Talk:William Shakespeare/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 5

Play texts

I'm not sure that I like having two separate pages for each play, one for the text and one for commentary. I'm experiementing with a different approach. Take a look at Macbeth and let me know what you think. -- Stephen Gilbert

I just wanted to thank the folks who have undertaken to post Shakespeare's works on Wikipedia. Very cool. I didn't find any commentary for Hamlet, but I can see where the single-page format used by Midsummer Night's Dream could be more convenient for many readers. Maybe a good thing would be a Perl script that follows the links from a Wiki page out to a maximum depth, and puts the result into a single text file? Maybe this could also be done in CGI, as an additional Wiki feature.
-- WillWare
In reading the Christopher Marlowe talk page, and seeing yet another "who really wrote Shakespeare's plays" theory, I was wondering whether there's a good book on the subject. I've heard Francis Bacon and Ben Jonson credited as well. Would welcome suggestions for further reading. --RjLesch
I would not expect to find the complete text of a literary work in an encyclopedia. Would it not be better to link to an external source? The task of making public domain text available online rests with Project Gutenberg. -- Bob Waller
You wouldn't find it in an encyclopedia because they're generally printed on paper -- space considerations apply. "Wikipedia is not paper". I'd say keep the texts in. --Paul Drye

I say keep them too (especially since I spend a lot of time on Macbeth), but I won't be adding any more in the near future. Until our software evolves to make better use of primary text, I think importing primary sources isn't particularly useful. -- Stephen Gilbert

Actually, now that I notice that there are all these plays in here, I'm rather strongly opposed to keeping them inside Wikipedia itself. I know Wikipedia isn't paper, but still, the complete works of Shakespeare would be how many megabytes? And if Shakespeare's stuff gets to be in here, we'd have to let Chaucer and Dickens and all the rest of his classical-literature public domain buddies in as well. This way lies madness; Wikipedia is not Project Gutenberg! When I click a link to an encyclopedia article about Midsummer Night's Dream (to pick a random example), I want to find historical context and literary analyses and other such information. I don't need yet another unannotated copy of the plain text. - Bryan Derksen

Yep. This is a fairly old discussion, and I've since come to the same opinion as you, Bryan. Storage space isn't a serious consideration (according to Jimbo, who provides it), but there's really no advantage to importing all the classics when a simple link to PG would do. --Stephen Gilbert

My own opinion has softened slightly too, after looking around a bit more. Entries like Macbeth look quite nicely done, in fact; something like that is not unweildly to navigate and should lend itself well to annotations. I've got no problem with full texts being included in that manner, on the understanding that there should eventually be more encyclopedic annotations added to it over time. However, I've still followed through on my threat to delete Midsummer Night's Dream, since that was just an ugly unformatted text dump and had a copyright restriction placed on it besides (still don't know if scanning a public domain book is enough of a change to make it a freshly copyrightable "derivative work," though). Hope this isn't being too bold even for Wikipedia. :) -BD
Oh, I forgot to mention, even though storage space is not an issue, there's still the matter of people on slow or by-the-byte metered internet access clicking on a link to what they think will be a three or four page article and instead getting 200K of text coming down the line. I know broadband is becoming ever more popular, but there could be users browsing on a wireless connection or PDA or something like that who would be put off by such a surprise. Just another angle to the issue which came to mind. -BD

The PG base text may not be as solid as people think it is. It is not fully documented where it came from. I assume the Wiki base text is Moby?? We don't know how that was error checked -- it certainly has errors in it. Moby seems to have been based on the 1911 edition, which was based on the 1866 edition. There is no public domain shakespeare that has an audit trail. Having it in Wiki would let people error check it against folio, quarto and modern copyrighted editions, and produce an edit trail. There is no verified public domain Shakespeare! This is very much a Wiki project. As a first step I would suggest checking it against (1914 Oxford) -mtj

The texts should move to Wikisource. - Kookykman|(t)(c)

Kings and plays

I'm not so happy about every king having a note tacked on about the Shakespearean play of the same name though. Perhaps people who want to add articles on these plays could call them Henry I by Shakespeare, Macbeth by Shakespeare,etc. -- Derek Ross

I'm fine by that, the only reason I added those notes was because the links already existed on the Shakespeare page. Feel free to remove them and change the links. -BD

Moved authorship material

I altered the article to contain more info and more focus on Shakespeare. Material on the Shakespeare/Bacon/de Vere controversy has been moved to a new, more extensive Shakespeare Authorship article. User:Amf

I reverted the article back to an "assumes Shakespeare wrote things" standpoint in the biography. The alternate-authorship theory has an article all to itself, and a link from this one; that's sufficient. Most scholars believe Shakespeare wrote the pla,sys, and that should be reflected in the main article. -- April
The alternate author article is pretty good, but making that a separate article does not relieve this article from the responsibility of not taking sides on the question.
I think you misunderstand the NPOV. Please note this excerpt: there is probably not a good reason to discuss some assumption on a given page, if an assumption is best discussed in depth on some other page. Some brief, unobtrusive pointer might be apropos, however. E.g., in an article about the evolutionary development of horses, we might have one brief sentence to the effect that some creationists do not believe that horses (or any other animals) underwent any evolution, and point the reader to the relevant article. If there is much specific argumentation on some particular point, it might be placed on a special page of its own. Thus, the separate page is completely appropriate, with the majority view in the main article. -- April

Order of plays

In what order are these plays listed? Is it by chronology? There doesn't seem to be any order. By the way, I added Edward III, which has been accepted as a Shakesperean play since the 90s. I'll work on an article about it tomorrow. -- Zoe


The word "Stradford" appears twice in the article. Is this a typo? ? Also the info about Hamnet's death and the daughters' names appear twice. I could not find a way to merge them. Jay 20:15, Sep 12, 2003 (UTC)

Most influential claim

Removed claim about being the most influential after the Bible. That statement is just nonsensical, as written. --Robert Merkel 06:55, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Calendar Confusion

Right now we are editing biographical data about Shakespeare in Slovenian vrsion. At the article about Cervantes it is mentioned that the Gregorian date of Shakespeare's death was May 3rd. What about the April 26th as his baptism date, is this Julian (if yes, what is it Gregorian) or Gregorian calendar? -- 11:16, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The Gregorian calendar was not adopted until 1582, and not in England until 1752, so Shakespeare's baptism was on April 26, 1564 in the Julian calendar, which corresponds to May 6, 1564 in the (proleptic) Gregorian calendar. Gdr 11:39, 2004 Apr 23 (UTC)
When the Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1582, twelve extra days had been added because the Julian calendar added an extra day every four years. The Gregorian Calendar has end of century years (100, 200, 300, 400, ...) being leap years only if they are evenly divisible by 400. That means 1600 and 2000 were leap years,but 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not leap years. The Julian date will always be ahead of Gregorian, not vice versa. In 1752, one extra day had been added in 1700 which meant England had to lose thirteen days from the calendar. Light years are measured in Julian because of this glitch.
Prompted by the query, I removed the following paragraph:
Coincidentally, he died on the same day as his Spanish counterpart Miguel de Cervantes.
This appears to be a case of calendar confusion. Cervantes died on April 23, 1616 and Shakespeare died ten days later, on May 3, 1616. Gdr 11:50, 2004 Apr 23 (UTC)
To be more precise, he died on 26 April, under the Julian calendar in use in England at the time. To compare this with Cervantes' death, we need to compare like with like. Cervantes' death occurred in Spain which had already converted to the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian equivalent of Shakespeare's death date was 3 May. These 2 dates were 10 days apart, thus Shakespeare died 10 days later than Cervantes in real time, even though their official death dates appear to be the same. But the appearance is deceptive because the 2 countries were using different calendars. JackofOz 12:47, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Baptised vs. Born

Sorry if this is because of lack of data or if it's been brought up before, but could we have born/died as opposed to baptised/died?, if not, provide info on the fact that we dont know the birthdate --Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 17:27, 2004 Jun 28 (UTC)

See the first paragraph of section 1 of the article. Gdr 15:41, 2004 Jul 20 (UTC)

Nazi claims to Shakespeare?

In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the Klingon chancellor Gorkon says that "You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon." According to an interview on the Star Trek 6 SE DVD this is in reference to the Nazis, who claimed Shakespeare as their own and made a similar claim. I have put this information in Star Trek cultural references#Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. However, after quite a bit of googling, I have not been able to find any sort of reliable source of how or when this claim would have been made. Do any of you Shakespeare-wikipedians know anything about this, and could you in that case perhaps write something about it or point me to a source where I can learn about it (so that I can write about it)? – Foolip 00:21, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

German critics "claimed" Shakespeare long before Nazis were dreamed of. "Shakspere's poetry is, upon the whole, near akin to the German spirit: hence he is appreciated in Germany more than any other foreign poet, and regarded with almost native affection. -- SCHLEGEL, FREDERICK, 1815-59, Lectures on the History of Literature, pp. 274, 276. [1]; other quotes here: [2]. Whether there's also an additional Nazi race theorist who actually said something akin to "You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original German" I cannot say but would not doubt<g>. - Nunh-huh 00:36, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Shakespere spelling

William Shakespere<!-that's how he mostly spelt it then - don't change this-->

I don't see why it should be spelt in that way when a)it's not mentioned in the other spellings in the introduction and b)it simple looks like a spelling mistake especially when the following sentence has it as Shakespeare. violet/riga 20:10, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

"The vast majority of academics accept that the William Shakespere recorded as living in Stratford-upon-Avon, the actor Shakespeare and the playwright Shakespeare are one and the same person, but this subject has been hotly debated over the years."
Just read this bit which kinda helps the situation but is after the other part. I generally see it as Shakespeare and indeed that is the article title so I really think it should be either explained in a bit of a better way or always appearing as Shakespeare. violet/riga 20:13, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I agree; more importantly, it simply isn't true that 'Shakspere' was the normal spelling. I'll put a note in and a reference. The Singing Badger 22:07, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Great work - think it's a lot better now. violet/riga 00:20, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

sig pic

My old copy of the complete works, has a pic of what i always assumed to be the bards signiture, however it looks absolutley NOTHING like the picture of his sig that has been posted. anyone know anything else about this? where did the pic come from? The bellman 03:13, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC) update: after a google search, bbc [[3]] says that this [[4]] is the sig he used in his will (quite different to the one that we have pictured), this is also corrobarated by the (british) national archives. However oxford uni (among othere uni sites) use the sig we have pictured. And both of these sigs are different to the one that i have on my old copy of the complete works; Hence i think we need some kind of explanation with the pic saying this isnt the be all and end all of shakespeare sigs. i will do this presently. The bellman 03:37, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC) update: done, if anyone can find where the sig pictured is originally from (ie. on which document that shakespeare wrote it is from) please add that to the pic title. The bellman 03:39, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Nazi claims to Shakespeare revisited

I think the idea that the Nazis claimed Shakespeare as a German author may be originally a British WWII propaganda myth. Hmmm? Yes that's right: I think we may be dealing with an urban myth, stemming from a British patriotic myth, according to which the Nazis propagated a patriotic myth that Shakespeare was German. At any rate, there's a suggestive bit of dialogue in the 1941 film Pimpernel Smith (US reissue title Mister V), where the fat Nazi general shouts that yorr Schakesperre vass really a Gerrman, and Leslie Howard replies "But you must admit that the English translations are excellent". Mmmm? I don't know that the story comes from this film, but it was well made and seen by a lot of people. Does anybody have anything better, like a reference to an actual Nazi claim?--[[User:Bishonen|Bishonen (Talk) 01:56, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Shakespeare's reputation

It's a funny coincidence that when I looked in at William Shakespeare a few days ago, thinking to perhaps make a start on a "Reputation" section, I found that the Singing Badger had done that very thing only about an hour earlier. So I've had a rethink, and have now written a section about Shakespeare's Restoration and 18th century rep, which turned out to be long, so I'm about to create breakout article Shakespeare's reputation. I just wanted to explain first that I'm taking part of the Singing Badger's edit along to the new page, and that I, uh, kind of contradict the rest of it. I think the unappreciated 18th-century Shakespeare is a bit of a Romantic invention, actually, along with the whole rule-bound 18th century. It's true that critics from Dryden to Johnson did compare Shakespeare and Jonson and said "Jonson is more regular", but they always added "Who cares?" Well, unless you count the Francophile neo-classical nut Thomas Rhymer, and somewhat John Dennis (only when he was having a bad day), but they really were marginalized on this. Dryden pulverized Rhymer, and I don't think anybody besides Dennis ever said a word for him after that.

I've added a short afterthought about Romantic criticism, too, not written from a lot of information, and I'll do a summary Reputation section on William Shakespeare some day, if nobody else gets in first. (I'm hoping someone will, especially since with one thing leading to another, I've sort of already spent time I didn't have.) I'm conscious that I've never contributed to William Shakespeare before, not being much good on Bill as such, and I was far from planning to start by diving in and deleting and contradicting somebody else's new paragraphs. :-( I hope nobody thinks I've been too bold, and that as many people as possible, especially the Singing Badger, will check out my new page and let me know what you think, and make any desired changes, please be bold.

Btw, I don't know if anybody read my comment about Nazi claims to Shakespeare above. What do you think, might it be appropriate to put something about that into Shakespeare's reputation, or too speculative?--[[User:Bishonen|Bishonen (talk)20:00, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I think the new page is excellent. I added the 'Reputation' section myself because I thought it was a gap in the article, but I was hoping someone more knowledgeable would rewrite it.
My only request is that you place a one-paragraph summary of your new article in the William Shakespeare page in order that the Shakespeare page can contain a concise summary of all major aspects of his career for those readers who just want the basics. The Singing Badger 21:08, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. Sure, yes, I'm planning to put a short summary in place, I just haven't had time.--Bishonen (talk) 23:00, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Moving reputation info

Hi,, thanks very much for the good info on Shakespeare's Renaissance reputation. I hope you won't be offended if I move it to Shakespeare's reputation, the "Main article" that is linked to just under the heading. The reputation section at William Shakespeare is supposed to briefly summarize Shakespeare's reputation, compare the posts just above. I'm about to move your contribution over there, where it will be a very delightful addition, and reinstitute a shorter version on William Shakespeare. Hope that's OK.--Bishonen (talk)16:34, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Reputation section

Now that there is a "Main article" Shakespeare's reputation, the section at William Shakespeare is supposed to be a concise summary of that main article. It would be much appreciated if editors would contribute additional detail at Shakespeare's reputation rather than here. Thank you.--Bishonen (talk) 19:21, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Putting section "External links" on a diet

I have removed four external links (out of five I've taken a look at): Birmingham Central Library Shakespeare Memorial Room because it's broken, Shakespeare's Reputation because it's by no stretch about Shakespeare's reputation; and Short Articles on Shakespeare by Bill Long and Shakespeare Quotations because they're just pretty poor resources. Seems to me the only way an external links section on a topic as hugely covered on the Internet as Shakespeare is going to be helpful to the reader is if it's highly selective, i. e. limited to extremely valuable Shakespeare web resources. I'll be taking a look at the rest of the external links in a little while, and post anything else I remove here, too, in case anybody disagrees.--Bishonen (talk)20:59, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Shakespeare article vandalism

This was posted on the redirect page: Looks to me like they just want someone to do their homework..

The Sonnets and his love life

The more I delve into the Sonnets, the more admiration I have for this man who dared to publish his love poems to a youth in the face of public opprobrium from some (and probably hillarity from others). And I am equally surprised to see that their homoerotic nature is passed over so lightly in this article: the poems to the dark lady are mentioned first, though they be fewer and at the tail of the collection, and no mention is made of the revolutionary nature of the great majority of the sonnets, that are an eloquent testament of the power of his love for a youth about to enter adulthood. I do not think that in your apparent desire to leave his reputation "unbesmirched" you do the man - or your readers - justice. Haiduc 05:09, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Well, change it then. That's the whole point of Wikipedia: if something is wrong, you can make it better. Be bold. The Singing Badger 13:32, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)
This is a matter of some debate, actually, and it's covered in the articles on his sonnets and the Fair Lord. In addition, it is also under some debate as to whether he published the sonnets himself. Many in fact regard their publication as having been without his permission. In any event, it was quite common for sonnets to be a more "private" sort of poetic form at the time. Many went unpublished, even by otherwise famed poets.
Even aside from all this is the problem of interpretation. Many readers in our time regard the "I" of poetry always to be the poet himself, yet serious study of Renaissance poetry (and poetry from many other periods, as well) shows that the "I" in a poem may be just as much a character as Hamlet or Falstaff. That is, poetry is not always autobiographical. --Preost 11:46, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

The article currently says: "the question of whether an Elizabethan was "gay" in a modern sense is anachronistic, as the concept of homosexuality did not emerge until the nineteenth century. While sodomy was a crime in the period there was no word for an exclusively homosexual identity". This is confusing at least three different things (gayness, homosexuality, and sodomy). We're not debating whether or not he was "gay in the modern sense", because that concept is very recent, so any reference to "gayness" is irrelevant and should be removed. But there have always been what we now call homosexuals, bisexuals etc, regardless of what they might have been called (if anything) at the time. The label is not the issue, the inner psychological/sexual makeup is the issue. If his main sexual interest was in other men, he was by definition a homosexual. Sodomy was indeed a crime - but, hey, homosexuals can do lots of stuff other than sodomy, and they're still engaging in sexual activity; just as straights can do lots of stuff that isn't vaginal pemetration, but it still falls into the label of "straight sex". This whole section needs work, but it's beyond me at the moment. JackofOz 12:35, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Appeal for input at Shakespeare's reputation

I'm stalled at Shakespeare's reputation, please help. I started the page, and have done up the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries as best I could (not that they can't stand further improvements, esp. the 19th), but the rest really needs more hands. Come to the party, bring 'em if you've got 'em! These are some underdeveloped or missing aspects:

  1. An international perspective.
  2. Elizabethan theatrical conditions.
  3. 20th century stage reputation and literary criticism. (On the other hand, please note Talk page suggestion for creating a separate article for Shakespeare movies. (Hint, hint, feel free to go create it.) Shakespeare's reputation was split off to prevent article William Shakespeare from growing into a monster, and should, on the same principle, not balloon up excessively itself, either. It's already quite long.)--Bishonen | Talk 11:19, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)
You want it, you got it: Shakespeare Movies! I copied titles & such from IMDB, so it's not very helpful... but at least you've got a lot of titles and dates. Alan Nicoll 21:11, Mar 23, 2005 (UTC)

Finest lyric poems?

"... several of his plays contain songs that are among the finest lyric poems in English."

Isn't that rather POV? I can't think of any way to trim the POV while retaining the content, so I've brought it here for opinions. - Vague | Rant 04:38, Jan 13, 2005 (UTC)

Barogue Shakespeare?

Everyone knows theat renaissance England = Shakespeare. But I doubt that all of his works, namely the late ones, are to be called renaissance. They are so rich and complicated, so full of indirect light, that i cann´t resist to call them baroque instead. What´s your view? Is there any evidence, which could justify it?

I don't think literary baroque is even a coherent concept. If you go to the Baroque page on Wikipedia, the literary and philosophy section is rather diffusely and arbitrarily written. I would also argue that someone like Francis Bacon or Ben Jonson (or Henry VIII!) is more representative of renaissance england than Shakespeare. Shakespeare was a product of the renaissance, but not a scholar who encouraged it, as those three were. 13:14, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)


The first sentence of the biography is rather confusing, I would recommend not mentioning it where it is. There is already an Identity section anyway.

The lead paragraph: Two versions

It's interesting to look back on how this article has changed in the past year:

William Shakespeare (born April 1564, baptised April 26, 1564, died April 23, 1616 Julian calendar, May 3, 1616 Gregorian calendar) is widely considered to have been the greatest writer the English language has ever known. As a playwright, he wrote not only some of the most powerful tragedies, but also many comedies. He also wrote 154 sonnets and several major poems, some of which are considered to be the most brilliant pieces of English literature ever written, because of Shakespeare's ability to rise beyond the narrative and describe the innermost and the most profound aspects of human nature. He is believed to have written most of his works between 1585 and 1613, although the exact dates and chronology of the plays attributed to him are not accurately known. [Jul 20, 2004]
William Shakespeare─born April 1564; baptised April 26, 1564; died April 23, 1616 (O.S.), May 3, 1616 (N.S.)─has a reputation as the greatest of all writers in the English language. His ability to capture and convey the most profound aspects of human nature is regarded by many as unequalled, and the English Renaissance has often been called "the age of Shakespeare". He was among the few playwrights who have excelled in both tragedy and comedy and several of his plays contain songs that are among the finest lyric poems in English. He also wrote 154 sonnets, two narrative poems, and a handful of shorter poems. Shakespeare wrote his works between 1588 and 1613, although the exact dates and chronology of the plays attributed to him are often uncertain. [present]

Is the new lead really better? I don't particularly like the first two sentences though. The first ("has a reputation as the greatest") sounds a bit too matter-of-factish while "regarded by many as unequalled" is arguable (it's arguable that Shakespeare's grasp of psychology may have been matched but no one has the insight into so many range of characters...does "rarely matched" sound better). All in all some parts of the older lead sound better, IMHO. What do people think? Mandel 07:06, Mar 14, 2005 (UTC)

External links on a diet again

Google gives 16 million hits for Shakespeare. Please only add the best and most useful of these sites to the section External links! Or, alternatively, add the links you like, but please don't be offended if others remove them. The section will become useless if it's not kept lean and mean. I'm removing and Shakespeare--The Lay Bible. Bishonen | talk 01:37, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

    • About the link "Shakespeare -- The Lay Bible Shakespeare's works vs. the Holy Bible; Study into the archetypal ideas concealed beneath the outer form and embodied within the history and biography, the fable and parable":

Reducing the 16 million hits of Goggle on Shakespeare to 272.000 hits when searching Google for Shakespeare and the Holy Bible you find this unique study comparing Shakespeare works and the Holy Bible, documented, with analysis into the author and the his works, with rational arguments (some things I agree may be controversial) and you tell «Please only add the best»??? Please re-think your decision (re-posting the link and description) and allow interested people in the study of Shakespeare to read a serious and original study:

«There appears to be ample justification for regarding Shakespeare as a Lay Bible when considering its many correspondences, inner and outer, with those of the Holy Bible. Both are bestsellers. Both comprise a collection of Books, the Holy Scriptures having sixty-six and Shakespeare thirty-seven. Both have their Apocrypha. Both have concordances cataloguing every word of the text. Both have called forth innumerable commentaries. Special libraries have been dedicated to their sole study. In dictionaries of quotations, the Bible and Shakespeare lead all other works. In Bartlett's volume of quotations, the New and Old Testament combined take up thirty-seven pages whereas Shakespeare requires no less than one hundred and twenty-two.»

Sincerely yours, --GalaazV 12:09, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

A Lover's Complaint

The short poem "A Lover's Complaint" is almost certainly by Shakespeare.

It dates from about 1603, yet it is not mentioned in this article. Ogg 12:31, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I'd like to raise a minor quibble with the section on coinages: I think it should mention that Shakespeare is only the earliest written source for them and that ultimately we don't know whether he invented them or not. Many supposed coinages may simply be dialect phases that he picked up and made use of. I don't want to denigrate his originality for a keen ear may be as much a part of it as pure invention. In a present-day writer like Alan Bennett you will find many expressions you will find nowhere else, but he did not make them up, rather he has had the singular wit to recognise and preserve them.

List of plays

I've restructured the list because:

  • It was claimed to be in chronological order but it wasn't.
  • Romances and problem plays were not distinguished.

I've reordered the plays as listed in the First Folio, explained any ambiguities, differentiated the romances, and provided a link to Chronology of Shakespeare plays for an alternative. The Singing Badger 00:28, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

External links on a diet III

GalaazV protests above against my removal of the link and asks me to reconsider, on the ground of the many correspondences between Shakespeare's works and the Bible, please see "External links on a diet again" above. I have thought again, and my conclusion is the same: the fact that both Shakespeare's collected works and the Bible are famous, divided into books, have given rise to concordances and lots of commentary etc., simply proves that they are both, well, famous. I'm quite non-plussed by the claim that these things have any tendency to prove "inner correspondences": to my mind that's so obviously irrelevant that I don't quite know what to say. Concordances and commentaries and selling well are mere external appurtenances, they're the fortunes of the books in the world: they are not intrinsic parts of the books, and have nothing to do with their origins or with Rosicrucian commentaries. Please don't add your link to William Shakespeare, add it to Rosicrucian, where it will be relevant and welcome, and which is the reasonable place for people to look for it. I don't want to stop anybody reading it, I just want it to be in the right place. And again, everybody, thank you for adding only the very best Shakespeare resources to the external links section, please remember that there are 16 million Shakespeare sites out there! Bishonen | talk 14:42, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I would have to concur with Bishonen (its almost funny). Mind you the external links at Rosicrucian could do with a prune. There are far too many for much relevance to be retained. -- Solipsist 15:10, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Shakespeare's Sonnets Known for their use of Iambic Pentameter, Shakespeare's sonnets are recognized as some of the greatest poems ever written.

"Page Cannot Be Displayed". That's not a helpful link. I see that several of our current links are to the source materials. Wikisource has a complete listing, so unless the links offer additional info in an especially useful manner then the "complete text" sites should be removed. -Willmcw 17:53, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Let's not change into something that read merely the same.

has a reputation as the greatest = is considered by many
dramatist = playwright

I've restored them. I won't want every single lead to read the same in Wikipedia. "Is considered by many" is used way too often in Wikipedia. We must have variety. Mandel 16:26, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)

Shakespeare and society

Ive been looking around on the internet and have found that there is nothing really about Shakespeares personality and character. What was he like? What were his attitudes towards society? Do we know any of this information or do we have to interpret it through what he wrote in his plays? I was wondering if you could do anything on this topic?

Shakespeare and hereldry

'Gold, on a bend (diagonal bar) sable (black), a spear of the first (i.e. gold), steeled argent (with a silver tip); and for his crest... a falcon his wings displayed argent (silver), standing on a wreath of his colours supporting a spear gold, steeled as aforesaid, (i.e. silver) set upon a helmet with mantles and tassles'. The motto was "Non sanz droict" or "Not without right".

Found this on -wherat also a vast quantity of detailed chronology. Any use here? 20:24, 8 September 2005 (UTC)


A sentence in the Reputation section, as of Oct 6, 2005:

In the twenty-first century, Shakespeare is often simultaneously considered both the greatest and the most inaccessible author of all time by the general public. Most inhabitants of the English-speaking world encounter Shakespeare at school, and there is a common association of his work with boredom and incomprehension. At the same time, Shakespeare's plays remain more frequently staged than the works of any other playwright. The negative reputation held by many makes him the target of frequent parody and satire, for example by the comic strip Foxtrot and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

That's sophomoric. If you really think WS is "the most inaccessible author of all time" then you haven't been reading anything outside your narrow cultural milieu (Pynchon or Farid Uddin Attar are certainly more challenging). Methinks this should be rewritten. elpincha 19:16, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

It isn't saying Shakespeare is inaccessible. It's saying Shakespeare is considered by the general public to be inaccessible. It's about his reputation, not reality. The Singing Badger 20:21, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Elpincha. Did the general public considered Shakespeare "the most inaccessible author of all time"? Shakespeare wrote so simply in his day that it's difficult to find him more inaccessible to, say, Joyce in Finnegans Wake and yes, dear Mr Pynchon. People nowadays regard him difficult not because he was difficult, but because English has evolved as a language. Chaucer and Shakespeare - who do you consider more inacessible? The assertion is also ridiculous. How can you regard someone as great if you can't even understand what the hell he's writing? Are the general public idiots? Mandel 12:59, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
I wouldn't want to answer Mandel's last question :-( Anyway, methinks Badger is correct, and so is my original remark. They're not mutually exclusive. Maybe the solution is to excise the entire sentence, and refer the reader to the reputation article, which is really good as of now. elpincha 13:45, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
My feeling is that the main article should say something, however brief, about the negative perception of Shakespearein the modern age. The current passage is not perfect. But while it may seem paradoxical that Shakespeare's reputation is that of 'greatest writer ever' and 'completely incomprehensible', my personal experience as an educator tells me that this is how the average person in the street sees it. They see great writing as by definition incomprehensible except to experts. It's sad, but true. The Singing Badger 17:10, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Shakespeare is considered inaccessible. He is certainly not considered the most inaccessible author of all time. I think James Joyce has that honor, at least in the English-speaking world. john k 14:59, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

I suspect the majority of the general public has never heard of James Joyce. I have no concrete evidence for this assertion. But I'm sure it's true. :) The Singing Badger 17:10, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
I've reworded the article, switched "difficult" for "inaccessible". Difficult is a far more neutral word. In any case if anyone finds Shakespeare inaccessible it's because they find his language difficult, not because he writes in a cryptic,self-indulgent manner. So it explains him better. Mandel 18:18, 8 October 2005 (UTC)


Why is their a conclusion in Sexuality section? This is not a thesis. Mandel 12:59, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

A good point (although it reads suspiciously like a thesis - i.e. a piece of writing intended to prove a point). Moreover several possibilities seem to have been omitted. Not being an expert on this subject I don't know if these have been addressed, so I present them and allow someone else to say if they have been considered.

  1. women-dressed-as-men does indeed recur in Shakespeare's plays, but a short examination of the parts (Viola and Rosalind primarily) will show that these women are strongly heterosexual ("And I for no woman..."). It is stated that having this theme in the plays allows for men to 'practice' wooing other men, but in fact the practice of having women's parts played by men would allow this without resorting to cross-dressing plays.
  2. It is perfectly possible to write about cross-dressing or even homosexuality without actually being gay. Newsflash: Will & Grace uses straight actors and writers.
  3. I can't believe that no-one has considered that Shakespeare might have written his sonnets from a woman's point of view, or for someone else.

The whole section is full of "some people have interpreted" statements which can be used to present even the most bizarre views as though they were worth of consideration. I don't know if that is case case because sources are not presented. The whole section needs to be balenced, given some sources and cleaned up. DJ Clayworth 15:12, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

I've attempted to tidy up this messy section. Parts of it are good, and well-referenced; others are not, and still need proper citations.
I removed some passages that seemed to be going too far, in particular the "joke" in Hamlet (if it's a joke, I don't geddit).
However, I should stress that the views put forward in this section are by no means uncommon in studies of Shakespeare. The puns in the Sonnets on 'pricked' and so on, a very common puns in the period. The 'pederasty' reading of Merchant is potentially defensible, although at the moment badly explained (I don't know enough to fix this).
As far as I know, no-one has suggested Shakespeare wrote the Sonnets from a woman's perspective. I presume the genders don't match up gramatically, or something.
Anyway I hope this is a bit less POV. It still needs more work. The Singing Badger 16:57, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

"Shakespeare"'s Sexuality

It has been doubted before, but it now seems reasonably certain that Shakespeare was not the writer of the plays or sonnets attributed to him. The scientist Francis Bacon, the Tudor courtier Edward de Vere and the playwright Christopher Marlow have all been suggested as true authors; in all no fewer than 58 different people have been proposed as the "true authors". A book soon to be released gives a substantial amount of evidence that the real author was Sir Henry Neville (1562-1615), an associate of Shakespeare who for political reasons used Shakespeare as his front man. Sir Henry Neville travelled widely, and had spent time in northern Italy and Denmark and was fluid in several languages, while Shakespeare ceased formal education at the age of 12. Word frequency analysis together with analysis of style links Neville's writing to those in the plays attributed to Shakespeare. Sir Henry was also married, with a large family, and there is no reason to doubt his primary heterosexual orientation. However Sir Henry was implicated in the Earl of Essex's revolt in 1601 and sentenced to death but this was commuted to life imprisonment in the Tower. Also in the Tower at the same time and for the same reason was the Earl of Southampton, who was one of Sir Henry's closest associates and Shakespeare's patron. After Sir Henry was imprisoned in the Tower of London, the tone of the plays changed abruptly from being mainly historical or comic to being predominantly somber. The Sonnets were also written at the same time that Sir Henry was in the Tower. What would seem likely is that the 20th sonnet reflects on what is referred to as "situational homosexual behavior", homosexual behavior that occurs when preferred heterosexual activity is denied for long periods. Thus Churchill is famously (and incorrectly) credited with the saying that the only traditions of the Royal Navy are "rum, sodomy and the lash". While imprisoned in the Tower was the Earle of Southampton "the master-mistress" of Sir Henry's (aka Shakespeare) passion?

The Truth Will Out: Unmasking the Real Shakespeare Brenda James ,William Rubinstein. Publisher: Longman ISBN: 1405824379

Excessive hacking of page

This page has recently been comprehensively stripped of a lot of material by User:Iago Dali. I find these actions to be excessive, since vast amounts of information have simply been deleted without any previous warnings. I hope this user will enter into discussion on this page to justify his/her actions. The Singing Badger 13:05, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Simple- articles are to be under 30 kb pref. Also, many links were redundant. There was also loads of gossip and the piece read like a National Enquirer entry. This is Shakespeare for god's sake, not Paris Hilton! The ideas that he wasn't Shakes and/or were gay are still there. But every theory and crackpot idea need not be ref'd. There are plenty of ancillary articles on Shakespeare's many works, theories, place in lit, etc. Just look at all the categories. Editing is not merely adding every bit of trivia. I think Shakes was a raccoon. Do I add it? I left extensive edit notes. Another item- look at all the photos- who cares what his geave or house looks like? Why was Dryden's pic there? This all wastes space. Then there's the NPOV angle. It's amazing, but when I first joined Wiki I had some doubts about it, but now I see admins don't follow it. Again, this is Shakespeare- like him or not, he's one of the twenty or so most important people in human history. And I say that as someone who's not his greatest fan, but give the man his due. He is not some minor celeb who'll vanish in 5 years. The National Enquirer approach is not needed. Please, show some restraint and some respect when edits are made. And for side issues on the texts, or critical theories, or rumors that he fathered a baby with Bigfoot, put them in sep categories. Imagine a 12 year old trying to research a term paper. Things shd be factual, npov, simple, and straight-forward, and space, esp. on a writer, shd be reserved for text, not any old pic of his mother's cousin, or his toe nail clippings. Really look at the entry before I 'edited' it- in the best meaning of the word- it was HORRIBLE, a disgrace. If Shakespeare cannot be accorded some respect, who can? And this is not HACKING, this is much needed professionalism brought to the page. I don't mean to sound condescending, but bio articles are horrible at Wikipedia. Movie stars and celebs- who cares? But the Shakespeares, Einsteins, Ghandis, well, they deserve better than Paris Hilton. Iago Dali 15:54, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Again, size and clarity, and a little respect are needed. But most of all sticking to facts, not tossing random quotes, and NPOV! I doubted it, and it still has flaws here and there, but no one can tell me that the older versions were NPOV and bloated. I urge those who edit to add only relevant or distinct info, and see if the info belongs in the dozens of ancillary articles on the man. Again, think of what a kid needs to know to write a good term paper. This is not a place for huge biographies or theories that get Jak the Ripperesque. Iago Dali 15:57, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

  • I've been thinking of editing this article for a while but now hadn't had the time until now. I agree with many of Iago Dali's recent edits and think it has improved the article massively. Yes, there are some information he removed that I wouldn't have removed (and which I will look at over the next hour or two and see about reinserting). However, the main problem with the article before is that was a lot of speculation and opinion WITHOUT any supporting references or citations. Very little is known about Shakespeare and this article now covers what is known. It is okay for an article to have speculation IF it is adequately labelled as speculation and is referenced so it doesn't violate the no original research rule of Wikipedia. Finally, as someone who edits mostly literary articles on Wikipedia, I have come across Iago Dali's edits a number of times in the last few months and he has struck me as a sincere and very capable editor. The title of this discussion--i.e., the reference to hacking--violates the the Wikipedia rule of assuming someone has good intentions.--Alabamaboy 16:41, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi, sorry, I was rather too rude in my language choice, I didn't mean every choice by Iago Dali was wrong, just that it needs some double-checking:

  • I'm rather concerned by the way information has been removed when it would be better to have placed it into a separate article. Stating that 'this is not the place for huge biographies' is a questionable assumption; maybe this page isn't, but that doesn't mean there isn't space on Wikipedia for another page that does the subject justice. Deleting the material on the textual history of the plays as 'irrelevant' means removing a major area of scholarly enquiry, as if it barely exists.
  • A related point is that there are longer pages that do such subjects justice, such as Shakespeare's reputation, but Iago has removed all the links to these pages, thus inhibiting readers from exploring the subject further. At the very least, put them back.
  • The assumption that Wikipedia exists to provide students with info for term papers is extremely questionable!

As I said, I apologise for my poor choice of words, and also for the fact that I don't really have time to personally consider each Iago's choices in detail. But I wanted to draw the attention of other editors to these edits, to ensure that they are double-checked. The Singing Badger 17:06, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

    • I just finished my edits to the page. Because Iago Dali is a newer user, I don't think he meant to remove the links to associated articles. I have reinserted many of these, along with more standard Wikipedia subhead formatting (which makes the subheads show up on the table of contents). I agree that some of the removed info should be spun into its own page. For example, there was originally enough text on the Shakespeare's sexuality to make that its own article. In addition, there was a ton of info on Shakespeare's collaborations and works he might have written, and I think all of that should be spun into its own article. With a subject as big as Shakespeare, we should spin off subjects (like his sexuality) that are excessively long so as not to distract from this article. If you'd like to join me in this, I think we can do it. Like I said, I don't agree with all of Iago Dali's edits. However, he hit the nail on the head by exposing the main weakness of the original article, which was that large amounts of less relevant info on Shakespeare distracted from the main info on his life and writings. All of this excessive info should be spun into its own articles. Why don't we do that, using the article as it is now as the base.--Alabamaboy 17:39, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
      • PS: I just did some of this by creating a new article on Shakespeare's plays. Actually, I'm surprised no one had ever made an article on this (they did ones on the tragedies and comedies and any other subsection of his plays, but no overview article). I will, of course, have to work more on the article to incorporate other info but I'll do this later. --Alabamaboy 17:54, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I can live with Alabamaboy's edits, but I have noticed a prevailing pattern amongst the bios of writers- especially those in the pantheon to degrade them with all sorts of extraneous info, and links. The Dryden photo- that was there merely because someone had a brief passage on Dryden's comments on Shakes. Well, every major writer, practically, has opined on Shakes. Do we add Twain and Whitman, etc? And while it's ok to talk if he was gay or not Shakes, there were passages on what his neighbor thought of him. If his barber wrote that Willy was a poor tipper- is this relevant? I think not. I agree many of these shd be spun off into other articles, but that's where much of what was here shd be. Shakespeare, dead 400 years, shd not be as controversial as Prez Bush. Iago Dali 18:58, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Wow, this is looking much better now that we have the links back. OK, I can now see that Iago did a better job than it seemed at first glance, and this is definitely a great call to action; I will certainly do some work here when time permits. I disagree with Iago that information about Shakespeare's relationship with others is inherently irrelevant; when a writer's life story is so full of gaps, every bit of info can seem potentially valuable. Given that Shakespeare had a reputation for being 'gentle', a source that he was a poor tipper might make him seem a more rounded person... But anyway, I agree that such info belongs more properly in a full 'biography of Shakespeare' article.
What I think Iago is right to suggest is that too many literary articles focus on biography at the expense of what the author's writing was actually like. That doesn't mean we shouldn't discuss their lives, but an article on the development of Shakespeare's literary style is long overdue... The Singing Badger 19:09, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
      • Ok, I have now created new articles on Shakespeare's sexuality and Shakespeare's life and they link from the sections of this main article. I think this allows people access to info on these subjects without diluting and obscuring the main focus of this article. I'll try to clean up and expand these articles soon. BTW, I think all of these articles (including this main one) need references. Anyone willing to help out there?--Alabamaboy 12:53, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Sorry I haven't entered in the debate earlier. Totally agree with The Singing Badger's first complaint. This version is now not only excessively "lite" and reeks of one person's choice to sanitize the entire article. Anyone doing this should in the very least accord respect to the community by discussing before removal. It saves us time and effort. Alabamaboy, you shouldn't condone this reckless wholesale editing, whether the outcome is proper or not is besides the question. The attitude behind the excessive edits severely devalue a lot of Wikipedians' efforts. I agree with what Singing Badger has said, this is hacking. Iago has also done this to other articles; he/she should know that to rightly respect what is there before making massive changes is a basic requirement of being an editor. Mandel 15:28, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I wish to stress here that I changed my mind; I do now believe the page is improved, and that it was time to trim the fat. Iago's methods were impolite, but Alabamaboy's restructuring removed the problems he created while keeping the improvements. I suspect it's a good thing if the page is 'lite' - there is now so much info on Wikipedia about Shakespeare that it won't all fit on one page, and that's something to be pleased about. Although I disliked Iago's attitude, and I wish he'd given some warning beforehand, he has certainly given this page the kick in the pants that it needed. The Singing Badger 15:45, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Then you should take a good look at the other edits he, Iago, made to the other bio articles. They are all severely trimmed and hacked, whether oversized or not. One can kick in the pants after seeking approval and discussion here, which is precisely what a talk page is for. I'm not complaining about Alabamaboy. But Mr Iago, two months old into Wikipedia, have hacked and trimmed so many bio articles (a lot of them on literary figures). This is terrible attitude, as he has never deem it important to discuss anything he does, apparently out of whim.
I for one is interested in the house Shakespeare is born in, and the chapel where he is baptized. Mandel 15:53, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Ah, but all that info is still in the article on Shakespeare's life, which branches off from this main article. This way people can still find the info they want while the excessive sections that were here before no longer distract from this article's aim of giving an overview of Shakespeare. That said, though, this article still needs more work, with the career and reputation section probably needing to be split into their own sections and a bit more info needed on his plays and sonnets. Finally, I believe this article needs a critical analysis page, covering the various critiques of his works. To my mind this is separate from the section and article about Shakespeare's reputation. --Alabamaboy 16:28, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Have you, Alabamaboy, as a pending admin, even warn Iago about what he should do before making wholesale changes or deletions to biographical entries? Are you in any way affiliated and/or a nanny or chaperon to everything Iago does on Wikipedia? If so, please undo and restore the various extremely controversial trimmings he does to lots of biographical entries. A lot of them aren't oversized. Mandel 16:39, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I haven't warned him b/c I haven't seen these other articles you are refering to. I saw his edits here and at Miguel Piñero, along with more minor copyedits on other literary articles. With the Pinero stuff, I thought most of his edits were good and I encouraged him and the other user who had a disagreement to come to a censensus (which they seem to have done with the help of a mediator). On the Shakespeare article, his cuts were indeed excessive. However, I saw what he was trying to do and decided to assist in reaching the goal of a better and more focused article (which seemed to be a good way of following the don't bite the newbies advice). This is why I spun off the excessive information here into different articles. Other editors like The Singing Badger seem to think this has helped the article. Personally, I hope Iago Dali will raise issues on the talk pages prior to doing massive cuts. He is also sometimes too antagonistic. That said, he is doing some good copyedit work on many articles and seems to be a strong proponent of NPOV. As for the nanny comment, no, I am not (and this comment is slightly insulting and I hope we will avoid insults). Since he edits literary articles our paths cross a good bit. He has edited a number of articles I keep an eye on (I must admit I haven't agreed with all of his edits, but that's Wikipedia for you) and because of his edits on Shakespeare, I have become involved in this article to a large degree. As I said, this article still need a lot of work (such as the addition of references).--Alabamaboy 17:01, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
No disrespect, he has hacked off lots of Anton Chekhov and I have a hard time looking back to restore lost edits. His idea of NPOV is also controversial. Does this mean that we just simply sanitize parts of an article about a controversial person? Shakespeare is controversial (to some extent); shouldn't we reflect that, or that we should merely reflect Iago's own view that Shakespeare should not be (rather than is not) a controversial figure? Now that is not NPOV. NPOV means giving due weightage to parts of controversy, not hacking them all off. He seems to have done that too to Ezra Pound.
If he's a mere vandal, that'll be easy. He's not. If he wants to work in Wikipedia he has to collaborate. If not, he can start his own Wiki. Basic rule: he must discuss before he make those kind of edits. Mandel 17:21, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Just FYI, I put info about Wikipedia style and other stuff on Iago Dali's talk page.--Alabamaboy 17:35, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I've looked through the article. IMHO it's not a "better" article, just a "liter" one - more suitable for "Simple English" version. I also object to certain things which have been done, for instance, starting a Shakespeare's plays. There's already a Shakespearean tragedies, Shakespearean comedies, Shakespeare's dark comedies and Shakespeare's romances . Doing this is spreading thin materials thinner.
Pardon my curtness, but that's what happens when you don't discuss beforehand. Mandel 17:40, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

The problem with those other play article is that they are all rather short (almost stubs) and don't give an overview of all of his plays. The play article still needs work (in fact, I was just working on it, adding a section on the source materials for his plays). Look, Shakespeare is a gigantic subject. The problem with the original article was that sections like on Shakespeare's sexuality totally overwhelmed the rest of the article. The article was a mess because it tried to do all things for all of the subjects revolving around Shakespeare. By branching off like this, we are able to accomplish the best of all worlds.--Alabamaboy 18:26, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

How about moving Shakespeare's sexuality out, but leaving the rest back in? Shakespeare's life will always be a short subject, because all that is known about his life is restricted to that few details. We need an overview of Shakespeare's play here. Branching it off somewhere else is certainly not helpful (furthermore we're then separating more into various articles like Shakespearean histories) By all means branch overlong sections off, but don't drain the article dry. Mandel 18:38, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I disagree that the article is "bled dry." I mentioned the sexuality section b/c it was a glaring example, but the original section on Shakespeare's life was also way too long, the plays' section mostly consisted of lists of his plays, and the article was extremely disorganized (i.e.,one section did not logically follow or lead into another). I have no issue with expanding the article from this point on, but the original version was not very good (although it had many great elements, such as the section on Shakespeare's reputation, which was derived from a branching article). And, as I said before, the article was lacking, and still lacks, a critical analysis section. Any other editors wish to comment on this?--Alabamaboy 19:02, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
BTW, I should add that I have no issue with adding in any missing info to this article. I just think we should keep it focused and not dump in everything and the kitchen sinks (the sub-articles are for this). For example, today I have greatly expanded the Shakespeare's plays article with new info on the stylistic groupings of his plays and so on. I then went back and briefly inserted this same info into the main Shakespeare article. I think this is a good thing to do. However, it would have been inappropriate for me to add all of the new info about his plays to the main Shakespeare article. Anyway, I'm about to log off for the day. Thanks to everyone for their work here.--Alabamaboy 20:19, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I obviously disagree with you. Looking at a pre-edited version at[5], sections of Shakespeare' life is much shorter than most writers in Wikipedia, for instance Ernest Hemingway. The "Works" section is much needed. You branched it off elsewhere, but in fact it's rather a pithy overview of Shakespeare's works. "Identity and authorship" is alright too. The only exception is Shakespeare's sexuality which is overlong and seems out of place for an article which deals with aspects of a writer's life. I fail to see any lack of focus as addressed by you.
I would like Wikipedia to rival Britannica, but at present this version is not only "liter", it reads like it's explicitly written for a very young audience ("His earlier plays tend to be more light-hearted, while the middle dramatic plays address issues such as betrayal, murder, lust, power, and egoism. His late romances feature a redemptive plotline with a happy ending and the use of magic and other fantastical elements") If I may describe it, it reads like a JPEG version of a picture with details like freckles on Shakespeare's face airbrushed over. You may argue this make Shakespeare "handsomer", but I don't like it. This sort of writing reminds me more of Britannica Student's Encyclopedia than Britannica proper. Mandel 10:28, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Then may I suggest you work to improve the article. Several of us are working to do that. I agree that the sexuality section is still too long, so cut it back. Add any info that you feel is missing. Per your request, I have created a larger "work" head, with the plays, sonnets and so on as subheads. However, I still say the original article was not very good. For example, here is the complete section on Shakespeare's poetry from the original article (i.e., pre-iago edits):


Shakespeare's other literary works include:

That's it. That all that the original article had on his poetry. In my opinion, that is not acceptable. Anyway, my attitude is to work on an article, not trade insults, so if you see places that are still missing info, please add it in. In addition, if you are irritated with Iago Dali's methods, please take that up with him. My goal is to merely make this the best article it can be. Best,--Alabamaboy 13:12, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Per your concerns, I have cut back the sexuality section (and, as said before, I have crafted a larger works section).--Alabamaboy 13:37, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I cannot add anything to this article without substantially increasing the size, and without being to a large extent duplicates of what you remove to other pages. As for your "cutting back", do you mean restoring? I was obviously incensed at what I see at an substantial cutting down of article size without a community consensus to begin with. Mandel 16:00, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
How about this? I take this article to Featured Articles to ask for advice as to which direction this article ought to go before it can reach featured status. I will also ask them to compare the present and pre-Iago state of the article to see where exactly they think are improvements, and if there is anything to my complaint of the article being overly concise. That way we work towards a common goal. How about it? Mandel 16:48, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
I for one would have no objections to this. All articles should aspire to FA level anyway. The Singing Badger 17:32, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Iago's explanations

Look, I have tried to quorum on articles before, but LOGY is terrible. On the novel entry- if you look on the talk page, there is blatant misinformation, links to 'novels' that are poems, a guy who puts many links to unknown Polish novels that shd be linked to the Polish Wiki, and many other probs. I pleaded to get people to act, and you know what? At the time of my plea- a month or more ago, there were about 50 links to novels, now there are over a 100, many w/o any name value nor influence. I begged to trim, and now that article is nearly twice the 30k pref limit, even though there are many sub-articles the info can be in. Really look, I BEGGED for it ti be changed. Not to mention there are all sorts of phoros that waste space- links to dubious things- a shot of monks from the Decameron- which isn't a novel!

I apologize to those who feel I am sometimes abrupt, but I have tried many times to get action taken, and you know what? I'm ignored, ridiculed, or cursed at! I've argued for NPOV, and also for basic logic, and be ignored. I've argued for readability. I understand that people will disagree- and no, I am not Alabamaboy's puppet, nor vice versa. There are editors I've seen who have similar views: i.e.- to edit means to trim and redact, not merely speculate. Since it was mentioned of my brouhaha at the Pinero piece, the truth is the article is much better than beforehand. I am not a vandal! But the fact is too many editos have their pet theories or heroes, and simply put, I have found that bios of artists and scientists will be my mission for a while. The politics and velebrities others can worry of. This is not hacking. Despite the bitching, even others have said that this entry is better now. Maybe not as good as I think my version was, but better than before I hit it. And that's the point. One day I'll get back to trim the novel section and I'm sure folks will bitch. Could I suggest that some of you good editors actually pick up my plea and do some needed trims? If not, then all your complaints about my edits are merely self-serving, because I have pleaded and been severely dissed. Most of you have prob been here longer, and I make no claims to being a cyber expert, but I know how to edit words, esp. for rigorous magazine requirements. The fact is that someone has to light a fire. I would urge, thoughm that many of these dubious angles- such as Willy's being gay, or Mr X, be put into sep articles and/or add links externally. This is what I do. I have added pro and con links for balance, as well as those with further explanations. I think a sep article or link save space and adds clarity.

If I have not followed some wiki norms I apologize, but long b4 I edited I saw how content boxes in Wiki ansd elsewhere drive away readers. If you look up the online awards for website design you will see that they ALL urge simplicity. In the top contents box, isn't there a way to make just the sections- 4 or 5- register, and then at their tops, to have the subsections start off with content boxes? This would make navigation immensely easier- I say this as a user and reader who gets eyestrain on pc's. Again, this is way beyond me- I edit mosty on paper, and have not the skills--can someone suggest this to whomever? I have tried to contact assorted folks on assorted issues and after 3 or 4 links am lost and rarely get replies.

As for the actual edits, I realize that an online mag or wiki does not have to be as stringent as a real encyclo, but I saw Jimmy Wales on tv state that even he was going to have to get professional editors to compile a print version of Wiki for distribution in the Third Worls in his goal for encyclos for the poor. If he can admit the manifest flaws, then I think he might appreciate my efforts. Besides, no one can deny that most articles-- putting factual accuracy aside (and I rarely engage in factual debates)-- really need copyediting. There are smaller articles that I've added info to, and reordered others, but 95% of my edits are trimming.

That said, these things need to be done, so I have stated my intentions. By all means add things back if needed, but really think about it. Is it rumor? Is it redundant (i.e.- stated elsewhere in the piece)? Is it a piece of trivia- "Shakespeare liked apple pie", etc.? These are- bar none, what i see the most of. And, what is it with photos of gravestones? Ghoulish and superfluous. My intentions are good, but, as I say in the novel plea, too many others ignore and sit on this or that piece of info, and NOTHING gets done? If you want to complain of my edits, please note that there is good reason behind it. Exhibit A is novel. This is an atrocious entry. Capitalize the A!

Again, that's way out on my horizon before I go there, but, if you are gonna chide me, please make sure to take on far more grievous offenders in the other direction. Some of their links to novels state that they are verse or verse novels or biographies. I have also told Alabamaboy, weeks back, that things on short story need to be tightened, as well as an entry for novellas. Many entries also contradict each other. I have yet to start a new page, but I hope that gets started. I simply find it easier to edit old pieces. Anyway, that's my case for why I edited this and Chekhov and others. If the pages were in good shape beforehand I would not bother. That's not a slam, simply a statement. It would be nice if, weeks from now, one of you gentlemen--or ladies--would give that a thorough Slimfasting! ;-) Iago Dali 21:52, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Woops- I meant Slimfast novel. Iago Dali 21:54, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I appreciate you bothering to explain yourself and prove yourself no hacker (no pun intended) and that what you do is for the good of Wikipedia. However, there's a difference between stylistics changes, structure and blatant untruths. Make no mistake, I myself have been exasperated with the amount of wrongly attributed facts in Wikipedia. Go ahead and change those errors, because no amount of discussion will make them facts. These are clear areas where you should be bold. If you think a person is taking personal liberties with the page, you can and should talk to him/her in his/her personal talk page.
Secondly, trimming. This is a very controversial issue. No one likes trimming, especially if it isn't clearly for the better. The guideline of 30K is just a guideline, many articles, including many feature articles, do not follow this size quota. An article is long so long as a person feels it's long, not because of its supposed length. This has a lot to do with how you write the article, not just the length of it. You seem to have the mistaken idea that Wikipedia should benefit 12-year-old students doing their researches and that it should include a minimal of controversy. That is untrue. For 12-year-olds and below, the place they should go to is Simple English version. NPOV means covering facets of the controversy, not deleting them. Personally, I really hate your trimmings which I feel is simply "litening" up the article and is besides really POV (what allow you to decide between something that is included or something that is not included?). To put an analogy, I don't like mp3s, I like the full-blooded version.
Since you are merely 2-months-old into Wikipedia, my advice is you should learn how Wikipedia function before jumping straight into. Not every article will arrive at perfect, rather, being more of an evolutionary process. I daresay Alabamaboy's call for a critical analysis will not materialize, at least not at the present. It takes discipline and knowledge to do such a survey. If your main priority here in Wikipedia is to trim, I urge you to think over. There are many many places where you can bring this up for discussion over at Wikipedia. Mandel 09:58, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, I strongly disagree with the Lite charge. The fact is, and I don't have a running list of all the pieces I've touched- I just go writer to writer, off names on my shelf, or those mentioned in other links or in magazines, etc.- but I have cleaned up numerous bios with dispute and/or clean up tags, then removed them. In fact, I got a Barn star for this very fact, so obviously some admins think I'm doing much needed work. Simply put, there is no reason that the bio of a known historical- and dead-- figure shd be disputed. These guys aren't politicians, nor theorists. In Shakespeare's case--in this entry--it's fine to mention the ideas he was gay or Marlowe, however, they shd be mentioned, with the qualifier that serious scholars find little or no evidence. There shd be a sep page for all the Conspiracy theories. As for being gay, only those unfamiliar with Elizabethan social normns and artistic license wd assert such. Men played female roles in plays. This is akin to thinking Lincoln gay because he bunked with a man, or that incest comes from mothers who bathe opp sex children in sinks. As for Shakes not himself, the Oxfordians are snobs--pure and simple. Their claims are easily debunked, and have been. De Vere was a rhymester. Him as Shakespeare is like believing Ogden Nash wrote Ulysses. Marlowe was a greater writer than de Vere but the styles are diff. Same with the Bacon claims. However, these arguments shd be on a sep page. A paragraph here can cover them.

Also, as for Lite, I'd gladly submit all the edits I've done vs. the prior, and even subsequent editors to Funk & Wagnall's, EnCarta, Brittanica, or any other prof encyclo and I guarantee, although they might quibble with a thing or two, mine wd be preferred overwhelmingly to most articles here. You can say that's Wiki style or form, but it's also bad writing, not user-friendly, and unscholarly. As for 12 year olds, my point re: that was just a bit of hyperbole on my part. What I meant was clarity and simple declarative sentences, with only facts. No disputes are needed if no wacky claims are included. I've seen claims like this: "Novelist X is thought to have retreated to the Continent after his heart was broken by the buxom Miss X, who of course, really loved Poet Y, and he thought that the faithfulness of his companion bulldog Bruno would help. Not uncoincidentally, X started his masterpiece, The Plotzing of Beckenbaum, an incredible three weeks later. This work of genius surely proves the power of pet ownership."

Now, I am barely exaggerating, and if you're honest you know damn well these claims and sentences exist. I will NUKE them. Period. They are Danielle Steel in style, bad Proustian wanabe sentences in form, innuendo and rumor, as well as trivia. I make them: "Novelist X's romance ended with Miss X. He moved to the Continent and wrote The Plotzing of Beckenbaum". These are the far and away bulk of my edits. I will not apologize for them. Period. Entries are not for Creative Writing wannabes.

If Alabamaboy makes it as admin, BTW, I hope the first entry he tags for cleanup is novel. Another point, as an editor. I do not have to prove a negative. I.e.- I do not have to prove the case that Shakespeare was not Marlowe, The reverse is needed. If not met, a simple, "some believe it was Marlowe who wrote Shakespeare's major works, but this is dismissed by most critical scholars". And this guide shd apply outside of this entry as well. As I said, even Wiki's founder admits he would not publish Wiki until he gets professionals to edit it. That's his de facto admission that Wiki policy can only go so far, and there is a harder rigor for scholarship. "Fine," you say, "then Dali, you admit we can be sloppy." No. Pretend this is a fat person on a diet. I am crash dieting the person, and perhaps, because this is online, I take off 20 lbs. too much. It's fine for you to say, "well, to be healthy, we need those 20 lbs. of Internet fat back." Ok, maybe you're right. But don't gain back all 200 lbs!

Much of the resistance comes from--to use an allegory--the Seven Blind Men. Too many editors see only the tusk of an article they added, or the tail, or leg, or ears, or trunk, and that's all they care about- the part they added. Well, I see the elephant, and care about it all. Most do not. Do some editors? Sure. I keep using the novel entry because my memory is not what it was, but there are many others like it. There is a good example of partisanship, poor writing, poor scholarship, pettiness, etc. making that one of the absolute worst articles on Wikipedia. If I can live with that, as I have for weeks, I think you all can live with my edits, then do what you will. But, frankly, again, it's hard to see what's to be worked up over when I have cleaned up articles in DESPERATE need of them. Where is the outrage over abominations like novel? If you saw the elephant there would be. If I sound condescending I apologize, but this is like whining that I jaywalked when on the same block there are pimps, pushers, and a terrorist cabal.

I absolutely agree with your evolution analogy. But, you know what? Think of my trimmings, or any of the others that I've seen from a handful of other editors (some of whom I've gotten compliments from), and who have similarly cleaned up articles and engaged in edit wars, that seem devoted to rigorous editing, as that random mutation, then deal with it in a whole new world. Likely, the adaptation improves the species- entry. Certainly, photos of gravestones or someone's deathbed, mentions of obscure persons, relatives, and irrelevant quotes do not enhance entries. And b4 you complain- YES, making those decisions are exactly what an editor is for. Again, some admins believe I'm doing a good job. If Alabamaboy makes it, I'm sure he'll continue to disagree with some edits, as i do his or yours, but instead of, as one admin wrongly did, banning me, or others from more rigotous editorial backgrounds, why not look at my (or their) edits, say, you know, I think 85% of what he/she did was excellent, and I've gotta add back 15%. Wouldn't you rather do just a small % than the heavy lifting, Again, this "laziness"--sorry, but if it's pejorative, so be it--is why novel is so atrocious! You are clearly on the side of Wiki policies and tradition. I am on the side of your typical reader. I want clarity, factuality, tightly written sentences, and simplicity in navigation. Are these really so anathema to Wiki's goals? I'm willing to clean up the big smelly elephant dung. If I miss or leave a few bird droppings, is that so bad an exchange rate? :-) Iago Dali 12:28, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Final point before I'm hanged in effigy. There must be some list of clean up articles- if so point me to it. I am not a skilled pc user, and Wiki has so many dead ends (MAKE IT EASIER TO NAVIGATE!)- so you note all my edits are textual, practically. That said, b4 I hit this article, it was far worse than some with dispute and clean up tags. That's why I crash dieted it! Iago Dali 12:36, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Voila: Wikipedia:Policies_and_guidelines#Types of guidelines The Singing Badger 13:06, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Voila 2: Wikipedia:Cleanup, which contains tons of article begging to be cleaned up.--Alabamaboy 13:40, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the two links. I'll f/u on Al's list in the future. As for SB's, frankly, I think that only bolsters my edits and their validity and necessity. Again, in front of prof encyclopedians I'm willing to test my edits vs. any others. That said, let me make an observation on what I see as a simple taxonomy of "editor types".

Adders and zealots--these folks relentlessly add trivia, push POV, want to, as in this entry, make sure that Shakespeare's "homosexuality" is front and center, lest Wiki be a haven of "homophobia". They belch pseudo-information, poor style, and relentlessly defend it as if a urine-driven British soccer fan. There are exceptions, and quality editors who just go overboard, in this category; but do not deny they exist.

Pruners and worrywarts--these folks know damn well there are serious probs and do a little nip and tuck, but are either bullied or censured by the first group, give up, and become inactive. Or, they worry so much about offending others that their edits are inconsequential and may even merely make the big problems worse. They are, to use the analogy, the little men that stay silent as tyrants ascend.

Draconians--this is me. We usually end up in Gulags. This is also far less than one percent of editors. I've seen one or two dozen folks like me and I steer clear of their articles because they are usually already embroiled in edit wars, and I like their edits and see I'm not needed. Also, I need a few allies on occasions and even when I disagree it's over something so minor it's not worth it. I am loath to revert and get in edit wars.

The two first groups are the majority, and by sheer numbers their influence is vast, damn near stifling. The Draconians need to be BOLD and precise, to even register. Together, I doubt all of us will ever affect more than 5% of the articles--and I'm being overly optimistic. What I say is that the two editorial superpowers need to understand why we Togos, Andorras, and Dahomeys exist, and that Planet Wikipedia needs us, too.

I say we all have the same goals. Let the Draconians occasionally touch the few articles they can get their hands on, and then maybe--JUST MAYBE--the pruners may have a shot at containing the zealots' excesses. Again, can anyone really say my taxonomy is not accurate (although there may be some minor subcategories)? Iago Dali 14:14, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Iago, like most Wikipedians I'm a busy person and I don't have time to read your very long meandering posts. This is a talk page for the improvements of Wikipedia, not some self-talk page. So, please keep to what ought to be done, because every byte space you waste is accountable through a donation drive. This is a talk page for WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, not IAGO DALI (you have your talk page, you can rumble on there). And because this is an encyclopedia, not some hip-n-funky talk page, I appreciate you use a tone that's understandable and show that you take this project seriously without denigrating the input of others.
Anyway I have difficulty understanding the point of your post. Mandel 15:42, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Editorial Challenge

It's funny, I just got an email from another editor who saw my edits on another piece a week or so ago, and complimented me. Then he/she? came over here and loved my taxonomy, although they called the Draconians Vultures. A good analogy, since they are vital in removing waste and tidying up the ecosystem. They tell me that they tend to stay underground and not contact each other via the talk pages, lest be swooped upon by the zealots. I feel like Dostoevsky or Harriet Tubman now. Viva los Vultures! Let me now turn around the criticism and challenge any of the folk who have posted here- prove you're not mere adders, zealots, pruners, or worrywarts, and go fix that novel page. If not, no complaints when I finally tear through its carcass. Iago Dali 16:20, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Put a Wikipedia:articles needing attention tag on it. Spend time learning how Wikipedia functions instead of wasting valuable byte-space. Mandel 15:52, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Ah, the sound of crickets chirping in autumn! Funny how all the bitching stops when an editor is asked to walk the walk of good editing, and not merely talk the talk of defending their own pet additions. I guess it's easier to cry foul or asperse others' intentions and goals and relationships with other editors than to actually achieve the goals Wiki states- that of good articles, free of speculation and subjectivity. Wait, I think they're chirping Stephen Foster now! Iago Dali 12:25, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I appreciate you stop using POV terms like "bitching" to denigrate other editors. Unlike many people, a lot of useful editors here do have a job, and have a job to stick to to bring in food for the family, and have other life responsibilities rather than to check on Wikipedia every other day. The fact is that you're just trying to start a flame war, and this attitude is terrible. Mandel 15:52, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Critical Analysis needed

This article still need a critical analysis of Shakespeare's plays and poetry. Anyone feel up to doing this? Because critical analysis is essentially the opinions of critics, this section would need to be heavily referenced. I see this section as being different and separate from the one about his reputation. Instead, it would focus on what made his plays and sonnets revolutionary, so that they changed literature in the following centuries.--Alabamaboy 18:35, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I just wanted to let everyone know that the recent changes to the critical analysis section (now renamed style) are great. Thanks to everyone who is helping.--Alabamaboy 18:08, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Attention Template

An attention template was placed on this article by Mandel for what appear to be political reasons (i.e., he disagreed with some of the initial edits to this article by Iago Dali). Maybe I am wrong on this. If so, please let me know. However, since Iago's edits myself and several other dedicated editors have expanded the article in a number of ways and it is a vastly superior to what existed before. While the article still needs work, it does not need this attention template, which implies that the article is deficient in some way. Any comments from others? --Alabamaboy 17:29, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Sheesh, Alabamaboy, please. You were the one who asked for input, not me. Quote: "Anyone feel up to doing this? Because critical analysis is essentially the opinions of critics, this section would need to be heavily referenced.". I'm putting a tag in so that people can respond to your plea. If you feel it's that "political", then you shouldn't complain about the quality of the article and solicit for help above. Talk about assuming good faith. Do you really not know the difference between an attention and cleanup tag? Mandel 19:58, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
I do know the difference. However, I feel the article does not need the tag. Essentially, the template is to draw attention to neglected articles. This article is anything but neglected and has a ton of fine editors working on it. Haven't you noticed the tremendous amount of work myself and other editors have put into the article lately? For example, the critical analysis section you mention is now the style section after a number of editors worked on it together and it morphed into more of a style critique. IMHO, the article is vastly better now than it was. It still needs work but then all Wikipedia articles are works in progress. Anyway, if you have any ways to improve the article then please pitch in. The template, though, distracts from the already high quality of the article.--Alabamaboy 21:25, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
The template is not just to draw attention to "neglected" articles, but all articles that can benefit from "expert" attention, editors with knowledge about the subject. Shakespeare will certainly benefit from expert attention. I already mentioned I don't have the expertise to pitch in to contribute to the article. Articles of this sort need MA or PhD-quality editors to do it justice; they also need the editors to do a lot of reading and referencing. Even if you are a MA or PhD-holder, you will need help. "Already high quality", "vastly better" is your POV. Mandel 22:14, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
The more editors the better, in my opinion. Experts are always welcomed. However, I don't see the template doing this. I still oppose putting the template at the top of the article. If you want to attract the attention you desire, then nominate the article for the Wikipedia:Article Improvement Drive. If people agree that the article needs serious help, then people will come in droves to improve it.--Alabamaboy 01:23, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Are you saying that all attention templates on articles are useless? Yes? Mandel 02:47, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

No. But in this case, I disagree that the article needs that much improvement. Some improvement, yes. The new template you placed at the top of this page is perfect and should do the job.--Alabamaboy 14:13, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

The attention template doesn't say that it needs much improvement; it merely states it needs expert help. I suggest you are the one who is really removing the template for political reason. As for the peer review, we'll see how helpful it is. Mandel 14:33, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
I have been very polite during this discussion. However, your critique, that this article needs some "experts" implies that those of us editing it already are not experts. This is completely wrong. A number of the editors working on this article are experts in this subject. If others want to join in, that's great too. I find it funny how you continually complain about this article but then do not make any edits to it.--Alabamaboy 14:49, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
I don't think you have been at all polite. You accusing me of being political without reason is both rude and offensive. I have a right to be angry and I think I'm owed an apology. As for experts, clearly I do not consider you and Singing Badger "experts" on the subject (no offense, I'm Singing Badger will agree to this, my gauge of an "expert" is much higher) - but that is clearly a matter of POV and there's no such thing as a right and wrong belief. Removing a template without first recoursing to talk page is another rude gesture. I will not, and cannot, contribute to an article that I have no sufficient expertise in. As for complaints, I'm just being honest and direct. Whether I'm merely being a pain in the arse, or because I want the highest possible standards for a writer who's perhaps the greatest in Western literature, you judge. Mandel 15:15, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

I find it interesting that you say you have "no sufficient expertise" in this subject yet continually complain about the state of the article. In addition, I disagree that Singing Badger and the others don't bring expertise to this article. Wikipedia is not set up to be edited only by "experts"--what matters most is providing accurate, useful, and encyclopedic information. Anyway, I prefer to edit articles rather than engage in never-ending debates on a subject, so this will be my last post in this discussion. Thanks for posting the template on this talk page and I hope it brings some useful suggestions and editors. --Alabamaboy 16:09, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I would like to point out that despite my foolish user name I am an expert, with all the academic qualifications that Mandel requested. I'm not working as hard on this article as I would like to, but I'm striving to keep it accurate and factual with tweaks and corrections. Although the article certainly needs proper referencing, I can assure you all that it's looking good in terms of accuracy. The Singing Badger 16:23, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
No offense, the template is simply there to draw more people like you. Although Alabamaboy claims "more is better", he certainly doesn't sound like he believe it. Mandel 16:41, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
More people like you? For what it's worth, Mandel, I'm an expert in literature and have the academic credentials you seem to crave. I don't get nearly enough time to edit articles on Wikipedia b/c this is merely a hobby I enjoy (my primary responsibilities are to my own professional writing and academic job, which pays the bills). Like I said, I'm glad you set up the Wikipedia:Peer review/William Shakespeare. I've also had fun editing this article with The Singing Badger and the others and am not surprised that he is an expert in this subject (it shows in his edits). Let's keep this discussion on focus to improve the article.--Alabamaboy 17:16, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
More people like you, meaning The Singing Badger, if you can read, thank you. Rest assure nobody's attacking your holy academic credentials. Whether or not you are a trained professor of literature, the template is certainly of use in Wikipedia, unless you think the template draws in third or fourth-grade editors that you don't want. Mandel 17:41, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

MOS and Julian/Gregorian dates

Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(dates_and_numbers) uses Shakespeare's death as an example of the period in which the use of Julian or Gregorian dates is ambiguous:

Other dates are ambiguous. Your options for this period are:

  • Give the dates in the Julian calendar only. This means that the dates will match the dates in the primary sources for that period. If you do this you should indicate that the dates are in the Julian calendar.
  • Convert the dates to the Gregorian calendar. This means that events in different countries can be correlated.
  • Give dates in both calendars, for example, William Shakespeare died on 1616-04-23 (Old Style)/1616-05-03 (New Style).

I see you have chosen the first option, which probably makes sense considering England didn't adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752. However, shouldn't it be made explicit in the article that these are Julian dates, as recommended in the MOS above?

Perhaps a simple disclaimer reading:

All dates before 1752 are in the Julian calendar.

Is this accurate?

--Dforest 14:57, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm not convinced that we should make this distinction. First off, this isn't done on every other article with dates going back more than a few hundred years (in short, we should be consistent). Second, this notation will confuse more people than it helps. If someone is interested in this they can look up the article on the Gregorian calendar. Otherwise, I think we should stick with the dates as they currently are --Alabamaboy 17:56, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
I think we should show both Julian and Gregorian where relevant, which certainly applies to Shakespeare. The fact that England did not come to the party till 1752 does not alter the fact that the Gregorian calendar had been introduced into other countries by Shakespeare's time. "23 April 1616" in reference to Shakespeare's death is an entirely different date than "23 April 1616" in relation to something that happened in France, Spain or other countries that had already converted by then (eg. see the discussion on Cervantes). It looks like we're comparing apples with apples, but we're actually comparing apples with oranges. The argument "this isn't done on every other article with dates going back more than a few hundred years (in short, we should be consistent)" is an argument for being consistently ambiguous or consistently misleading. If we simply state a date, with no reference to any calendar, how would the general reader know there is any issue? They would not go to the article on the Gregorian calendar because there would be nothing to suggest they should do so. In biographies of Russian people born before 1917 (going right back to 1582), we show both OS and NS dates, and nobody seems to be confused. Why are we making a different rule for English people born before 1752? The NS calendar is routinely ignored by the British in historical works that refer to dates prior to 1752, which I have always thought was wrong. It's as if the NS calendar didn't even exist until 1752. Surely it's our job to educate people about these sorts of important facts, not just perpetuate mediocre conventions and not risk upsetting the historical boat. JackofOz 22:27, 14 November 2005 (UTC)


What does this mean: From section on style "placed a greater emphasis on poetic dialogue but placed lengthy speecifying over physical stage action." Please clarify.

See if it's better now. The Singing Badger 13:59, 7 December 2005 (UTC)