysis section? --ROGER DAVIES talk 12:32, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

No, sorry: I've looked into it, but unlike most Wikipedians I'm nowhere near a University so I'm stuck with the sources I have available to me here. The only one I have is Lynn Enterline's Psycholanlytic Criticisms, and frankly she doesn't say anything I can understand.
I think it was Wrad who wrote the phsychoanalytic section of the page, so may be the better person to ask. AndyJones (talk) 17:40, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks (and for asking Wrad). I can get material on this, I think, but it may take a few days to obtain and a few weeks to digest :) --ROGER DAVIES talk 19:06, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Ard3 cites Marjorie Garber Shakespeare's Ghost Writers: Literature as Uncanny Causality (1987) on the subject. AndyJones (talk) 19:22, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Hey. Actually it was Dionysus who wrote most of the version we have now. Wrad (talk) 20:56, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Discussion continued:

I see I do actually have a book here which covers this adequately (Cambridge History of Literature) so panic over! --ROGER DAVIES talk 12:21, 18 November 2007 (UTC)


Copied from User talk:AndyJones#Hamlet & Lacan:

Incidentally, re dating the play, I am less clear than you what the discussion decided regarding main article and sub-article. Could you clarify this for me please? --ROGER DAVIES talk 12:36, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

The decision here is that the section on the page is good as it is, but for the moment (i.e. until I do some more work on it & add some sources) my sandbox is NOT to become a {main|article}. AndyJones (talk) 21:31, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Horatio himself sees the ghost and then Hamlet does.[edit]

This is true. And there are two intervening scenes elipted by this sentence, of 256 and 135 lines long.

What has happened to the synopsis? I'm sure the first act wasn't reduced to nothing in this way when we sandboxed it? AndyJones (talk) 12:46, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I have tried to rework the synopsis so that it concentrates on and includes the main plot points - especially those that are referenced elsewhere in the article - rather than providing a summary of each scene in order. (This later approach requires many more words as characters and locations need constantly re-introducing, with time scales explained.) In any event, much material that some find significant was already omitted (the cover up of Polonius' death, Ophelia's shameful burial etc). That said, this article is very long and some sacrifices have to be made for brevity and comprehensibility. If this was too radical, please put material back in. If I've inadvertently ruffled feathers, I apologise. --ROGER DAVIES talk 13:20, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Whoops. I see what you mean! I had compressed the wedding more than I intended (I've put much back). Apologies.--ROGER DAVIES talk 15:29, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

The Globe company?[edit]

Bernard Lott argues that this whole long exchange between Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern refers to the tour of the provinces on which the Globe company embarked in the autumn of 1601.

Reference: Lott (1970, xlvi)

Who are "the Globe company"? Has anyone got a copy of Lott and can check-out this reference? AndyJones (talk) 18:20, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Roger, I like your rewrite of this section. I wonder, though, if the "war of the theatres" theory and the "Globe company tour" theory really are two distinct and exclusive theories. Again, can anyone check this out in Lott? If not, I'd feel more comfortable if we rewrote that bit from Thompson & Taylor. AndyJones (talk) 08:44, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
I've run them together as you suggest so the reference may no longer be needed. --ROGER DAVIES talk 16:13, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Section order[edit]

So what is up with the section ordering? I tried to put the article into the project format and was reverted. Happy to discuss (again), but haven't we hashed this out? The following order, developed on the project page [[6]], worked very well for R&J, yes?Smatprt (talk) 20:00, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I have moved a copy of this discussion over to the project talk page. Can we continue there so more regular WS editors can chime in? Smatprt (talk) 08:13, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Language examples[edit]

I'm trying to pick out good examples from the text of asyndeton and anaphora. Let me know what you think of these and feel free to add suggestions. The trick with these is that they are longer forms of rhetoric and will unavoidably take up a lot of space:


"It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple and unschool'd;"


"... how infinite in faculties! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god!

  • Wrad (talk) 21:14, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

anaphora: To die, to sleep; to sleep: perchance to dream? --ROGER DAVIES talk 21:21, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Which also uses asyndeton now I think of it.--ROGER DAVIES talk 21:31, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

True. Do you feel that would be a good example, to highlight both at once, or would it confuse people? Wrad (talk) 21:47, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Both together. It'll also help them understand why it's such a memorable line. I'll work it in tomorrow morning when I review that section. Okay with you? --ROGER DAVIES talk 21:55, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Sure. Wrad (talk) 21:58, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Accurate weasel words[edit]

I just saw some of the revisions by AndyJones and I am a bit worried that they are introducing inaccuracies into the article. For example, the provisionality of Richard Burbage's claim to initiating the role of Hamlet has been removed. According to the first book I picked up, the Blackwell Companion to Shakespeare, that provisionality is correct - we are not totally sure. We should not say he was the "first" if we are not sure - we should tell our readers we are uncertain. Anything less would be intellectually dishonest and would perpetuate false information. Awadewit | talk 23:23, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Outside view: the "weasel words" guideline, is, to my mind, another soft recommendation that is unfortunately wielded like a hammer by some editors who do not analyze, or have knowledge of, the context in which they are claiming "weasel words" exist and are a problem. ¶ In the context of an article that is highly cited, or an article whose topic is conceptual, abstract (e.g. rooted in the humanities) and so on, it simply won't do to say that phrases like "some think" or "other critics have noted" is a priori "weasely". After all, what encyclopedia reader wants to be bombarded with names of academics who have argued this or that, unless that academic's claim has reached a significant notability on its own? Awadewit has pointed out to me, in conversation about literature articles on wikipedia, how difficult it can be to strike the right balance when it comes to "naming claim-makers", if you will. The effort to strike the right balance is, of course, of an entirely different (thoughtful) character than pressing Ctrl-Find to see if the word "some" exists in the article. ¶ I'm not suggesting that this has or hasn't happened in the case being discussed here; I'm mainly writing because it's an opinion I've wanted to express somewhere for a while now, and I saw this come up on my watchlist! –Outriggr § 01:08, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I do agree that this edit, for example, seems problematic in that it chooses not to indicate to the reader the inconclusiveness of certain facts, when they are (apparently) considered inconclusive by reliable sources. –Outriggr § 01:18, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I've had similar problems. The problem lies not so much with the word "some", but with how reliably cited that word is. Awadewit isn't a Ctrl-F kind of reviewer, though. Wrad (talk) 02:12, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
No... I was (as an aside) saying the opposite! –Outriggr § 02:15, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I could see that. I was trying to agree with you on both ends. Wrad (talk) 02:17, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

For me, this is a question of sourcing. We discussed the issue previously here. IFF reliable sources tell us there is a controversy on the issue THEN please add those sources to the article and slap the word "some" or "probably" or whatever on it. Myself and User:DionysosProteus both looked into the issue at the time and found that our sources were telling us that Burbage initiated the role, which is why the article says so. You'll see that Proteus wrote quite a lengthy footnote on the point.

Of course, I strongly agree with Awadewit and Outriggr that getting the level of weaselness correct is one of the most difficult things to achieve in an encyclopedia article on any subject that has a normative or interpretive element to it. AndyJones (talk) 07:52, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Incidentally, I'm a bit upset by the suggestion that I am "introducing" inaccuracies into the article. My edit simply reverted an unsourced change to the article which went to peer review. AndyJones (talk) 08:05, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry that you're upset, but when I started to check the accuracy of the statement as it now stands (without the prevarication), it did not seem to be accurate any more. The Blackwell Companion to Shakespeare is hesitant on Burbage's roles. This is not a personal attack against you. What is at issue is the wording of the Burbage sentence and other provisional claims. What can be claimed and with what authority? I believe that we agree on the central issue, just not yet on the specifics? That is a major agreement, nonetheless. It does seem to me that we are working from the same assumptions and towards the same goal. Awadewit | talk 12:14, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, but my point still stands: it's just a matter of sourcing. If your source tells you that there's controversy on the point, then just add that source to the article and we can move on. The prevarication is there on the article as it now stands. AndyJones (talk) 12:21, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, but this is just the first book I picked up (my library was closed on Thanksgiving). You guys here have read more books on Hamlet than I have. What is the scholarly consensus on this point? I don't want to introduce an anomaly. It is important that we keep to generally accepted theories on Hamlet. That is why I asked here and didn't just revert and add my source. I haven't read 20 to 40 books on Hamlet like you and Wrad and the others. I'm curious what these other books say. I don't want to rely on just one book for such an important point. Awadewit | talk 12:34, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Well, we know for a fact that he "often" played the role and we know for a fact that he was the leading tragedian of Shakespeare's company at the time Hamlet was written. Whether those facts taken together amount to a certainty that he was the first Hamlet depends on your scholar. The concept of "scholarly consensus" is a bit too abstract for me, but just grabbing the first sources I can lay my hands on:
  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. The four sources in the article say he was
  5. A website cited in the article says he "probably" was
  6. Thompson & Taylor say he "is generally presumed to have been"
  7. Thompson & Taylor cite Honigmann saying he and Heminges were "almost certainly" Hamlet and Polonius
  8. Diana Henderson calls him "Richard Burbage - creator of Hamlet"
  9. Barbara Hodgson says "when Shakespeare's company staged Hamlet Othello or King Lear, those roles went to Burbage"
  10. Michael Hattaway calls him "the man for whom Shakespeare's tragic roles were contrived"

Which I make 10/10 who think he was and 7/10 who don't feel the need to qualify. I'm not going to edit again on this point: other editors can make this decision. AndyJones (talk) 15:41, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

To which you can add:
Would everyone accept "almost certainly" as a form of words or is this refusing to grasp the nettle?
--ROGER DAVIES talk 17:31, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I like that wording. Nearly everyone I've read accepts it as very very close to fact. Wrad (talk) 19:24, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
As long as it is qualified, I see no problem. But in addition to the all important sources, can we also inject some common sense along the way? As the article states, some scholars believe that the play could have been extant earlier, or that the so-called Ur-Hamlet could have been an earlier version by Shakespeare himself. If so, then the qualifiers on the play date and Burbage are needed to keep the article consistant with itself. The bottom line is we don't know with certainty when any of the plays were written or "first" performed, so we shouldn't say that we do. Smatprt (talk) 19:53, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I'll re-write the four contentious bits tomorrow to satisfy (hopefully) everyone.--ROGER DAVIES talk 20:02, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
1. Probably written between 1599 and 1601 replaced with believed written....
2. Richard Burbage, the leading tragedian of the Lord Chamberlain's Men, is generally believed to have originated the role replaced with The role was almost certainly created for Richard Burbage, the leading tragedian of the Lord Chamberlain's Men.
3 & 4. Scholars generally date the play between 1599 and 1601 and the earliest date limit is probably .... I have recast the first two paragraphs and combined them, deleting the 1599 and 1601 line and changing date limit to date estimate in both instances. This, I think, closely reflects the scholarship yet avoids bald asserting of parameters. I took the opportunity to remove the "any" from Edwards quote because it's too sweeping. Clearly some dating is possible: Hamlet wasn't written last week, for example. The Edwards quote is amply footnoted so even the most querulous can follow our reasoning.

Please tweak or revert if unhappy. --ROGER DAVIES talk 10:37, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Popularity of Hamlet[edit]

Taylor's book measures popularity in two ways: by "allusions to his work" and "the number of reprints". From the number of reprints he can work out what are the best-selling works, which gives him a list of the top five Shakespearean plays. So the article should indicate Hamlet is the fourth most popular based on no. of reprints. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AbcXyz (talkcontribs) 17:49, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes, OK, I see what you mean (I have the book in front of me). Now that we've established that, though, I wonder if the comment belongs: after all, the section is intended to discuss the play as a play, and measuring its popularity as a book is a different, thing. Anyway, I won't adjust this unless anyone else has a view. AndyJones (talk) 17:59, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree with you there - either the comment should be deleted or there needs to be a greatly expanded section concerning the popularity of Hamlet both in terms of as a book and as a play.AbcXyz (talk) 19:52, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I think we should have an "Influences" section to show this. I think it's important to show how popular/influential the play is. We just have to bring together the research to create the section. Wrad (talk) 00:54, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I was thinking along the same lines. Literary references aren't discussed, for instance.--ROGER DAVIES talk 10:38, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I've got enough material to hand to write a reasonable length paragraph on this. Probably best is that I write it, post that and then watch it expand :) --ROGER DAVIES talk 17:45, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good. What we ended up with on R&J was two paragraphs: one on literary influence and another on general influence. Wrad (talk) 17:47, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Done this now. I've got to add a bit on Ulysses but otherwise it's done. It mostly derives from one source so supplementary sources would be good. --ROGER DAVIES talk 11:11, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Characters > Template[edit]

I think we have consensus for this. If so, who fancies doing the template? And, in particular, a graphic? --ROGER DAVIES talk 11:20, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well...A skull, perhaps? (To be, or not to be, that is the question, you know.) Awadewit | talk 11:36, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
  • What now then? Practised I am not in this grafick art; and mine hand by a contagion of ill and little employment would swift turn to dungstones the yearning and oft-jewelled pixels that crave in coloured majesty to leap and dance on the silvered firmament in communication of our purpose.--ROGER DAVIES talk 15:28, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Ye Olde Clippe Arte. Awadewit | talk 16:40, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
  • There are a bunch of paintings here that you could cut the skull out of using photoshop or gimp. Awadewit | talk 16:45, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
There already is a template in the see also section. Do we need another one? Wrad (talk) 17:04, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
No, that was the one I was referring to :) I was thinking more of whatever updating it requires and whether a coloured picture, à la R&J, might be prettier. Sorry if I was a bit oblique. --ROGER DAVIES talk 17:33, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I see. I think we should also create a Minor characters page. Wrad (talk) 17:35, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Agreed.--ROGER DAVIES talk 17:43, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Created Minor characters in Hamlet. The characters need padding out a bit and cross-referencing to scenes. I've added some {{cn}} tags but obviously every character needs one. Could I ask others to do this please? --ROGER DAVIES talk 09:54, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I've done the {{cn}} tags. Could others look and flesh?--ROGER DAVIES talk 16:40, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


I think:

charts the course of his real or feigned madness

is more accurate than

veering between real and feigned madness

since the whole point of the debate is surely whether (and the extant that) Hamlet is really mad or merely pretends to be mad. The second version seems to be telling us that the play contains identifiable periods of real madness and identifiable periods of feigned madness, which surely begs the question. AndyJones (talk) 13:46, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

You're right. I've changed it back. --ROGER DAVIES talk 14:56, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Peer Review Closed[edit]

I didn't know the peer review was about to close. What prompted that? Does the fact that it's been archived mean that we shouldn't edit it anymore? AndyJones (talk) 13:26, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't see anything saying we can't. Wrad (talk) 16:26, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Nor I. --ROGER DAVIES talk 16:37, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
That happened to me before, too, and we just continued on the talk page of the article. I thought you weren't supposed to edit archived discussions. Perhaps I am too timid, though. Awadewit | talk 16:19, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
On other archives with more finality (for lack of better word), such as RfDs and FAC discussions, they put a big message on the page saying not to edit it. But peer reviews aren't quite as "final". I think it's fine. Wrad 16:37, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Cool. Awadewit | talk 16:42, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Stage History[edit]

Excellent work by Roger today. Just one point that struck me and I don't have time to check at the moment:

Notable London stagings include Jessner's 1925 production at the Haymarket; it greatly influenced subsequent performances by John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier...

Surely Barrymore not Jessner?? AndyJones 13:53, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry, Andy, silly typo. Now fixed. --ROGER DAVIES talk 14:43, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Hendiadys & Wright[edit]

Quoted in MacCary's "Hamlet: A guide to the play". Do we know which Wright this was and can anyone add a word for characterisation purposes (scholar, actor, etc) him? --ROGER DAVIES talk 15:43, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

George T. Wright, Hendiadys & Hamlet. Publications of the Modern Language Assoiation of America. --ROGER DAVIES talk 16:07, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Changes overnight[edit]

I've reverted (cack-handedly as the system slowed down in the middle; what was meant to be one revert took three) some extensive contributions made overnight. The article is already right at the limit, length-wise, and they push it right over. Many of the additions duplicate material that is already included in the article. I've left a message on the main new contributor's talk page asking them to discuss any putative changes here first.--ROGER DAVIES talk 07:56, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

A lot of the changes were pretty good, though, even though this may not have been the right place for them. I may dig them out and put them in the Critical approaches article. Wrad (talk) 16:25, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely agree with you. The main problems were length and introducing a parallel structure to the existing one.--ROGER DAVIES talk 16:57, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Agree also: this was good stuff, it's just that this particlular article didn't need it. Finding a home in one of the sub-articles is a good idea. AndyJones (talk) 17:11, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

'To be or not to be' as an expression of Shakespeare's personal beliefs[edit]

I was doing a light copyedit, and I came across this:

Early critics viewed such speeches as 'To be or not to be' as expressions of Shakespeare's personal beliefs...

I'm afraid I can't really understand it:

  • Firstly, which early critics? Or is it critics in general?
  • Secondly, what is it that they believed? Did they believe that Shakespeare himself was feeling suicidal? Or did they not interpret the speech as a contemplation of suicide? AndyJones (talk) 12:41, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm going to take a stab in the dark in here.
  • 1) If this is referring only to twentieth-century criticism, it would be referring to pre-1970 criticism, which often assumed it could know the mind of the author (or at least was written in that kind of language). After 1970ish, that is much less common. Also, such a view would not have been associated with one particular critic, but with entire schools of thought in literary criticism.
  • 2) I doubt that any decent critic believed Shakespeare was suicidal - the soliloquy is not usually read only in that literal sense. I believe there used to be an attempt in the article to explain one of its existential interpretations - that would be the kind of meaning critics would associate with Shakespeare. Awadewit | talk 15:14, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't understand it either and can't find anything that clarifies it. It's unreferenced so I suggest that we expunge it. --ROGER DAVIES talk 11:09, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


It would appear that the lead is the last thing that needs addressing from the Peer Review. Is this the case? Wrad (talk) 00:40, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Pretty much, though I'd appreciate some eyes going over the new influences section (which needs a reference to Ulysses adding and some supplementary cites to Arden would be good) and I've found some very good stuff in Shapiro's Shakespeare's Language for the language section. I'm away this weekend and was going to use the opportunity to review the synoposis (which is still a bit patchy) and work my copious notes into coherent text for the intro. This could be incorporated into the text next Mon/Tue, given a close proof-read, and then off to FAC say Thu/Fri of next week? Sound about right? --ROGER DAVIES talk 05:34, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

I've got a couple of points I'm working on:

  • I'm bothered by the synopsis, which I think has quite a few problems. I've started working my way through them here: User:AndyJones/Hamlet Synopsis. I think I've dealt with most of them to my satisfaction(ish): in my mind the first half had more problems than the second.
  • There's a chapter on the Hamlet afterlife in a book I bought recently, so I intend to look that through in the next few days: I think there will be plenty of material there to expand upon Roger's Influences section, if necessary. AndyJones (talk) 13:47, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Extra references would be very useful but I'd caution against expanding the actual text much as the article is about 5% overlength. Strictly, I suppose, we're at the point where we should really be removing TWO words for every ONE added. --ROGER DAVIES talk 14:14, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree. I promise to add very little, unless I conclude there is an improtant gap! AndyJones (talk) 19:31, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Re: Synopsis. I've just read through your thoughtful and useful comments, and have no problems with the vast bulk of them. Easiest I think would be if you could finish your revisions and patch them together into a new synopsis, which I could then amend to incorporate my (small) revisions. --ROGER DAVIES talk 14:14, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Thank you, and wilco. As you've seen I'm already into the fourth act. (Also, the existing synopsis has fewer problems in the last couple of acts than in the first two, in my opinion. AndyJones (talk) 19:31, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Thanks, Andy. I've now done my bit; please check that no violence has been done to sense :) --ROGER DAVIES talk 15:40, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Excellent: yes, I've had a look and all of those changes are improvements. AndyJones (talk) 17:30, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Apart from those points, this article has gone through an amazing improvement, and subject to Awadewit's proofread, and any new points which arise from it, I'd be glad to see this put up as a featured article candidate. AndyJones (talk) 13:58, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Cool :) --ROGER DAVIES talk 14:14, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

He's right it has improved immensely. I was so impressed when I read it through again after being away for a while. Well done everyone! Wireless99 (talk) 18:23, 14 December 2007 (UTC)