Talk:William Shakespeare/Archive 4

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Just a query, but wasn't Shakespeare born and didn't he die on the same day years later? Thanks Walters1 22:43, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

No one knows his birthdate. Only his baptismal date. The same day thing is just something made up out of whole cloth. - Nunh-huh 23:15, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

The text quotes a baptism date (26th April) and assumes that the baptism happened within 3 days of birth. I (rather sadly) have spent 6 years in genealogy research and found numerous examples of baptisms much later than 3 days (there are a lot baptised weeks, months, and, in the case of 4 ancestors, years after their birth). Perhaps WS wasn't even 18 when he married (who knows). Anyway, the point here is that the caption under the photo states his birth has being in April. I would say that this is the MOST probable month of birth but I would be unconfortable in stating it as a fact. In my records I normally state the birth as being somewhere in the 3 months leading up to the baptism (unless the baptism register states otherwise), and on charts or photos I use 'circa' a lot. Perhaps 'Circa April....' would be better. IS this accuracy or pedantry - I'll let you decide.--WBluejohn 18:22, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

The only book I have with any major biographical info on Shakespeare points out that

Shakespeare died on the 23rd (which is also the feast of Saint George, England's patron saint); this makes April 23rd so tempting a birthdate as to be suspicious. See Norrie Epstein's The Friendly Shakespeare.  — AnnaKucsma   (Talk to me!) 17:49, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Major edit

I'm attempting a major edit. This article is pretty bad because of wastrel words and numerous inaccuracies. It's also very ambiguous, eg. bisexual not gay; baptism dates etc. The 'style' section over-credits him; his contemporaries, not just him alone, were the co-revolutionisers. The 'religion' section contradicts itself etc.

References are missing - the honour of burial in the chancel not on account of his fame as a playwright but for purchasing a share of the tithe of the church for £440 needs one. Grouping his plays chonologically becomes a stylistic grouping. I am not at all convinced Shakespeare wrote his own epitaph.

I'm no scholar, but hasn't anyone read a standard biography. Mandel 17:52, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

"Wastrel" words? Over-credits? No-one is "convinced" that Shakespeare wrote his own epitaph. Your comments are odd. Be careful about making extensive alterations, or they are likely to be reverted. Better stick with specific changes. Paul B 18:28, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Well I've had a quick look. Of course improvements can always be made, but I don't see much evidence to support your specific complaints. The style section clearly acknowledges that S was the greatest figure in a changing period, and acknowledges his predecessors. I don't know what you mean by "bisexual not gay", but surely if either term is to be used, the former is preferable for obvious reasons (getting his girlfriend pregnant; dark lady). The religion section des not contradict itself, it presents contrary opinions. Yes a citation for the burial statement would be desirable, but are you disputing it? However, I agree that we don't know whether or not he composed his epitaph. Paul B 18:39, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Major edit, not rewrite. I rewrote very few parts of it and am prudent. My rewrite is this, The epitaph on his tombstone reads:. Wastrel refers to terms like allegedly, supposedly, etc. concerning things like his residence; S's obviously did stay at these places, or there will not be property evidence of his stay. I retain controversy.
John Shakespeare was also listed as one who did not attend church services, but this was "for feare of processe for Debtte", according to the commissioners, not because he was a recusant.[25] Then again, avoiding creditors may have merely been a convenient pretext for a recusant's avoidance of the established church's services. This is contradictory, but is resolvable. Mandel 18:49, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
The word is "weasel" not "wastrel". Where there is unceratinty it is not "weasely" to say so, and terms like allegedly and supposedly are appropriate in such circumstances. There is no contradiction. "Then again" is a phrase meaning the same as "on the other hand" or "an alternative explanation might be..." etc Paul B 18:55, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I mean, semantically, weasel and 'wastrel word' - a word that loafs there not doing anything. 'Allegedly' is appropriate when there is uncertainty - eg his sexuality or religion, not when there is none. not on account of his fame as a playwright but for purchasing a share of the tithe of the church for £440 is the part which needs reference and proof. I think it is better to argue after you see my edits than on account of what you imagine them to be. Mandel 19:18, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I've added two references on the tithe and burial issue. I also agree with others that your concerns about weasel and wastrel words are not specific and, as others said, "Where there is unceratinty it is not "weasely" to say so, and terms like allegedly and supposedly are appropriate in such circumstances."--Alabamaboy 20:58, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

The specifics can come after the edit. By the way, there ought to be a Wikiproject on this one author, if only because he wrote like, say, 38 pretty OK plays that a mountain of books have been written about. Mandel 16:59, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm interested in the references. Could you quote? Mandel 17:23, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
They're in the article.--Alabamaboy 19:59, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
This "major edit" seems to have faded away. Paul B 20:37, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
See below. :) Sorry, I was busy and interest in Wikipedia is entirely voluntary and non-profit. ;) Mandel 16:26, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Authorship section

In the authorship speculation section, shouldn't a new paragraph start when it says "Christopher Marlowe" ? It seems to me like the two theories shouldn't be lumped together like that, plus it sounds abrupt. Coppelia 03:48, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, you are rig. I fixed it.Smatprt 06:17, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

In regard to the open sentences

I sincerely think the article should be more candid in its opening lines. At least a qualification on the "the world's preeminent dramatist" is in order. Especially so since citations given for this assertion are not particularly well suited to back up this claim.

Indeed the citations given are more careful in this assertion. I would suggest you either use a phrase like "by some as the world's most.." or "the English speaking world's most preeminent dramatist". Otherwise it tends to give an impression of "the best dramatist", which I think is not only very simplified, but also somewhat unworthy of an otherwise very good article.

As has been stated before on this talk page, you would be correct if these statements were being applied to any other writer and dramatist. However, that is the actual critical consensus on Shakespeare. And you are not correct that the citations are more careful in this assertion. The Britannica citation specifically states that he is "considered by many to be the greatest dramatist of all time." The Columbia cite states "He is widely considered the greatest playwright who ever lived." MSN Encarta says "recognized in much of the world as the greatest of all dramatists."
All of those cites support this article's statement that he is widely regarded (notice we also use that term) "as the world's preeminent dramatist." How can you state that they don't back that up (we even gave three citations to back up the statement)? However, all of this is, to one degree, irrelevant. The overwhelming consensus on this page has been to keep this exact statement. Since this statement is supported both by the references and by consensus, it should stay as it is.--Alabamaboy 14:51, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
    • I agree with Alabamaboy. Widely regarded by simply terrible grammer. Widely regarded by many would be more accurate - but still horrible grammer and repetitive (Widely, many). In regards the citations, I think "widely regarded" is the same as "considered by many" and "widely considered". I also think "widely regarded" correctly implies what the majority of the world thinks and certainly has gained consensus with a number if wiki editors that typically don't agree on much! I think it should stay as it is. Smatprt 15:43, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

"Shall I Die" poem

Is the evidence for the "Shall I Die" poem not consistant enough to warrant mention on Shakespeare's article? Since it's allegedly the most recent work of Shakespeare discovered in hundreds of years, it might be worth mentioning. Granted, the arguments of wheather it's an actual Shakespeare work is debated, but it appears significant enough that a television show I'm watching right now is covering the issue the story. - Throw 10:46, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Protect this page please!

Shouldn't this page be better protected? The amount of vandalism is ridiculous! Smatprt 19:35, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Actually, I think the page already IS semi-protected (that's what the lock icon means). We have seen worse periods of vandalism on this page. I'm pleased to see User:DjNockles has already been banned. AndyJones 21:53, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the page is still protected.--Alabamaboy 23:28, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Influences and Influenced

I would appreciate if anyone can correct my addition of the Influences and influences section in the infobox. Exiledone 21:16, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Looks ok to me, unless you wanted to sort them. What about Petrarch? Was Holinshed an influence or a source? --Old Moonraker 21:24, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Influenced by James and Elizabeth? source?

User:Smatprt removed Elizabeth I and James I from "influences" table, asking the question influenced by James and Elizabeth? source? afterwards.

My problem was stylistic – putting references into a table — rather than the sources themselves. Notwithstanding they're out, perhaps we could still give them a bit of appraisal. It's easy to cite Macbeth as written under James's patronage (at that time WS was virtually a liveried member of the royal household) to cater to his interest in witchcraft and "sceptre-carrying" lineage from Banquo (eg Peter Ackroyd's bio p 416): the only question is, would this count as "influence" in the normal line of thinking? If yes, where do you want the citation? 'Henry viii in particular (but, according to Ackroyd again, all of the history plays) specifically glorifies the infant Elizabeth herself. Again, if this amounts to writing influenced by royal patronage, how to frame the citation?

Skimming through Ackroyd, I noticed I'd missed Lyly, who also needs to go in. --Old Moonraker 14:52, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Replying (again) to an edit summary by User:Smatprt asking questions about the "influences" list in the info box: My (unsourced!) feeling is that this article has one because it's standard for pages dealing with other authors and playwrights. Perhaps it's a useful starting point for a common form of school essay or similar. As it's here, however, we should try to make it useful. This wouldn't (answering my own question about Holinshed above) include WS's sources; I think it's literary influences we're talking about here. This would mean, possibly, removing Plutarch (history) but keeping the mystical love poet Ovid. Applied strictly, this would also answer my question about James and Elizabeth, whose writings as opposed to their patronage and political influence (think of all the paeans to the "hedge" of divinity protecting monarchs) do not seem to have been influential. (I'm excluding James's witchcraft writings!) Whatever the outcome, the suggestion above that unsourced entries in the list should be struck out without discussion seems a bit arbitrary.
Other editors' views welcome! --Old Moonraker 07:50, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I think it isn't productive (or practical) to extend "influence" beyond specifically literary/artistic influence. Even James's writings on witchcraft are a stretch to include, as Macbeth is marked by James's interest in the topic, not by his specific writings. I also agree that it's important to differentiate between sources (Holinshed, Plutarch, North, etc.) and influences, although, admittedly, the line is sometimes blurry, as with Chaucer, perhaps. Brandon Christopher 23:09, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
    • thanks for the discussion on this. I would not want to be arbirary - I think that we need to define what we are talking about by "influenced by" and "influenced". It seems that the list of "influenced" could reach into the thousands. Same with "influenced by". Are we talking about writings? patronage? personalities? Maybe someone could define both "influences" and "sources" so we can all be talking abnout the same thing? Literary influences like Plutarch, but not the actual person Caesar? Or the other way around?Smatprt 00:11, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
For me, an influence is someone whose stylistic effect can be felt in his work -- Marlowe, for instance. A source is someone whose work Shakespeare mined for his own plots/characters. I think an argument could be made for Chaucer to fit in both categories, and maybe for Plutarch/North. The line is awfully fuzzy, though.Brandon Christopher 02:23, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
    • A couple of other questions - isn't the first half of this table repetitive with facts in the opening paragraphs and elsewhere? It's a long article and getting longer, so I question the need. Also, the first list seems repetitive as well (with information already in the article). Regarding the two lists - don't you think they are going to get rather long, especially the list of authors that WS has influenced. Aren't we talking hundreds if not thousands of writers (not to mention musicians and painters)? I don't know - this new table seems either duplicative or unmanagable, depending on how you look at it. Has anyone thought of creating a new page on the "influenced" subject and then providing a shorter summary on this page? Regardless what is done, sources are going to need to be cited - also problematic in a list like this. Any other editors want to chime in on this?Smatprt 06:38, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

This is a discussion which should take place at Template_talk:Infobox_Writer since this formated style of box is used on thousands of pages. Trying to make this change in one article's box, without making the change required across all boxes, seems the wrong way to go.--Alabamaboy 20:06, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

We touched briefly above on the presence or need for an infobox, but the point of the discussion at present is its content, specifically by whom influenced and whom influencing, and not its form. Moving the discussion elsewhere would be needlessly inconvenient.
User:Smatprt mentions the difficulty in citing in an infobox, but presumably we could take direction from the thousands of others in use. It wouldn't necessarily help with the size, though, given WS's influence being arguably wider than any other playwright.
Are we anywhere near to a consensus yet? --Old Moonraker 21:44, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we are. Surely so many notable writers and artists have been heavily influenced by Shakespeare, that it's unrealistic to list them in an infobox AndyJones 12:53, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
    • While I did mention the issue of citing in the infobox, this was not my chief concern (other than cites must be used if info is challenged). My chief concern was the sheer volume of those who "influenced" and were "influenced by" WS. AndyJones sums it up nicely above. For what it's worth, I don't think the box is needed - the birth/death info is already in para. 1 and much of the rest of the table info is already in the article, or could be added easily. My vote is to lose the infobox completely.Smatprt 14:21, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I personally don't like the info boxes and feel they clutter up the articles. That said, many people do like them and so far consensus on Wikipedia is to use them.--Alabamaboy 17:55, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Elizabeth so liked the character of Falstaff, that she actually asked Shakespeare to write another play with him in it. So came about The Merry Wives of Windsor, which was performed at court. I think this counts as influence by any normal meaning of the word. TharkunColl 18:14, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
In the context of literature or music, an "influence" is an artist whose work predates the work in question, and positively influences its style. Liz1 isn't an influence. AndyJones 08:09, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Whatever the outcome, User:AndyJones has helped me decide about sources and influences: in this context it's artistic influence, not source material or the pleasing of patrons that counts. --Old Moonraker 08:20, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
    • Too bad that Merry Wives story is merely "tradition" - or good marketing.
    • I think that WS, as the extraordinary character he was, deserves extraordinary measures in how he is represented on Wikipedia. The info box, which I'm sure works very well for most authors, I think does a disservice to the magnitude of WS. The consensus on Wiki is to use them in general, yes, but as with all things WS, I don't think that consensus applies to this page.Smatprt 18:23, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I disagree. As I've said, you are wanting to apply standards to this infobox which all the other infoboxes are not being asked to adhere to. Go to Template_talk:Infobox_Writer and gain consensus to either remove the influences section or to have it be referenced. Until then, I believe the infobox should stay here (and I say that as one who doesn't like the dang things). --Alabamaboy 19:01, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
"Lose the info box altogether": support, while tentatively commending the suggestion of a new page for "influence" and "influencing", as above. The box format, which probably works well enough for playwrights of less consequence, cannot cope with WS. --Old Moonraker 19:07, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
If someone is prepared to do the actual work, I'd support separate sourced articles for influences and influenced, with wikilinks to those from the infobox. If not I wouldn't support removing the infobox altogether. However I'd strongly support removing the influences and influenced fields from it. AndyJones 08:17, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Further to the discussion above, I see from Template:Infobox Writer that influences and infulenced are NOT required fields. I propose just keeping the box, but without those parameters (although maybe we could add some others). It looks fine (see here). Does anyone object to me making that change? AndyJones 19:51, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

I think what AndyJones proposes is a good compromise....although I still dislike those little repetitive boxes!Smatprt 18:10, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

OK, have tried that. AndyJones 12:22, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Peer review

I was alarmed to read this in the peer review: "Watch the long sentences. Most American's read at a 6th grade level, your writing style is at the 12th grade level." I hope this is not the consensus. 16:33, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

There's a long discussion about this here. No consensus, though! --Old Moonraker 16:54, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
In this case, I don't find the requisite reading level too high. I am not a specialist and I don't find any of the content difficult. The prose can be made more elegant, but simplifying it is tantamount to dumbing it down. Long sentences are not difficult as long as they are warranted and well-structured. RedRabbit1983 15:09, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree and I'd discount that statement about reading levels.--Alabamaboy 16:48, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Maybe the reviewer confused this with the Simple English Wikipedia? Anrie 19:54, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
If you can read Shakespeare this article is peanuts. Mandel 22:24, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Shakespeare Wikiproject

I've proposed a Shakespeare Wikiproject to deal with Shakespeare articles. Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Shakespeare I've considered that it might be better as a task force under Wikipedia:WikiProject Elizabethan theatre though I think a project could easily stand on its own. Curtangel 03:22, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Excellent! Good work. RedRabbit1983 06:46, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Full support.Mandel 16:26, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Support and look forward to being involved.--Alabamaboy 14:02, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Edit 2

The "major edit" is up, tentatively, at User talk:Mandel/Shakespeareedit. Actually, I'm not even sure it constitutes a 'major edit', so little has been changed. I was busy, and the work is still in progress. Please let me know if the edits are uncontroversial enough; I've mainly done structuring and ironed out the flow, making it more accurate as I can see, and removing over-speculative bits. As I worked on an earlier version, this edit may not incorporate the latest text changes. Please let me know here if you suggest anything. I propose moving some parts to a new article, eg. Shakespeare's religion, but the edited version retains a summary. Mandel 15:45, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Bear with me as I get links in and bugs out, ASAP.Mandel 15:49, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Up. Please note it is still very much a work in progress, and any suggestions are welcomed. I'll try to justify edits and removals if I have time. Also, if anyone do think it's so terrible as to be pointless, I'll cease working on it. :) Mandel 16:26, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

My critique is below. Overall, you've made a number of excellent edits and changes. However, I couldn't support this version unless the following changes were made:

  1. Add "and as the world's preeminent dramatist." back into the lead. That is the general consensus on Shakespeare and the current article provides multiple references to the statement.
Thanks for the comments. At present there's no hurry to work my edit in. Let me justify the edits.
Actually, to be honest, this statement was inserted by me aeons ago (you can check out in history section). I'm not having second thoughts but I thought it better moved to the "Works" section and with ample explanation. In the lead it's a very big claim that goes unjustified. Mandel 22:05, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the statement in the lead has three citations backing it up.--Alabamaboy 19:02, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Citations do not justify such an opinion unless they cite quantitative surveys. Explanations do, and the lead doesn't have space for a more detailed explanation. Mandel 16:51, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Er, literary studies are, by their nature, not open to quantitative surveys. I'm going to raise this in a separate section to see what the consensus on this point it. Best, --Alabamaboy 00:23, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
  1. In the lead, fold "authorship of the works attributed to him" into the last sentence of the lead "Many speculations about Shakespeare's life, including his sexuality and religious affiliation, continue to be under constant ongoing debates by scholars." My reason for this is that as it currently reads makes it sound like this is a source of major academic debate, with lots of evidence to support the issue. However, this is a minority view and should be ranked along with debates about his sexuality and religious affiliation. (Note: I should add that this is a problem with the current article and didn't originate with your revision).
It's problematic, I admit. I'll rethink and reword this. Mandel 22:05, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
  1. Reinsert into lead something about his style along the lines of "He is counted among the few playwrights who have excelled in both tragedy and comedy; his plays combine popular appeal with complex characterisation, and poetic grandeur with philosophical depth."
Ditto above; I thought it better moved to the "Works" section and with ample explanation. In the lead it's a very big claim that goes unjustified. Mandel 22:05, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
  1. Remove statement: "No autobiographical writings of Shakespeare have been discovered. Like most of his contemporaries, his biographical details and evidences are sketchy, backed by brief anecdotal recollections by friends, and legal and property documents recording his movements and financial dealings in adult life.' …-------" That has no place in any article. WP doesn't do disclaimers.
It's not a disclaimer but a very unhappy introduction which tries to explain why there are so much speculation on Shakespeare, and that Wikipedia sticks to a factual basis. Poorly worded but it is at least truthful, and may sound pro-Oxfordian (I'm Stratfordian), but I welcome rewording. It's true, unlike Jonson, S never make any comments about his life - which was why he is so elusive. Mandel 22:05, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Then we'll need a good citation on this. The irony is that we actually know more about Shakespeare's life than most of his contemporary poets and playwrights (except for perhaps Ben Jonson b/c Jonson was a massive self-promoter. --Alabamaboy 19:02, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  1. In fact, almost all the statements you insert throughout the article, such as "It is clear from this reference that Shakespeare was working concurrently an actor and a playwright," are POV and should be removed. There is nothing wrong with debunking rumor or false ideas (such as in the current article, where mention is made of the tales about Shakespeare poaching deer and so on--after giving these stories comes the REFERENCED sentence "However, there is no direct evidence to support these stories and they all appear to have begun circulating after Shakespeare's death.") but you have added in so many of these statements that you appear to be trying to push a POV with the article. As a side note, your statement of "some" in the deer poaching statement is not correct. All these stories appeared after his death, as the reference states.
It's not POV. Read carefully: Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde. So my statement "it is clear from this reference that Shakespeare was working concurrently an actor and a playwright" is factual, not POV.
Phrases like "It is clear..." are what sound POV to me. Sounds like you're trying to convince people of this fact instead of just presenting the info.--Alabamaboy 19:02, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I think it is fairly NPOV, but I welcome rewording. There's no question what Greene means though, and it remains a fact. Mandel 16:41, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Some is not POV too. While these statements are made after his death, biographers and academics don't generally have a consensus on their truthfulness. In Shakespeare Revealed, by Prof René Weis - the latest biography - Weis thinks the deer-poaching story could be factual. I think Katherine Duncan-Jones think he might have been a butcher. Some biographers think Aubrey is right, and he did know some of Shakespeare's friends. So it's not POV (seriously, I don't have a stand on this). Like anything unverifiable either way, some is much safer than all. Mandel 22:05, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Actually I added very little. I could justify them if you could pinpoint where my POV is. Mandel 22:32, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
  1. Oppose removing info from bio sections. Don't see the need for this.
Actually I don't remove info unless there's a problem with POV or accuracy. Mandel 22:05, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Let me double check this. I thought you'd removed info from the bio section. If not, then ignore this comment.--Alabamaboy 19:02, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  1. Your edits from the section "His Works" down are (including the "Influence and Style" and "Speculations about Shakespeare" sections) excellent and I support all the changes. The only catch is that these changes need reliable citations for us to make them.
Yes, hope someone could help out. References should be easy to find. Mandel 22:05, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I hope this helps. Thanks for all the work you're making on this article. --Alabamaboy 14:27, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

    • Yes, I can see you are working hard and have made some well chosen grammatical clean-ups. However, I too have some worries that your new statements (as cited by Alabamaboy) appear to be pushing a POV. Alabamaboy has hit on a number of them. I suggest instead of making a wholesale rewrite with edits spread over numerous sections that you post your edits one section at a time, so editors knowledgable about those sections can respond without searching thru your an entire rewrite. Otherwise you are bound to see a mass revert.
    • I do disagree with Alabamaboy regarding his proposed movement of the authorship statement. As it stands now, it not only acknowledges the ongoing Shakespeare Authorship debate (which I believe is larger than Alabamaboy believes), but it also covers orthodox debate over plays such as Pericles, Timon, Titus, etc. and other plays that even Orthodox scholars argue over how much of them Shakespeare wrote.Smatprt 15:40, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Hi again. I just re-reviewd your proposed edits to the Authorship section and find that all the proposed edits are POV. I would not support any of those changes. Also, as this is a summary of a very complex topic, I would be very careful of adding anything that is already covered on the main authorship page.

Actually, no. They reflect Stratfordian views and so balances the Section, pushing toward NPOV. Anti-Stratfordian views are not rejected or censored. It states clearly why mainstream academia rejects them and why mot most scholars are unconvinced. I cut some redundancy and verbosity simply because the section is too long, and there's a separate article on them. Mandel 22:05, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for all your hard work on many of the Shakespeare pages.Smatprt 15:49, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

After looking at the authorship section a second time, I must agree with Smatprt that they are also POV. Because I'm not a support of these authorship claims, they didn't ring any bells at first. But Smatprt is right, they are POV. That said, the authorship section in the currect article is also flawed b/c it doesn't state that these authorship doubts are not currently the general view of scholars. We should fix that.--Alabamaboy 19:58, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
    • Yes, i have just attempted a fix that should satisfy both sides of the debate.Smatprt 20:58, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Neatly done. Will it stick in this form?--Old Moonraker 21:04, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Excellent work. I support Smatprt's change.--Alabamaboy 01:08, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

The Case for Cervantes

Carlos Fuentes raised an intriguing possibility in his book Myself With Others: Selected Essays (1988) noting that, "Cervantes leaves open the pages of a book where the reader knows himself to be written and it is said that he dies on the same date, though not on the same day, as William Shakespeare. It is further stated that perhaps both were the same man. Cervantes's debts and battles and prisons were fictions that permitted him to disguise himself as Shakespeare and write his plays in England, while the comedian Will Shaksper, the man with a thousand faces, the Elizabethan Lon Chaney, wrote Don Quixote in Spain. This disparity between the real days and the fictitious date of a common death spared world enough and time for Cervantes's ghost to fly to London in time to die once more in Shakespeare's body. But perhaps they are not really the same person, since in the calendars in England and Spain have never been the same, in 1616 or in 1987." Out of all of the potential candidates, Cervantes' life spans that of Shakespeare's. Indeed, he is the only candidate to have died in the same year as Shakespeare. Miguel de Cervantes would have had the experience and the knowledge of Italy and other geographic areas that appear in Shakespeare's plays. Furthermore, the story of The Taming of the Shrew predates Shakespeare's play and originated in Spain. Likewise, the story of Romeo and Juliet originated in Italy, also predating Shakespeare's play. Cervantes' candidacy rests in large part on his knowledge and, equally so, on his extensive travels. One other intriguing piece of evidence, that may shed some light on the authorial connection between Cervantes and Shakespeare lies in the pages of Don Quixote itself. The name Cid Hamete Benengeli (that of the author or translator of the story according to Cervantes) can be translated as Lord Hamlet, of England. It is also worth noting, that one of Shakespeare's lost plays, Cardenio, was based upon the stories of Cervantes' great novel, Don Quixote.

The Spanish word berenjena means eggplant. I realize this. The suggestion that has been made by certain scholars is that one can translate Benengeli as Ben (which would mean son) and engeli(which could mean England). Cid or Cide does in fact mean Lord. And Hamete is one letter away from the name Hamlet. I am simply putting forward what other scholars, in particular Francis Carr. Francis Carr is a proponent that Francis Bacon was the author of Shakespeare's plays, and that he also authored Cervantes' Don Quixote. My opinion is that Miguel de Cervantes took the pen-name William Shakespeare. I do not subscribe to Carr's belief that Bacon was both men. However, I direct you to the following char Carr compiled with textual similarities: The English translation of Don Quixote has many more textual similarities with Shakespeare's plays than either do with works written by Bacon. This does much to explain the substantial amount of gaps that appear in Carr's chart between Cervantes and Bacon and between Shakespeare and Bacon.

Carr's own assertion is that: "It is brought to our attention that the name of the" real author" of Don Quixote de La Mancha is Cid Hamet Benengeli, an Arab historian. This is completely fictitious, no author by that name ever existed. Not only does the author put forth this name as the real author but it's mentioned thirty-three times. Why should someone keep on repeating and repeating a name if he does not want you to take that name seriously? It's a very odd name, Cid Hamet Benengeli. Cid translates as Lord, Hamet - Hamlet, Benengeli--ben means son, engeli can mean of England. So we get Lord Hamlet, son of England--Francis Bacon." ( User: Lad2000

Carlos Fuentes was speculating without any evidence. Until I see another scholar embrace this idea, I say leave it out. The most this theory deserves is a mention in Shakespearean authorship question, not here in the main article.--Alabamaboy 01:10, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I've always assumed that Hamete was version of the name Ahmed. "Ben Engeli" could be ibn something or of somewhere. Paul B 15:48, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Consensus on authorship section

There appears to be debate over the Authorship section. The current section (as seen in Smatprt's edits at [1]) is essentially the consensus version we've had for a number of months (with the exception of a statement that Smatprt inserted with the support of myself and other editors, which says that "it is well accepted in academic circles that Shakespeare's plays were written by William Shakespeare and not another author."). However, since two editors have questioned having this much info on the authorship debate, we should see if consensus exists to keep the section as is or change it. The change would be to Nunh-huh's version at [2].

Personally, I believe we should keep the original version. While I don't believe in these theories, they do have some academic support and should be mentioned here.--Alabamaboy 14:45, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I much prefer the shorter version. I admit that's partly due to an aversion to "alternative author" theories; I think too much space gives too much credibility to these ideas in what is the main Shakespeare article. But I also think that the details are covered in the existing alternative author article, which even has its own sub-articles on Oxford and Bacon. Paul B 15:38, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I prefer the shorter version also, in an article of this length. WP:NPOV requires that we don't give undue weight to fringe theories. All of this material is covered in considerable detail, just one click away. AndyJones 17:25, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Alabamaboy that enough academic support exists to keep the version that we have been developing. We seem to be working together reasonably well and have our hands full with the vandals so I am loath to repeat all the same arguments all over again. Unless something new has developed in the last few months, I question the need for further discussion.Smatprt 19:08, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

There's no "academic support", which is why the section is so notably devoid of any citations evidencing it. You appear to have confused "self-deluded nut jobs" with "academics". The short version is the only one which does not privilege this fringe POV thorough undue emphasis, and therefore the only one consistent with our NPOV policy, and the only one which does not mislead the reader by suggesting that this is in any sense disputed by anyone they need take seriously. - Nunh-huh 19:26, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I suppose I support the shorter version. Much more than a paragraph in this article gives undue weight to the authorship issue, which already has (at least) five articles all to itself:

A single paragraph summarising Shakespearean authorship question, with links to the other articles, ought to be enough on this. — mholland (talk) 20:54, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I would also agree with having a shorter section, not necessarily because it has no scholarly support, but because it is covered very well in other articles. A paragraph and sub-article link would be plenty, I think. Having gone over a lot of the shakespeare project articles over the past few days, I've noticed a lot of similar overlap between Shakespeare article, which seems unnecessary, though the information may be important. Wrad 21:14, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

The name calling by Nunh-huh should really be condemned on this page and wherever it appears. "Self-deluded nut jobs" should be apologized for. "no academic support" for the authorship issue is grossly incorrect, as everyone else on the page seems to acknowledge, even reluctantly. The previous discussions on this included editors from all sides. Right now we are certainly hearing from the Stratfordian editors. I would like to hear from the Baconian and Marlovian editors, unless the standard Stratfordian bullying tactics have chased them off. In support of their positions, most of which I personally disagree with, I strongly oppose shortening the already very short paragraphs that each major candidate has been alotted.Smatprt 22:59, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

No, there's not academic support, and you have evinced no references to academic journals that might indicate that there is. This is not about "sides", it's about not misrepresenting facts by suggesting they are disputed by someone significant. They aren't, and it's wrong and misleading for our article to suggest they are. "Self-deluded nut jobs" is an apt description of those who initially "found" the "codes" that "prove" that Shakespeare "wasn't" the author, and an apology is neither necessary or forthcoming. - Nunh-huh 23:53, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Looks like we have a pretty strong consensus for the shorter version. Somebody please restore that version (I don't want to, as I'd prefer not to because I want this to be clear consensus of multiple editors). Here is the edit to show what it looked like: DreamGuy 23:22, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

First we should discount Nunh-huh's behaviour, and therefore his opinion. Next - I see no concensus. I see two editors (on either side of the issue) proposing no change. I see several clearly Stratfordian editors advocating for a super quick "concensus" among themselves that coincides with their POV. The structure in place was built, by consensus, with input from all sides of the issue. Please review those earlier discussions to verify lack of concensus for any further changes.Smatprt 00:29, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

First we should discount Nunh-huh's behaviour, and therefore his opinion. Uhhhhh. No. that's not how things work. So if somebody came by here and said that only nutjobs believe Shakespeare really wrote his plays then we should discount his opinion just because he said something other people didn't think was polite? So one bad comment means nothing anybody says has any merit, and anyone agrees with him must also be ignored? Nonsense. And on top of that, just because he has strong opinions it doesn't mean the edits he is proposing end up slanting the article. He's not suggesting the article say that all those people are nutjobs, and nobody else is either. DreamGuy 01:39, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

You are correct, or course. The occasional outburst should be forgiven. I, like many of us, have been guilty in the past and probably will be in the future. I guess I got used to the civility that has been, for the most part, achieved on these pages. The "nut-job" reference got to me and then the ongoing denial just fed me more. But, realisticly, in the middle of a decent group conversation, when someone drops in just to call names and spout sheer nonsense ("no" academic support), it immediately shoots down their own validity. At least in my eyes.Smatprt 02:24, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Also - to directly quote WP:NPOV: "For instance, that Shakespeare is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest playwrights of the English language is a bit of knowledge that one should learn from an encyclopedia. However, in the interests of neutrality, one should also learn that a number of reputable scholars argue that there are strong cases being made that the author of much of the work still attributed to Shakespeare was one of his contemporaries, such as the Earl of Oxford or Christopher Marlowe. Notice that determining how some artist or work has been received publicly or critically might require research — but once determined, a clear statement of that reception (unlike an idiosyncratic opinion by a Wikipedia article writer) is an opinion that really matters." I'm still looking for the section where WIKI condones calling fellow editors "Self-deluded nut jobs". Where is that exactly? Smatprt 00:29, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

It's probably right next to the section where it condones misrepresenting fellow editors' statements. - Nunh-huh 00:34, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
P.S.S. Unless someone comes up with some names of those "number of reputable scholars", the NPOV page will have to come up with a better example. - Nunh-huh 00:36, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Most recently, Professor Daniel Wright & Dr. Roger Strittmater have both made valuable contributions to the field. By the way, I'm not sure how old the books are that Nunh-huh is reading, but the leading anti-candidate (Oxford) relys on no "codes" - in fact I think only the Bacon theory even references them. Thankfully, the NOPV editors can do simple research on researchers. Also - simply look at the numerous wiki citations that support the Oxfordian candidacy. They reference scores of scholars and researchers - none of which rely on secret codes!Smatprt 00:51, 24 April 2007 (UTC) Glad to Nunh-huh attempt to restate his offensive statement. If no offense to anti-strats was intended, then none should be taken.Smatprt 00:51, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

You're the only one here commenting on a fellow editor. - Nunh-huh 01:10, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I believe we should keep this discussion open for a few more days. At this point, though, consensus seems to be to go with the short version. I'm going to insert that version for now. If consensus changes, we can revert to the original version. Best, --Alabamaboy 01:00, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Copied this over from the other discussion as it pertains... I'm with Smatprt on this. We can't ignore these opinions. Sure, it's a mainstream idea that Shakespeare was the author, but other notables have thought otherwise. This is something everyone talks about, in colleges all over the country, and even if the theories are wrong, we can say why (or why they are thought to be wrong. It may be a relatively agreed-upon issue, but it isn't a "settled" issue by any means. As long is it has clear citations in it (which I believe can be found) the authorship question holds a firm place in wikipedia, and doesn't violate NPOV. Wrad 00:47, 24 April 2007 (UTC)Smatprt 01:31, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I'd be hesitant to bring over someone's comments to this discussion without that editor doing it himself. The discussions on the two article's talk pages differ. This discussion is about whether or not to include more or less info on this subject in the main article. The other discussion is about NPOV and other concerns with the authorship article. --Alabamaboy 01:41, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
That comment doesn't apply here anyway... How on earth can anyone be suggesting that having a whole big article on the topic, and apparently with other offshoot articles (unless those got redirected at some point), is "ignoring the opinions"? Ignoring them would be erasing the article completely and not mentioning at all. Ignoring them would be to have an article saying that they are nutjobs. Pointing out what they say, but included much-needed context that it is no way a widely accepted opinion by Shakespeare scholars is NOT ignoring them. Sheesh. DreamGuy 01:44, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Wrad has already quite clearly stated (on this very page) that he favors the short version. Let's let him speak for himself instead of applying his comments on one subject to another entirely. - Nunh-huh 01:48, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I think these two discussions overlap, but you are right and I should probably not have moved anything. I do, however, question this rush to "consensus". This discussion has not reached a consensus (except among strats) and has not even included those most likely to oppose this edit. This "vote" feels stacked. Smatprt 01:48, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

If you feel that strongly about it, we can leave the discussion open for a few more days. Is everyone ok with that? --Alabamaboy 01:53, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
    • Thank you. I do feel strongly that we should leave it as is until we get additional input (if any). I would appreciate that courtesy.Smatprt 02:16, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Nunh-huh is right: the Anti-Strafordian nonsense is given undue weight. The subject already has separate pages, and we shouldn't muddle the general reader with poorly supported conspiracies. RedRabbit1983 02:57, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps the editors of this page would be interested in considering the results of a poll conducted by The New York Times, as referenced in the "Education Life" section of the paper on April 22, 2007. (Here is the article, and here are the survey results.) Of the 265 Shakespeare professors surveyed, 17 percent are either on the fence (11%) or agreed with the statement that "there is good reason to question that William Shakespeare of Stratford was the principal author of the plays and poems in the canon." It also bears noting that, as The Times's article points out, "Next fall Brunel University, one of England’s plate-glass universities of the 1960s, will offer what is thought to be the first graduate program in Shakespeare authorship studies."

In other words, there is of course no denying that the "anti-Stratfordian" position on the Shakespeare authorship issue is a minority viewpoint in the academy today. But 17 percent of Shakespeare professors plus a bona fide graduate program dedicated to this subfield of Shakespeare studies certainly moves the authorship question out of the fringes, wouldn't you say? --Verkinto 03:01, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Well put. Of course.-- 03:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Anyone inclined to take the NYT story seriously needs to check out the thread "Are you now or have you ever been..." at Shaksper. AndyJones 20:11, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

It is well known that Hardy Cook, the coordinator of the Shaksper listserve, has banned all discussion of authorship except by those with whom he happens to agree. His own McCarthyite tactics are a regretable example of the tendency of academcians to adopt a herd mentality whenever they encounter facts they find uncomfortable.-- 03:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Two more comments - one for, one against. As I keep saying, there is no consensus here and no amount of bullying will make it so.Smatprt 03:21, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I think I just need to clarify my statements. I agree with Smatprt on the "Authorship question" article discussion. Since that is the main article for this topic, I think it should cover all aspects. However, since this is the Shakespeare article, I think that a briefer version is fine, with a link to the other main article on the question. I don't think it's an issue of whether a position is authoritative or not, as much as whether it is needed in the article. Those who are totally against any representation of alternative authors on wikipedia, I think, are overshooting a bit. I would support letting this debate settle a little bit, in the mean time, so we can cool our heads and let others come in. Smatprt and I have some experience with this :) . Wrad 04:13, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

It shpuld be noted that the "Dr. Roger Strittmater" referred to in Smatprt's comment is not an established academic but an ideologically committed Oxfordian who signed up for a PhD with the express intention of proving that the so-called "Oxford's bible" was evidence of links to Shakespeare. The PhD consists of lists of verbal connections and commentaries. Its acceptance was quite controversial at the the time. Professor Daniel Wright is rather more important. The circumstances and content of the NYT questionnaire are so obscure that its findings are vitually unintelligable.Paul B 09:08, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

It should be noted that Paul Barlow's knowledge of Dr. Stritmatter is about as reliable and informative as his summary of Dr. Marcus'comments on the first folio or his spelling of names. Dr. Stritmatter, an Assistant Professor of Humanities and Literary Studies at Coppin State University, holds an MA in Anthropology from the New School for Social Research and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachussets at Amherst. He has published articles in Notes and Queries (Oxford University Press), Review of English Studies (Oxford University Press), The Tennessee Law Review, and The Shakespeare Yearbook (forthcoming), a leading quarterly journal of Shakespearean studies. What are your qualifications, or what is your evidence (which is not the same thing as "prejudgement," or argument by definition), for stating that Dr. Stritmatter is "not an established academic"? This list of publications sounds pretty established to me. Nor does his dissertation "consist of lists of verbal connections and commentaries,"whatever that is supposed to mean. It is a detailed examination of the markings and marginal notations in the copy of the De Vere Geneva Bible owned by the Folger Shakespeare library, arguing the thesis that these markings constitute an independent confirmation of the hypothesis propsed by Looney, Ogburn, and many others. Nor did he, as you state, "sign up (sic) for a Phd with the express intention of proving that the so-called 'Oxford's Bible'was evidence of links to Shakespeare." He could not have done this, because he had already been a PhD student in his program -- to which he applied and was accepted in a competitive application process -- for almost two years before ever laying eyes on the document in question, and had in fact proposed to write a dissertation of the anonymous Elizabethan History Play, Richard II, Part 1, before he undertook to write about Oxford's bible. Please, Paul, confine your remarks to subjects on which you actually know something and refrain from these invidious statements about persons about whom you know next to nothing. -- 03:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

      • If PaulB and Nunh-huh are really backing the "no academics" statement, then please explain the following official "doubters":Smatprt 04:58, 25 April 2007 (UTC)


Mrs. Bonner M Cutting, M.F.A. Independent Researcher

Richard G Kurman, M.A. Art Historian, Educator


Frederick Kuri, M.S. Lecturer, USC and UCLA; advisor, Division of Career and Continuing Education, Los Angeles Unified School District.

English Literature:

Brian R Bechtold, M.A. Shakespeare & British literature Instructor Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell, Montana

Dr. Patrick J Buckridge, Ph.D. Professor of English, Griffith University, Australia

Dr. Michael Delahoyde, Ph.D. Clinical Associate Professor of English, Washington State University

Ren Draya, Ph.D. Professor of British and American Literature, Blackburn College, Carlinville, Illinois

Warren T Hope, Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor of English, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

Dr. Raymond Thom Hunter, Ph.D. Independent Researcher

Dr. William Leahy, Ph.D. Professor of English, Brunel University, Uxbridge, U.K.

Dr. Joseph E Riehl, Ph.D.

Joe Riehl, Ph.D.: Professor of English, University of Louisiana

William R Warner, Ph.D.

Daniel L Wright, Ph.D. Director, The Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre, Concordia University, Portland, Oregon


Dr. William Rubinstein, Ph.D. Professor of History, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, U.K


Thomas Regnier, J.D. Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law Library Science

Mr. John B Wood, M.L.S. Librarian Emeritus (Cal. State Univ., Los Angeles)


Mr. Gary B Goldstein, M.A. Editor and Publisher, The Elizabethan Review (1993-2001)


Richard D Mabry, Ph.D.

Prof. Sam C Saunders, Ph.D. Prof. Emer. Mathematics, Washington State University

Prof. Matthew Fair Wyneken, Ph.D. Grand Valley State University & University of Michigan-Flint


Paul H Altrocchi, M.D. former Prof. of Neurology, Stanford Medical School

Dr. Richard N Joyrich, M.D. Clinical Assistant Professor of Radiology, Wayne State University

Dr. Frank M Kline, M.D. Frank Kline: Professor Emeritus USC. Who's Who in the World

Natural Sciences:

Martin Hyatt, Ph.D. Biologist, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Donald F Nelson, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physics


Dean Keith Simonton, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Psychology, University of California at Davis; Sir Francis Galton Award for the Study of Creativity, 1996.

Social Sciences: Robin Fox University Professor of Social Theory, Rutgers University, see

Theatre Arts:

Joe Legate, M.F.A. Production Manager/Program Director

Kristin Linklater Professor of Theater Arts, Columbia University School of the Arts; Guggenheim Fellow, 1983; author of "Freeing Shakespeare's Voice"

Felicia Londré, Ph.D. Curators’ Professor of Theatre, University of Missouri-Kansas City Smatprt 04:58, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

It's a largely meaningless list, most of whom are not specialists in the field. Being an academic in 'Management Studies', 'Biology' or any other non-Elizabethan field of research has no relevance to expertise in Shakespeare studies, and some of these titles are clearly virtually meaningless. A "visiting assistant professor" is basically someone who does a few part time lectures now and again. What is a "clinical associate professor"? Clinical? It seems to be a job title used in Nursing [3] and yet this person is listed as a literature professional. Paul B 07:12, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Well I don't knw why he has the weird title of "Clinical associate professor" but he does appear to teach English, but is clearly a bit of an oddball judging by his webpages [4] Paul B 07:23, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Why does the word "odball" make me immediately think of weasels?-- 03:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

We have to accept that there is a hierarchy of experise here. The real experts are specialists in Elizabethan history and literature. Generic Eng Lit lecturers are of less worth as supporters, and well also have to take into account their positions in the scholarly hierarchy (job titles and status of institution). Excluding all the non-Eng Lit people, whose qualifications are irrelevant, we have a list of 11 names, one of which appears to be the same person mentioned twice (Dr. Joseph E Riehl, Ph.D.; Joe Riehl, Ph.D.). Of course in reality - if you include anyone who lectures anywhere ("community colleges" etc) and even part time lecturers - there must be hundreds of thousands of people in the English-speaking world who could be eligable for a list such as this. How many of these are specialists in the Elizabethan period? Patrick Buckridge appears, according to his CV to be a specialist in Australian literature [5]. He appears to have published one essay of Marsden. Michael Delahoyde appears to be a professional maverick. Ren Drya works in a community college and does not appear to be Renaissance specialist, but rather a drama teacher. Warren T Hope is a part time lecturer at "The University of Sciences", which does not suggest a strong Eng Lit relevance. Raymond Thom Hunter has no affiliation, and I can find no evidence of any publications (that may just be because of the way the name is written). William Leahy is a genuine writer on Renaissance topics [6]. His website says he is "very interested in projects dealing with Shakespeare and Authorship in some way", which does not make his position very clear. Joseph E Riehl appears to specialise in the 19th century writer Charles Lamb. So apart from Wright, there appears to be only one person on this list who can be said to be specialist in the area, and that is Leahy, whose own position remains unclear. Elsewhere he describes himself as an "agnostic". Paul B 11:46, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I think the debate will never end. But more on the page itself. My feeling is that this short version will inevitably re-swell in size after some time. Give them some meat and satisfy them at least. Mandel 16:45, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we have to accept anything like this. One can just as easily argue that the specialists are those who have been indoctrinated into the traditional paradigm and are therefore, from a critical perspective, the least likely to understand the possibilities and implications of the proposed alternative. If you ask William Leahy, whose credentials you apparently do accept, he will tell you that this is exactly what has gone on. If, moreover, you study the history of contested ideas you will find that it is very often the case that established scholars resist innovations that are perceived to threaten their expertise or presumptions. Moreover, there are a number of established specialists whose names are not yet on the list, who like Leahy have either questioned the traditional view of authorship, or are even outright Oxfordians. And there are some whose credentials you are mistaken about. These include:

Dr. David Richardson, a retired Spenser specialist from Cleveland State University and editor of the Spenser Encyclopedia (not an Oxfordian but, like Leahy, very supportive of the debate);

Dr. Jack Shuttleworth, retired chair of the English Department of the U.S. Air Force Academy, author of several books on early modern literature and a committed Oxfordian;

Dr. Felicia Londre, if you take a look at her resume, is a very distinguished theatrical historian who has written several (perhaps dozens) of books, including editing a collection of essays on Love's Labour's Lost ( published, if I am not mistaken, by Routledge and Kegan Paul;

Dr. Ren Draya at Blackburn college, already a signatory, is a trained and tenured Renaissance scholar holding a PhD; her credentials are every bit as respectable as Leahy's and unlike him she happens to be an Oxfordian;

Kristin Linklater, who teaches acting and diction at Columbia University, has had books on theatrical voice coaching translated into Russian and is the author of an acclaimed book, Freeing Shakespeare's Voice, which prominently features her conviction that Oxford was the real author of the canon. I respectfully suggest to those in this discussion who persist in the dogma that the authorship question is not real, that you are going to be very disappointed by what happens next, because this list is only going to grow as time goes on. I hope that as it does, and as the available evidence becomes more accessible, we are all alert to the implications for keeping this page current, accurate, and informative.-- 03:18, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

    • I think I detect a double standard in Paul B's comments above. If the "real experts" are defined as only specialists in eliz hist and lit, then why is Paul B citing art experts in his discussion over the Droeshout portrait. I accept this use of Art experts in this circumstance, just as I accept the opinions of Law experts as it pertains to Shakespeare and the Law and Theatre experts when it comes to Shakespeare and the Theatre. But PaulB and those editors who agree with him on the "no academic support" can't have it both ways. If the only scholars who count are Eliz hist. and lit. specialists, then why, Paul, are you bringing in other academics to support your arguments?Smatprt 17:56, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Also - if the only scholarly consensus is really only among Eliz his. and lit. specialists, then shouldn't we clairfy that in the opening paragraph (and elsewhere) instead of the more weasally term "academics" ?Smatprt 17:56, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Now you are not making sense. The portrait is a work of art innit? The arguments about the picture are purely art historical, but art historians are not experts on Shakespeare authorship. The points I am making about the picture are simply that art historians don't see anthing strange about it, not that they use it to prove Shakespeare was Shakespeare. Experts on Shakespeare and the law would be people who have published in peer reviewed journals on the subject, presumably they would specialise in Tudor/Jacobean law. Again, though, that's not in itself an authorship issue. Paul B 22:06, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Has sufficient time passed to return to the concise version here? - Nunh-huh 21:42, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes it has, for my money. AndyJones 17:03, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

This conversation is going on in at least three locations now. Based on the numerous comments on those pages, I find no consensus and agree with Alabamaboy's opening statement (and reasons cited) that the original "consensus" version is preferable. Smatprt 17:25, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

No, this conversation is taking place on the talk page of the article concerned, and on this page only. The only question to be addressed is whether the short or long version is to be preferred, and it seems the short one (the one inserted at least once by Alabamaboy, though later removed by Smatprt) is the one which most—indeed, nearly all—prefer. - Nunh-huh 17:40, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Nunh-huh is correct. As I've said before, this discussion is only about whether the long or short section on authorship questions is included in this main article. This discussion is totally separate from the other discussions on other pages. I agree that sufficient time has passed for consensus on this issue, which is to go with the short version here.--Alabamaboy 23:30, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh dear, I thought we were there: Nunh-huh inserts a short, well-balanced and nicely readable version, seemingly in accord with the consensus. It didn't last the morning (sorry, I'm using UTC). Please don't start this all again! --Old Moonraker 08:50, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

As stated above by Alabamaboy - "The change would be to Nunh-huh's version at [7]." However this was not the change that was made. User Nunh-huh cleverly deleted the reference regarding the Oxford Theory still growing in popularity, which is the only theory that can make this claim and acknowledges Oxford's clear frontrunner status amond the anti-strats. I am changing it back to this short "concensus" version.Smatprt 14:24, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Your change restored links previously deleted. The place for detailed discussion about the popular "debate" about Shakespeare's authorship is in the subarticles, not here. - Nunh-huh 14:33, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

391st Anniversary

As an aficionado of the immortal Bard, the Swan of Stratford-upon-Avon, I commend to all the commemoration of the 391st anniversary of the decease of the greatest dramatist of the English language! April 23, 1616-April 23, 2007--Drboisclair 15:46, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Ya know, i'm quite sure he died and was born on the same day,April 23. Someone should change that.-- 23:20, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
No one knows when he was born. The article gives the date of his baptism. AndyJones 21:15, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

The Bard is probably the Bard and that's it

Although I have been a proponent of the Cervantes theory, I readily admit that The Bard is probably (and most likely) just that, The Bard. Not Marlowe, Not Oxford, Not Nelville, and certainly not Sir Francis Bacon.

However, I do want to say that we need to discuss the subject of the authorial crisis, and that all ideas (however ridiculous or far-fetched they may be) need to be respected Ladb2000

Why does it not surprise me that someone who would support the mucking up of these pages with nonsense about Cervantes is actually a dedicated proponent of the traditional view of the bard. The two positions have a great deal in common.--BenJonson 21:41, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Why is discussion of the author in crisis? The discussion of the moon landing is not in crisis, even though some dispute it. The majority of scholars accept that William Shakespeare is in fact William Shakespeare. The alternative viewpoints ignore the strong connection between William Shakespeare the man and his works: acknowledgement by his contempories, official attribution, and so on. Instead, they attempt explain these away with bizarre conspiracies, and rely on circumstantial evidence and coincidences to build their case, and then attempt to consolidate it by adding speculation. It is considered impossible that William Shakespeare could have gained sufficient education, yet some of England's eminent men of letters did not receive a university education.
We can respect those ideas, but we don't need to include them all. RedRabbit1983 16:28, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Because the authorship question is real, unlike the "dispute" over the moon landings. Indeed, your comparison is completely "out of left field" and indicates a failure to grasp the nature of the special biographical problems presented by Shakespeare. These have been noted by many outstanding orthodox scholars, for example the late Dr. Samuel Schoenbaum, who revised his 1991 edition of Shakespeare's Lives, after reading Ogburn's The Mysterious William Shakespeare (1984), by adding this intriguing admission: "it is tempting to despair of ever bridging the vertiginous expanse between the sublimity of the subject and the mundane inconsequence of the documentary life" (Schoenbaum 1991 568). Pay attention to that quote. It gives the answer to your question. Those who have followed the case closely go on from there and find abundant evidence that the real author was de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. That is why 17% of Shakespearean professors, who by definition are going to be the most conservative of any group in their views of this topic, believe there is considerable (8%) or at least some (11%) reason to doubt the traditional account of authorship. Can you find numbers like that about the moon landing? I didn't think so.--BenJonson 21:47, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Actually, those poll numbers are pretty much what you'd expect: there's about 10% "noise" in such polls. 10% of people will believe anything. A 1999 Gallup poll found 89% of the population believed the moon landing was "real", leaving 11% thinking it might be faked. - Nunh-huh 23:06, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
In addition, the evidence for an alternative author is circumstantial. The main evidence for William Shakespeare is not: the folios and quartos name Shakespeare; documentary evidence, too, names him. If this were in fact fraud, some conspiracy must have produced it; enduring lies about the authorship of very famous plays require an extroadinary situation. If circumstantial evidence is required, look at Shakespeare's situation: he was an actor and shareholder of his company; he was in a good position to author plays that his company performed in. The double-lives of the supposed authors require a stretch of the imagination; so too do the conspiracies and analyses that prove alternative authorship. That some of the candidates had travelled to Italy and were learned, for instance, means very little. If Shakespeare's contempories knew about the silly controversy that would play out, they would have left more evidence for us, and the alternative candidates might have signed an affidavit swearing they weren't the authors. A general article on Shakespeare ought to dicuss the question, but not to turn it into an essay and to overstate its importance. RedRabbit1983 11:01, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

World's preeminent dramatist?

In another discussion section, the point was raised that the article's lead should not have the statement that Shakespeare is the "world's preeminent dramatist." While I'd avoid such a statement with any other writer, in this case that's the actual critical assessment. To back up this statement, that phrase has three solid references: Encyclopaedia Britannica article on Shakespeare, MSN Encarta Encyclopedia article on Shakespeare, Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia article on Shakespeare. I believe this phrase should remain in the lead b/c its critical to an understanding of Shakespeare's place in the world. What's the consensus on this?--Alabamaboy 00:31, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

It should be in. Paul B 00:56, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
I'd say it's better moved down below, with ample explanations and quotes. It seems strange though that Wikipedia touts Britannica as a rival, then quotes from her, like she's some primary source.
Or reword it so it links well with the lead - at present it looks very cluttery. Mandel 12:23, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Leave it as preeminent. That is what people know him. Crazy to change that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Leave it as it is. I don't see any problem with the flow of the sentence. I recall we "negotiated" those opening sentences at great length. AndyJones 16:59, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, leave it as preeminent. Smatprt 17:20, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

"What was cleverly inserted instead"

Thanks for assuming bad faith in your edit summary, Smatprt. Are you really going to put up a separate fight to retain the ugly and illogical use of "term" on each of the involved pages? After there was 100% support for my rewrite at Shakespearean authorship question,[8], I was hoping you'd have the grace to let it go when I inserted the same changes here. May I ask what exactly it is you suspect me of? My changes at Shakespearean authorship question were intended as neutral stylistic improvements; everybody else thought that's what they were; but you keep implying I have some evil agenda (and therefore keep reverting me). What is that agenda, exactly? Can't we try to assume that we're all trying to improve William Shakespeare and it's subarticles? Bishonen | talk 15:16, 29 April 2007 (UTC).

The phrase, "particulary in the Oxfordian theory" was cleverly changed to delete Oxfords position as frontrunner among the anti-strats. Soemthing like "popular interest in the subject remians" was insterted instead. That is why I see bad faith. sure - lost "term" if it bothers you here. That is not the issue. Smatprt 15:27, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

If it bothers me? Well, yeah. I'm kind of disappointed to encounter this kind of behaviour at a page like this. Try reading what you revert before going into automatic mode. Since you've violated the WP:3RR despite being warned on your own Talk, I expect you'll get some time off to reconsider your editing practices. Bishonen | talk 15:41, 29 April 2007 (UTC).

you avoided my question very nicely.Smatprt 02:23, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Your sarcasm is charming. I "avoid" the question because it's nothing to do with me. Why don't you check the history to see who actually removed the Oxfordian theory? Since you make such a point of it, I expect they'd tell you why, if asked directly and in person. Bishonen | talk 04:51, 2 May 2007 (UTC).

Bishonen - I beleive you supported the concensus that included the Oxford status, as well as participated in the revert war over that particular deletion. I thought you would be prepared to defend the edit.Smatprt 05:26, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

You asked what was inserted that was not agreed to by consensus. I answered and neither you or anyone else has answered that charge. I am fine with the various issues "term", "Hyphen", "Pen-name" - however I have not seen any discussion regarding this edit: "particulary in the Oxfordian theory", which is an entirely different discussion than those that had to do with your original edits. Please explain why this additional edit is being made.Smatprt 17:34, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Exactly what part of "don't revert five times" don't you understand? - Nunh-huh 18:01, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

you also avoided my question.Smatprt 02:23, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Since no one has answered my question about why the above additional deletion has been made - without any discussion or consensus building - I will assume that there is no reasonable or defensible answer and will reinsert and adjust wording for the following: "particulary in the Oxfordian theory". This acknowledgement of Oxford's frontrunner status was part of the consensus on the lead paragraph of the Shakespeare Authorship Question that was built (and that included at least one anti-strat) by Bishonen. I have no issue bringing in the other edits that were discussed from that page to this one, but the information on both pages should at least match.Smatprt 02:23, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Bad assumption. There's no reason to discuss the merits of any particular "alternative" theory in this article. And once again, discussions on other articles have no bearing here. - Nunh-huh 04:35, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Nunh-huh - this is what you said last week: (no, alabama's wrong. This is a more than adequate summary for a non-question.) "Around one hundred and fifty years after Shakespeare's death in 1616, doubts began to be expressed by some researchers about the authorship of the plays and poetry attributed to him. The terms Shakespearean authorship, and the Shakespeare Authorship Question normally refer to the debates inspired by these researchers, who consider the works to have been written by another playwright, or group of playwrights, using either William Shakespeare, or the hyphenated "Shake-speare", as a pen-name. While many candidates for alternative authorship have been proposed, including Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Edward de Vere (Earl of Oxford), it is well accepted in academic circles that Shakespeare's plays were written by William Shakespeare and not another author. In spite of this, popular interest in the subject, particularly in the Oxfordian theory, continues to grow." You defended this edit as the concensus, including the last line acknowledging Oxford's status. Please read your own words and explain your change. Has this become personal with you or are you just pretending not understand my question. Why the deletion when the deleted segment was part of the consensus?Smatprt 05:23, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

This is the version Dreamguy reverted to on April 23: "Around one hundred and fifty years after Shakespeare's death in 1616, doubts began to be expressed by some researchers about the authorship of the plays and poetry attributed to him. The terms Shakespearean authorship, and the Shakespeare Authorship Question normally refer to the debates inspired by these researchers, who consider the works to have been written by another playwright, or group of playwrights, using either William Shakespeare, or the hyphenated "Shake-speare", as a pen-name. While many candidates for alternative authorship have been proposed, including Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Edward de Vere (Earl of Oxford). It is well accepted in academic circles that Shakespeare's plays were written by William Shakespeare and not another author. In spite of this, popular interest in the subject, particularly in the Oxfordian theory, continues to grow." Note the Oxfordian reference in the final lineSmatprt 05:53, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Do try to focus on improving the article rather than trying to score debating points. This article is not the place to discuss the merits of the various "authorship" theories, and you seem to be the only one who wants the "Oxfordian" link. And stop placing more than one link to the authorship manual in the article. It gets one link, not multiple links, per the manual of style. - Nunh-huh 06:53, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Sir: Who died and elected you God? You write that "This article is not the place to discuss the merits of the various "authorship" theories". Yes it is. That's what the article is about. It is undoubtedly the case that the full merits of a case as cumulative and effective as that adumbrated by Looney (1920), Ogburn (1984, 1991), Fowler (1986), Stritmatter (2001), and Anderson (2005), not to mention hundreds of articulate and impressive articles in several publications and numerous other full length books, cannot adequetly by summarized here. That is what makes your attempt to remove the Oxfordian link particularly disengenous and offensive. Several contributors to this page, who have all been working on the page longer than you, and all of whom seem to understand more about the subject than you do, oppose your plan. Speaking for my own part, I -- who have readily agreed to many compromises by sincere and thoughtful Stratfordians on this page -- will simply continue reinserting the link should you presume to remove it. You have not achieved consensus on this removal, and you have attempted to falsify the record of discussion by claiming that only Smtprt is against your proposed change. This does not inspire confidence in your either your sincerity or your self-confidence. And it won't work.--BenJonson 23:45, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Try to be civil. God is not an elected position. The place to discuss the various "authorship" theories is in the article on them, which is linked to here. And false accusations and hyperbole about the "strength" of Looney should guide those who will assess your ability to weigh evidence in a neutral way. - Nunh-huh 23:49, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

It is appropriate that this page continue to include a direct link to the Oxfordian position. As Encyclopedia Brittannica and other authoritative works attest, the Oxfordian theory is, next to the traditional view of authorship, by far and away the most robust and credible of any of the alternatives. There is a problem of civility on all sides of this controversy. I apologize if my remarks were intemperate. However, many worse comments have been made, directed against Oxfordians and other doubters, by defenders of the traditional view, on these forums.-- 02:43, 4 May 2007 (UTC) [Ben]

Paul B - I honestly feel that I am trying to make it better, by making up for the damage (my personal feeling) that I believe certain overzealous and meanspritied Stratfordians are doing throughout the Wikipedia website. I would ask you the same thing. Since you feel that the authorship issue is so insignificant, why are you spending so much time on it?

Serious question - Have you checked the article for other duplicate links adn MOS issues? Or are you only interested in deleting anything Oxfordian.?

You are incorrect by the way. I am pretty certain that BenJonson voted for the consensus that included the Oxford reference.Smatprt 13:47, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Also, please stop stating what I know and what I do not know. Isn't that presumtious? I actually had not read the Wiki article on Sonnet 145 or Shakes sexuality. Besides, it does not matter. If you want to add Shakes puns into the article, would it be okay to list the various Vere puns? (not that I want to, as I feel puns are off point and completely speculative.Smatprt

Smatprt, do you think you could retain a modicum of relevance to debates on actual pages in your responses. The pun is not and -I think - never has been referred to on this page. It is referred to on the Authorship page, so don't add comments here about it here. And the alleged "POV deletions" I am supposed to have made here have nothing whatever to do with me. Your comment is rather rich since you have just deleted material on the Authorship page simply because it contradicts your POV. It is not, BTW, presumptuous. You know it because you have already been informed of the fact in the past. Paul B 14:04, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

External links

I think that they should be cleared of his works (except a few) and focus more on his life in this article. Right now there are tons of links for his works, and only a few for his life. Links to his works would do better on Shakespeare's complete works page. Wrad 02:45, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Thought it would be good to include an external link to The Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project. It also has a wiki entry that could be linked to.

The Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project (CASP) is the first research project of its kind anywhere in the world devoted to the systematic exploration and documentation of the ways in which Shakespeare has been adapted into a national, multicultural theatrical practice. On this site you will find a wealth of learning, teaching, and research resources related to how Shakespeare has been adapted into (and out of) Canadian theatre.--Canadianshakespeares 17:31, 31 May 2007 (UTC).

Internal links

Nunh-huh is completely misquoting the MOS, saying it prohibits the same link appearing more than once in an article. His recent edit is, in fact, against the MOS that recommends linking in opening paragraphs, as well as elsewhere in the article - just not in the same line or paragraph. Specifically:

"These links should be included where it is most likely that a reader would want to follow them elsewhere; for example, in article introductions, the beginnings of new sections, table cells, and image captions. Generally, where it is likely that a reader may wish to read about another topic, the reader should not have to hunt for a link elsewhere in the page.


"A link for any single term is excessively repeated in the same article, as in the example of overlinking which follows: "Excessive" is more than once for the same term, in a line or a paragraph, because in this case one or more duplicate links will almost certainly then appear needlessly on the viewer's screen.

Misquoting the MOS to conduct continued pOV harrassment is surely unacceptable. Eventually some neutral editors are going to become aware of these antics. Smatprt 00:49, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I haven't misquoted; rather, you have misinterpreted. The MOS doesn't mean all links need to be in the introduction: that's ridiculous. The place the reader is MOST LIKELY to look for a link to the authorship "question" is in the section devoted to that question, and not in the introduction. - Nunh-huh 01:59, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Please make up your mind. You quoted MOS as having a 1 per article limit. You were clearly mistaken.Now you are rephrasing, and still clearly wrong. You see, as a catagorie that has its own subhead and is listed in the contents, it clearly qualifies for first paragraph usage. Just like "sexuality" - which is linked just previous for the same exact reasons.Smatprt 02:13, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Fine, wait and see if others agree with your analogy. - Nunh-huh 02:20, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
And yet you don't wait. - Nunh-huh 03:33, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

If you seriously think that every time I want to make an edit that I am going to discuss it at talk, you are mistaken. When you misquote the MOS and then expect me to run MOS edits by you whenever I want to make a style edit, you are also mistaken. I am not going to argue with you about whether the links for "he wrote ..."plays"... and... "sonnets" should go to definitions of plays and or sonnets or to the article's "Shakespeare's Plays" and "Shakespeare's Sonnets." It's called linking in context and is not controversial. If you believe that it is a controversial edit, as opposed to an obvious one, then we are going to disagree on alot more than just the authorship. And playing a tag team revert war is your choice. BTW, I see another oxfordian editor has been weighing in on various subjects. So please now refrain from playing the "only you oppose these edits" game. Smatprt 03:57, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Addressing the portion of your comments I can make sense of: Not before you make an edit. Before you revert one. Yes, you've been recruiting, and it doesn't alter the fact that you are attempting to falsely depict a fringe view as more mainstream than it is. And lighten up on the labeling. - Nunh-huh 04:40, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I'll lighten up on everything if you will. Before I assume anything, what do you mean labeling? And btw - you know that I am not the only oxfordian editor, just the only one who moniters these pages daily. Hopefully, most are out doing research. If you all would discuss before a revert, than I would, but after your own reverts without discussion (like eliminating links), how on earth can you ask for like consideration? Smatprt 04:52, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Labelling: Oxfordian, Stratfordian. Do as you wish, then, and you will see what progress you make. - Nunh-huh 05:20, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Please explain the following edit

The words "particulary in the Oxfordian theory" were deleted, eliminating Oxfords position as frontrunner among the anti-strats, a point that has been acknowledged on other pages, and in the last major consensus, for some time now. I'd like to see where we stand on this, since it was never addressed in the original discussion. Can the editors of this page please explain this deletion and if there was consensus on this, please show where?Smatprt 05:40, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

If you want to add this, you should first find a citation for it in a reliable source. Agreement between Wikipedians at another article is not a reliable source. And then we will discuss where this "valuable" information belongs; I believe you will find that mostly everyone but you feels the authorship article is the place for it, not here. - Nunh-huh 05:42, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Best Ever

Shakespear is totall awsome in my eyes! He writes the best best best plays in the world and he will always be the best ever! That's a fact! If you disigree don't even talk anymore! O.K! O.K! 16:21, 14 May 2007 (UTC)Libby S. 16:21, 14 May 2007 (UTC) 16:21, 14 May 2007 (UTC)Elizabeth J. S. 16:21, 14 May 2007 (UTC)


minor edit for clarification

The phrase, "...had a brief affair with a woman during a performance of Richard III" perhaps should read, "had a brief affair with a woman during a production run of Richard III"--otherwise, he'd only have had time for a tryst, not an affair!—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:22, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Manningham's anecdote was indeed about a tryst and not an affair: WS was supposed to have impersonated the actor (Burbage, from memory) playing King Richard, after a woman from the audience had arranged to meet the player after the show. The story ends with WS quipping to Burbage "William the Conqueror came before Richard III!" as they met on the stairs. Too much detail, perhaps, for a short encyclopedia bio so I've just changed in line with the previous IP editor's suggestion. --Old Moonraker 21:31, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
'Twas sex with a groupie. Call it an affair, a fling, a bang or whatever, Manningham doen't make it clear. The story's discussed in more detail in Sexuality of William Shakespeare. Paul B 22:58, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Shakespeare the Enlightened Rosicrucian

I've once again removed the categorization, because there is no obvious connection between Shakespeare and the Rosicrucians. Categories should not be added to pages on which there is no information that would enlighten a reader as to why they are present. The category is sufficiently mysterious and, apparently, controversial, as to require prior discussion on the article's talk page before you should even consider re-adding it. - Nunh-huh 03:23, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Lusitanian has recently added the following utterance to the introduction to the Rosicrucian article: "Also, it becomes clear that this holy Order initiated and shaped the whole Renaissance movement of the western world through the works and cooperation of evolved individuals in the fields of arts, literature, religion and science since the 14th century, under the auspice of those Compassionate Ones in charge of mankind's evolution." This is way beyond mainstream thought. Paul B 06:09, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

The Hoghton Will

It seems that Bob Bearman, Archivist at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, has "conclusively" disproved any connection with Shakespeare (which is disappointing, but there you go). His article Was William Shakespeare William Shakeshafte? Revisited appears in the Spring 2002 issue of Shakespeare Quarterly (Johns Hopkins University). This is a subscription-only product, so I can't read it, let alone cite it. Does anyone have access?

While we're in this paragraph: re "asseted nexus". "Asset nexus" (the ambassadorial connection) would be a neat way of describing the supposed introduction from Shakespeare's schoolmaster, Cottam, to his old master Hoghton. As far as I know, "asseted nexus" means something else. Is it a typo? Can anybody put me right?

--Old Moonraker 21:56, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I have online access, but not from here! I'll have to wait till tomorrow. What do you want, a summary? Paul B 23:06, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the offer: it's just that I am slightly in awe of the definitive and certain "and is now accepted wisdom" in relation to the sojourn as a schoolmaster in Lancashire. Bearman's conclusions seem to undermine this and might be worth including for the sake of balance. --Old Moonraker 23:25, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I too question any claim of "accepted wisdom" when it comes to Shakespeare's lost years. Is it POV or Weasel? or both? Smatprt 04:28, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I have access. I'll give it a read if I can. Wrad 05:05, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes, please tell us what it says. But "accepted wisdom" is ridiculous: that has to go. AndyJones 06:46, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Well I had to wait till the library opened, since the online text does not reach back to 2002 due to "moving wall", apparently. Anyway, the gist of the argument is that Shakeshafte was a common name in the area of Hoghton's influence - Preston. There are several recorded William Shakeshaftes from local Shakeshafte families, and the size of the bequest suggests that Mr Shakeshafte was probably a middle aged man, not a youth. There is no "conclusive proof", but Bearman argues that it is unlikely that Shakeshafte was the bald bloke from Stratford. Paul B 10:48, 29 May 2007 (UTC)


This reverence has provoked an unforeseen negative reaction in the youth. In the 21st century most people in the English-speaking world encounter Shakespeare at school at a young age, and there is an association by some students of his work with boredom beyond comprehension and of "high art" not easily appreciated by popular culture; an ironic fate considering the social mix of Shakespeare's audience.

This sounds like somethig written from personal experiance, so I think that this needs a source as lots of things encountered in the school room on a hot summer's day brings "boredom beyond comprehension". Also I think some mention should be made in this section of the connection between rap and hip hop and Shakespeare:

--Philip Baird Shearer 14:35, 29 May 2007 (UTC)