Talk:William Shakespeare

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Is he the world's greatest dramatist?[edit]

"William Shakespeare […] widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist."

Does anyone else, by any chance, has a problem with this introductory sentence? Is it not, out of courtesy, the common usage to say "one of the greatest (in the world)" for anybody who stands out among his peers (especially an artist), even when a large majority would admit that, indeed, this person is the greatest in their opinions. I find the turn of phrase way too definitive for an encyclopedia.

I, for one, have seen plays written by Shakespeare and of course plays by other writers, and my take on it is that Shakespeare is not the author who moved me or impressed me the most. While writing this, I stumbled upon this very good article about what G. B. Shaw called "bardolatry". It is said in this piece that, among other great writers, Tolstoy, Wittgenstein and Voltaire not only didn't consider him the greatest, but disliked his works.

In any case, I think the first sentence should be changed to "William Shakespeare […] widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and one of the world's greatest dramatist", as I find the title of "greatest writer in the English language" not as outrageously presumptuous as the one of "world's greatest dramatist".

--Niouyouseur (talk) 15:40, 15 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fwiw, some earlier discussions:
"bardolatry" is the practice of deifying Shakespeare. The fact that a word exists for it means a lot of people have done it. This is actually evidence in support of the current language - after all, whether he is objectively the best (and you haven't suggested who is better) is impossible to measure, and we can only address what other people have said. The fact that he has a few (well, add millions of schoolchildren) critics does not negate the fact that he is widely considered one of the best and the best; and has been for centuries. Further, I fail to see a better solution: "Shakespeare was a pretty good author but Tolstoy thought otherwise" is probably not a great alternative. If we fail to measure his immeasurable impact on Western culture and the English language, we are concealing the truth. This conversation is stale, but I still thought I'd add this since I cleaned up some vandalism here. ‡ Єl Cid of Valencia talk 20:31, 16 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
George Orwell wrote a punctilious but quietly hilarious commentary on Count Tolstoy's pamphlet: 'Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool', in Polemic No.7 (March 1947), collected in Selected Essays (Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1957), retitled Inside the Whale and Other Essays 1962, ISBN 0-14-001185-4, pp.101-119, which is hereby commended to the reader. Noting that -- in Count Tolstoy's view -- Shakespeare ' "was not an artist." Moreover, his opinions are not original or interesting and his tendency is "of the lowest and most immoral"... Tolstoy adds on his own account that Shakespeare was a jingo patriot of the worst type' -- Orwell observes, 'But here there arises a difficult question. If Shakespeare is all that Tolstoy has shown him to be, how did he come to be so generally admired? Evidently the answer can only lie in a sort of mass hypnosis, or "epidemic suggestion". The whole civilized world has somehow been deluded into thinking Shakespeare a good writer, and even the plainest demonstration to the contrary makes no impression, because one is not dealing with a reasoned opinion, but with something akin to religious faith... As to the manner in which Shakespeare's fame started, Tolstoy explains it as having been 'got up' by German professors towards the end of the eighteenth century. His reputation "originated in Germany, and thence was transferred to England"... Goethe pronounced Shakespeare a great poet, whereupon all the other critics flocked after him like a troop of parrots, and the general infatuation has lasted ever since... Tolstoy was perhaps the most admired literary man of his age, and he was certainly not its least able pamphleteer. He turned all his powers of denunciation against Shakespeare, like all the guns of a battleship roaring simultaneously. And with what result? Forty years later Shakespeare is still there completely unaffected, and of the attempt to demolish him nothing remains, except the yellowing pages of a pamphlet which hardly anyone has read, and which would be forgotten altogether if Tolstoy had not also been the author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina.' Khamba Tendal (talk) 19:39, 28 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
it's hard to see how he could be the greatest etc if his works are always only 'among the best' and not 'the best'. (talk) 10:03, 13 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Green's attack[edit]

"Greene's attack is the earliest surviving mention of Shakespeare's work in the theatre. Biographers suggest that his career may have begun any time from the mid-1580s to just before Greene's remarks."

Should read

Green's remarks about an upstart crow possibly refer to Shakespeare, the tigers heart line is from from HenryVI. It is not the first mention of Shakespeare's works, in Green's Menaphon 1589 Nash states "English Seneca read by candle-light yields many good sentences, as Blood is a beggar, and so forth; and if you entreat him fair in a frosty morning, he will afford you whole Hamlets, I should say handfuls of tragical speeches" (STC 12272,1589) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 21 April 2021 (UTC) hiiiiiiiiii idk what this is but cool. haha. . . oops u can delete this now :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:03, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mark Twain's "Is Shakespeare Dead?" Audiobook[edit]

Audiobook of Mark Twain's "Is Shakespeare Dead?" --As a cub river pilot, one of Mark Twain’s masters was a pilot named George Ealer, who recited Shakespeare by the hour - from memory - and who was a virulent opponent of the notion that the Shakespeare plays and poems were in truth written by Sir Francis Bacon. At first, young Sam Clemens agreed with his teacher and boss, but he soon realized that it was no fun for the pilot to argue with someone who agreed with him all of the time. And so, young Sam Clemens became quite skilled in defending this position: He said he was not a Shakespearite nor a Baconite, but that he was a "Brontosaurian": he didn't know who did write them, but he knew Shakespeare didn't.

As Twain explained, "It is the very way Professor Osborn and I built the colossal skeleton brontosaur that stands fifty-seven feet long and sixteen feet high in the Natural History Museum, and is the awe and admiration of all the world, the stateliest skeleton that exists on the planet. We had nine bones, and we built the rest of him out of plaster of Paris. We ran short of plaster of Paris, or we'd have built a brontosaur that could sit down beside the Stratford Shakespeare and none but an expert could tell which was biggest or contained the most plaster."

Review: "[T]he entire audio book is a tribute to Twain's comic sense and word-play... If Is Shakespeare Dead? is one of Mark Twain's works that you've resisted reading until now, this audio book is an enjoyable way to experience one of Twain's last autobiographical writings.... Twain's words and Henzel's voice are at perfect pitch." (Kevin McConnell, in The Mark Twain Forum)_____. Is Shakespeare Dead? Narrated by Richard Henzel. (The Mark Twain in Person Audio Library, 2011) GrandpaSnazzy (talk) 13:05, 23 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is mentioned at History of the Shakespeare authorship question, Shakespeare authorship question and Baconian theory of Shakespeare authorship. Not Mark Twain for some reason. What do you suggest we add to this article about it? Compare William_Shakespeare#Speculation_about_Shakespeare. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 16:36, 23 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shakespeare's Death Date[edit]

The box says 3 May and the article says 26 April. Where did the 3 May date come from? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scotisle (talkcontribs) 18:51, 23 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looks like someone decided to impose foreign, Catholic, dating. I have undone them. DuncanHill (talk) 19:01, 23 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Guinness World records[edit]

I am adding the information that Shakespeare holds the Guinness World record for Best selling playwright and that he is the third most translated individual author. বিড়ালতপা চক্কোত্তি (talk) 09:50, 11 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

IMO best removed per WP:WEIGHT/WP:PROPORTION. We already have "widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist." Guinness is very meh in this context. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:59, 11 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

including guinness book of records is trivial when talking about the most influential english writer in history. its like saying martin luther king won a grammy award for a speech. shakespeare is bigger than guinness so to speak. Shhsbavavaa (talk) 09:45, 12 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Baptised or Baptized[edit]

It says “BaptiSED” when it should be Baptized. Jdietr601 (talk) 19:14, 20 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi User:Jdietr601. Baptise is British English, Baptize is American English. As this is a British topic, we use the British spelling per WP:ENGVAR. If you're not sure of something on Wikipedia, you can generally find out by doing a search on the topic by putting WP: in front of your search term in the search box. So, as this is a question about spelling, you would do a search like this: WP:Spelling, and that would take you to a page about spelling on Wikipedia: WP:Spelling, with links to related pages. SilkTork (talk) 21:34, 20 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SilkTork: Baptize is perfectly proper in British English, indeed it's the spelling used in the Prayer Book. DuncanHill (talk) 22:13, 20 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's certainly the variant promoted by Oxford, but as it is a defiant variant, it is classed as the "Oxford spelling" to differentiate it from majority usage. My personal approach to spelling, punctuation and grammar is if the word and sentence can be understood, then there isn't a problem. However, I do aim for my own spelling to conform to majority usage in order to reduce the possibility for unease. Shakespeare, of course, was writing before Samuel Johnson doomed us all to a world where people chide and argue over ize and ise. Purely on a whim the great man decided that flour should be ground grains while flower should be the part of the plant which attracts butterflies. Until then, either could mean either. We don't have much hand written by Shakespeare himself, but we do have his signature - six signatures in fact, all spelled differently! Such was the freer, more liberal life before the shadows of Johnson and the great grammarians darkened our world. Vive la différence! SilkTork (talk) 01:25, 21 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Signature: disputed[edit]

Afaict, signature in infobox

See above. Please tag the 'signature' as disputed, in the column at right, and also in the text if it is shown there as well. Everything about Shakespeare's personal identity has been disputed at one time or another, but his signature disputes itself, you can provide no 'authoritative' signature of the man, and ought to be honest enough to say it. [Another locked page huh. Funny how the locked ones are always so wrong. Kill this policy, and develop a tehnological solution appropriate for the 2020s, not kludgework of the 1660s.][and PLEASE don't add a signature to my comment, particularly one which publishes my IP. Double the demerit points if you do so hiding behind a bot. Kill all bots, this is a human-edited website.]

Assuming Shakespeare's handwriting gets it right, this seems to be from his will. Yep, much about S. is disputed somewhere, but per WP:PROPORTION, WP:FALSEBALANCE etc, that doesn't necessarily mean it should be in a WP-article. Are there any good WP:RS that disputes this particular signature? I'd like to wikilink Signature in the infobox to Shakespeare's handwriting, but I don't think that's possible.
You can avoid your IP automatically showing by WP:REGISTER. If you do, you'll eventually be able to edit WP:SEMI protected pages, and your contributions page won't show your IP. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:31, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But it seems you knew that: [1]. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:49, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Opening sentence in the lead, and influence section.[edit]

The influence section really seems to understate and downplay his influence on virtually every poet, playwright, and novelist in the English language for the past 400 years. True, the vastness of his influence is something gargantuan, but it should be noted in the lead, and expounded upon in the influence section.

The lead should certainly note: "widely regarded as the greatest and most influential writer in the English language", even at the expense of "world's greatest dramatist", which seems slightly redundant when it's already stated he is the greatest writer in the English language. Thoughts? Michael0986 (talk) 21:28, 16 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Influence-section doesn't seem glaringly awful to me, but it can probably be improved like everything else. This is the "top" article, and influence has a separate article (can probably also been improved), and there are other spin-offs like Cultural references to Hamlet and St Crispin's Day Speech. Something like "...has made a lasting impression on later drama and literature" may be missing from the WP:LEAD, though. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 14:14, 17 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The article is not bad, still feels underwhelming for such a figure in history, but I guess it's an okay starting point. The influence section seems a tad lazy, noting a few great novelists who were influenced, when Shakespeare's influence is cast over literally every major novelist and poet since the 17th century, and well into the 20th century. His influence should be noted in the opening sentence in the lead, it goes in tandem with his status as the greatest writer. Michael0986 (talk) 21:07, 17 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is Shakespeare and Edward De Vere the same or not?[edit]

Is Edward de Vere or William Shakespeare the same person. If not then the Wikipedian article is right and if both are referring to the same person then why there are two entries for the same person. These are what I tackled from the book The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History by Michael H. Hart. See entry 32 in the above book. Sultan Abdul sultan (talk) 02:49, 25 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

According to page 7 in this book [2] Hart is an Oxfordian. de Vere is prominent on the List of Shakespeare authorship candidates. Does that help? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:34, 25 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


You have not given a list of works by shakespare 2409:4053:E89:3488:0:0:5989:5A13 (talk) 11:14, 6 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See links at main article under the headings "Plays" and "Sonnets". Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 12:01, 6 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Surely this article is incomplete without mention of his lyrics, some of the most beautiful in any language. E.g., Take, O take, those lips away, O Mistress mine, Under the greenwood tree, Come away death, Full fathom five, Fear no more the heat o' the sun? Esedowns (talk) 14:11, 30 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


His birthday was not the 26th it was the 23rd this is common knowledge as he died on his birthday (talk) 02:30, 21 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article doesn't say his birthday was the 26th:
"His date of birth is unknown, but is traditionally observed on 23 April, Saint George's Day.[15] This date, which can be traced to William Oldys and George Steevens, has proved appealing to biographers because Shakespeare died on the same date in 1616.[16][17]" Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:26, 21 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shakespeare's main aim for the play Romeo and Juliet[edit]

Did Shakespeare write the play Romeo and Juliet just for fun or did it have purposes and connections to his days (talk) 16:53, 21 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Check Romeo and Juliet, perhaps. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 17:57, 21 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

His books[edit]

What are his books 2409:4073:2E85:5CF2:B5CE:EF35:4921:E9D1 (talk) 14:55, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Does Shakespeare bibliography help? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 17:49, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
His education level (talk) 11:51, 22 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interesting facts about William shakespeare[edit]

. (talk) 14:34, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia has lots of those, see Category:William Shakespeare Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 14:38, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

missing source[edit]

where is the source saying he is english? (talk) 22:02, 13 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's a fun question. I checked this book, current ref 3, [3] because it was easily accessible. Though it says
"He was born in 1 564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, the son of a man who prospered as a manufacturer and salesman of leather goods and who became the equivalent of mayor of the town, though he also seems to have fallen into official disfavour - possibly as the result of clinging to the Catholic faith of his youth. Shakespeare's mother, Mary Arden, came from a good family of well-to-do yeo¬ man farmer s stock."
it doesn't seem to say he was English in those exact words. So, not that particular book, but there are other refs in the article you can check.
Noting that I once added a cite to the WP-article Muhammad for the fact that he was born in Mecca. Current ref 58 in that article.
Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 20:03, 14 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Age at death[edit]

If Shakespeare was born on 26th April 1642 (as stated in the article) and died on 23rd April 1616 (as stated in the article) then he was not 52 (as stated in the article) when he died: he died a few days before his 52nd birthday. At least one of those pieces of information has to be wrong. (talk) 21:01, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article does not say he was born on 26 April 1462. It says he was baptized on that date. It's likely he was born a few days before he was baptized. The article notes monument which states he was 53 when he died. Presumably whoever put the date on the monument knew more that we do. Jc3s5h (talk) 21:34, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The monument states that he was in his 53rd year, not that he was 53. In other words, he was 52 when he died, and he had to have just turned 52, given his baptismal date. Tom Reedy (talk) 17:08, 20 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 17 October 2022[edit]

hello i would like to edit pls thank u. 9Obito (talk) 10:09, 17 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done: this is not the right page to request additional user rights. You may reopen this request with the specific changes to be made and someone may add them for you, or if you have an account, you can wait until you are autoconfirmed and edit the page yourself. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 13:05, 17 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changing image to Droeshout[edit]

I was half-planning to change the primary article image to Droeshout, so before I bother figuring out how to do that, I figured I'd write my argument for changing it since I assume there'll be an argument. Maybe I'll lose it and I'll never have to figure out how to change the image!

Anyway, User:Xover (who I presume has a good understanding of the prior editorial consensus) said the image was "chosen for aesthetic reasons" by which I presume he means he thinks it looks nice. Just considered as a painting, I guess it's ok, but the main thing I think when I see it is "Some random guy, not Shakespeare." He also said that it was the image most commonly associated with Shakespeare, which I disagree with. I always associated the Droeshout engraving with Shakespeare even before I knew what it was called, since it was the image that appeared on my parents' copy of the works of Shakespeare and every book about Shakespeare I ever found growing up. The first time I ever saw the Chandos portrait was on Wikipedia. He also said it was the image with the best claim to have been painted from life, which I agree with, but that's not the same as having a strong claim to have been painted from life. The way I read Tarnya Cooper's book, it definitely doesn't have a strong claim, and I think she's way too credulous towards Vertue. And in any case, strength-of-claim-to-have-been-painted-from-life is a criterion which excludes Droeshout by definition and isn't motivated as the obviously correct criterion. He also said that Droeshout looked "Alien to modern readers." I disagree. I think it looks like Shakespeare. Maybe I'm a post-modern reader or something, I dunno.

By contrast, Ben Johnson saw Droeshot and said it was a good likeness. Vertue never saw Shakespeare, so even if we trust the chain of provenance (which Cooper doesn't think we necessarily should), we have no idea if it was accurate or not. Like maybe Shakespeare sat for a portrait, saw the result and said "The fuck is this? You made me look like a chimney sweeper with jaundice. I'm not paying for this shit, you keep it" and that's why the portrait wasn't in the hands of Shakespeare's family, but William "No srsly guys I'm Shakespeare's illegitimate son" Davenant. There's no source which says Chandos is a good likeness, there's only the chain of provenance as reported by Vertue, which if it was accurate would only establish that some artist tried to depict Shakespeare, not that the artist succeeded. And maybe Vertue got the provenance wrong, like he did with the "Agas" map. Maybe it's a picture of some other guy. It's all so tenuous. Maybe it's the least tenuous of the potential life portraits, but we don't have to restrict ourselves to potential life portraits when we have something which was attested as accurate by someone who had actually seen Shakespeare, even if it definitely wasn't from life. This seems like a better option to me. Dingsuntil (talk) 10:19, 17 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To repeat myself: I think the odds of the Chandos being Shakespeare are quite good, myself. It certainly looks to be the same person as the Droeshout, and not only is it confirmed that it was accepted as Shakespeare's portrait within living memory of his life, but also Davenant knew Shakespeare, and if he considered it his portrait as Vertue reported I think that's as good a confirmation as we're ever going to get.
Tom Reedy (talk) 17:20, 20 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Being accepted as his portrait within living memory of him isn't the same thing as being identified as accurate by someone who had actually seen him. Like I could have printed Chandos on some kind of handbill about Shakespeare in 1700, and people would have accepted it because it's not like they could have looked up Shakespeare on the 1700 Wikipedia to confirm, and pretty soon that's what people who've never seen Shakespeare think he looks like. Vertue did not say anything about whether Davenant thought Chandos was a good likeness, only that it was supposedly of Shakespeare. And even that is like 3rd-hand; Davenant was long dead when Vertue got the painting, and the claim that it was of Shakespeare is literally what guy A said that guy B said that Davenant said when he sold it to guy B. And that's assuming we even believe Vertue in the first place. So it's not as good a confirmation as we're ever going to get, because we already had a better one. If we had a first-party report of Davenant saying that Chandos was a good likeness of Shakespeare, that would bring it up to "as good a confirmation as its competitors." Dingsuntil (talk) 08:15, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I went through some of the other arguments in favor of Chandos, which focus on the prevalence of copies of Chandos close to living memory of Shakespeare, which supposedly implies that people at the time thought it was accurate. Or something. I don't really buy this. I don't really know how all these supposed copies of Chandos are established. Like Cooper says that some painting "Early copy after the Chandos portrait" is a copy of it, but gives no indication of why she thinks it's a copy. It could just be a somewhat similar painting. Different articles here assert that either the bust or the statue of Shakespeare were done from a copy of Chandos, which may or may not be lost (definitely some cleanup needed), and it's not clear how anyone knows it was even a copy of Chandos. It's all very weird. But even if all these and more are true, they're all from around the time (1719) that Vertue said this was of Shakespeare because provenance. Maybe a few people trusted Vertue and other people trusted those people and this just led to cloud of yeah-this-is-probably-what-he-looked-like. It's definitely not "the only portrait that definitely provides us with a reasonable idea of Shakespeare's appearance" (i.e. Droeshout). Dingsuntil (talk) 11:07, 17 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Dingsuntil: There'll be an argument because, this being a Featured article, major changes such as this need to gain consensus first.
I don't necessarily disagree with any of your points, but, drawing an analogy to WP:NOR, your disagreement seems mostly to be with Tarnya Cooper and the rest of the relevant secondary sources; and the rest is your subjective preference (I say that without prejudice). There were extensive discussions of which image to use in the lede, and the reasons I summed up in the message you linked to are the gist. The lede image should be the best along as many as possible of several axis. One of those is aesthetic quality: it should be high res, colourful, "pretty", etc. etc. (and a black and white engraving will almost always score worse than a full colour oil painting here). It should draw the reader in, make them want to read on. Another is recognisability: despite your personal experience, the Chandos is the image which is most commonly used as a representation of Shakespeare. The Droeshaut is no slouch either, but it is often not chosen for the same reasons I alluded to: to a modern audience it looks alien and off-putting (and is, in fact, often chosen when the context is humorous, or the goal is to signal a less-than-serious tone). The lede image should also generally adhere to all other content policies, mutatis mutandis, such as verifiability, no original research, etc. Which is why the general consensus that the Chandos' claim to being painted from life is the strongest is a weighty factor. All these things (including the participants' subjective preference) taken together led to the current lede image.
Personally, I would have loved it if the Soest had any real claim, because I like it both as a portrait and as a likeness for Shakespeare, but I fear no amount of creative interpretation of evidence can salvage its claim. Xover (talk) 13:58, 18 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@User:Xover I don't think I really disagree with Cooper. Basically, I think she says there isn't a very strong case for Chandos being a good likeness, just that there's no painting with a better claim to be from life. Which I agree with, I just think that the case for it being from life is weaker than she does. It's not like she writes that Chandos should be the lede image for the Shakespeare wiki page. Anyway, in re drawing the reader in/making them want to read on/no looking weird to a modern audience, I have to ask: how do you know these things? I'm not trying to be a jerk here; it's possible that you do actually know them. But since I don't know why they would necessarily be true or why you know or believe them, maybe you could tell me? Like, I'm willing to bet that nobody is actually A/B testing the Shakespeare article with the two different lede images and seeing how often people keep reading. But maybe somebody did some kind of usage tracking on articles with b&w vs color lede images. Or maybe that's just your subjective opinion, but based on real general knowledge of the effects of images on reading rates. Or something else. Even so, if you regard Cooper as authoritative on Chandos-has-best-claim-to-from-life-ness, she also said "the only portrait that definitely provides us with a reasonable idea of Shakespeare's appearance" of Droeshout. That sounds to me like the sort of thing that ought to be the lede image, absent very strong argument. "The portrait with the strongest claim (although not necessarily a strong claim) to have been painted from life (although not necessarily to have been a good likeness)" sounds like something that should also be included somewhere in the article, but not as the lede. Dingsuntil (talk) 08:46, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I agree with the points raised by Xover, especially with regards to how our 21st century audience will react to these portraits as the article's main image. Because of that I believe we should leave the Chandos portrait as the main image.--SouthernNights (talk) 16:39, 18 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My reading of the existing consensus is that you all are (incorrectly) opposed to changing the image. Unfortunately, Wikipedia runs on consensus rather than the recognition of my personal genius & correctness, so I won't be changing the image. I still think you are all wrong, and I urge you to actually address the counterarguments I make. In particular, nobody has explained whether their opinions about what effect the image will have on modern readers are supported by any evidence, and if so what this evidence is. Like, seriously, if you've already hashed this out you could just post a link to it. I'll read it. It might even change my mind.

Obviously you are under no obligation to address my arguments or change your opinions if you can't, you can always just ignore me. But I still think you should address them. We should strive to make our consensus an informed and correct one.

Pings: SouthernNights Xover Tom Reedy

Dingsuntil (talk) 02:05, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 24 October 2022[edit]

ISBN 9789464437539 2A02:A03F:80FA:1100:6D14:ACBB:BB1F:F956 (talk) 07:44, 24 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. Cannolis (talk) 07:56, 24 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The mononym is "Shakespeare"[edit]

The article does not say, as it should, that he's known by his momonym, Shakespeare.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:11, 13 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Who calls this his mononym? He's not Plato. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 15:11, 13 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Very minor issue, but if you feel like having an opinion. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:09, 14 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Famous for[edit]

What was he famous for (talk) 10:38, 19 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Writing stuff. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 13:28, 19 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So true! LilianaUwU (talk / contributions) 10:40, 25 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Inadequate source for claim "translated into every major language"[edit]

Hi, not sure on the exact process for challenging a source, but I don't want to edit the article unilaterally so I figured I'd ask for what we think of this issue first. Surely such claims as the two seen below cannot be made on Wikipedia without substantiation:

His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright

I find this statement overly broad on both assertions, and the citation (#7) doesn't have any substantive evidence to back up these claims. The relevant paragraph says:

Translated into every language of consequence, often by men of considerable poetic talents themselves, Shakespeare has long had a devoted following among French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Scandinavian, as well as English-speaking readers. And if his popularity in Russia were not evidence enough, the enthusiasm with which he has been embraced by the Japanese attests to his extraordinary cross-cultural appeal. His trans-historical allure has been similarly proven: nearly four centuries after they were written, his plays continue to be performed at a rate greater than those of any dozen other playwrights combined. Indeed, special theatres have been constructed for their performance at locations all around the world,from Texas to Tokyo, Perth to Berlin.

Craig, Leon H. (2001). Of philosophers and kings: political philosophy in Shakespeare's Macbeth and King Lear. University of Toronto Press. p. 03.

I think that the claim of translation in "every major living language" suffers first from a difficulty in determining its scope (what is a major living language?, according to who?). For example, the source makes no mention of China, which based on its population alone should be a strong contender for "major living language" or "language of consequence". Surely its omission from this paragraph does not make it an inconsequential or minor language. Perhaps a source exists that can definitively list all the languages with translations of Shakespeare, but there remains the issue of whether a language is major or not. What this boils down to for me is thus that the assertion is flawed to begin with.

The second claim of the frequency in which his plays are performed is likewise not demonstrated in the source. At least not to the level of certainty that I would normally expect.

Possible rework: His plays have been translated into numerous languages and are frequently performed in theatres internationally.

I admit that this rework doesn't solve the problem with proving the amount of different translations, nor does it remove the need for a source for the frequency of the plays' performances. I am interested in hearing what others may suggest. Is the celebrity of Shakespeare and his plays so "common knowledge" that a rigorous reference is not necessary? Can we find a sentence that is not as problematic as the original, something less biased and more easily verifiable? Perhaps the source itself should be removed?

Blackjackrobo (talk) 22:27, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WP:CAREFUL is as good approach as any, so this works.
On the language, I think "major" is a reasonable paraphrase of the source. Yes, Major language is not well defined (and the redirect is not very spot-on), but I think any reasonable definition of it one suggests, the languages in it will have Shakespeare translations, so I think the source is fine for the statement, but as with anything else around here, it can probably be improved. It doesn't mention China, but [4] does, and there are books like [5][6].
I think the source is fine for "performed more often than those of any other playwright" too, who else would come close? Are there any WP:RS which disagrees? Sources can be challenged with other sources. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:41, 2 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry for the delayed response. Yeah that redirect is a bit odd. I don't disagree that any given popular language is likely to have a Shakespeare translation, I only used China as an example because the source itself didn't mention it. Perhaps we could change the sentence to be less generalizing, by not claiming a translation in "every" language, while still not understating the broad reach of his works;
Something like His plays have been translated into many (major) languages, such as x[1], y[2], and z[3], ... . If that's too much detail for a lead section, we could do with just His plays have been translated into many (major) languages[1][2][3], ... . We could incorporate your 3 sources in there as well.
Having said that, per WP:SECONDARY: Articles may make an analytic, evaluative, interpretive, or synthetic claim only if it has been published by a reliable secondary source.
In the notes section of the original source, notes 1 and 2 are pertinent to the problem sentence. In note 1, the author references their own research on this subject, listing a couple translated versions that have been published (thus making it a primary source in this aspect), and in note 2 they refer to a claim from a different author (thus making it a tertiary source). So, on both fronts, this source is inadequate as the main, especially as the sole, source for this statement, since per this policy, a secondary source is necessary to back up these claims.
In case the source cannot be accessed, I've pasted below the portion of the Notes section which I'm referring to:

1. The popularity of Shakespeare in Japan reportedly surpasses even that of Beethoven. Akira Kurosawa's acclaimed film adaptations of Macbeth (Throne of Blood) and King Lear (Ran, 'Chaos') are merely representative of Shakespeare's extensive penetration of Japanese culture. Similarly, Grigori Kozintsev, one of Russia's most eminent stage and film directors, acquired his international reputation mainly on the basis of his cinematic productions of Hamlet and King Lear (featuring musical scores by Shostakovitch, whose opera Katerina Ismailova was originally titled Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk). There have been film versions of most of Shakespeare's plays, and in several different languages (Hamlet has been rendered over two dozen times).
2. Allan Bloom, introducing a selection of his Shakespeare commentaries in Love and Friendship (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993), 270-1.

Ultimately, given the policy on secondary sources, instead of the issue being about finding an RS that argues against this source, I think it's now more about the fact that this source is no good and should not be included in the article, along with the original claim, because it shouldn't have been made in the first place.
From what I understand, we would need a somewhat definitive secondary source that analyses and tallies the various translation counts and performances of plays for us to be able to claim that his plays are "the most" anything
Blackjackrobo (talk) 23:43, 6 March 2023 (UTC) Blackjackrobo (talk) 23:43, 6 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference a was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference b was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference c was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Semi-protected edit request on 19 April 2023[edit]

i found a typo in the shakespear wikipedia page where it says he produced most of his work from:1589 and 1613 that is a typo because i looked it up and did my reasearch and its actually 1590-1611 so if i could edit i woul change that miss information. Chesse5000 (talk) 11:56, 19 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Lightoil (talk) 12:12, 19 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I was about to ask the same question. The dating you object to has two sources, and although Chambers isn't very current, the other is. The dates of Shakespeare's latest works are thought to be those of his collaborations with John Fletcher. Which sources do you have which support the dates you prefer, please? You can check-out WP:V and WP:RS to get a sense of how Wikipedia handles these issues. AndyJones (talk) 12:20, 19 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Image of John Shakespeare's house[edit]

I propose changing to the second image (pictured right). The new picture is of a much higher resolution and gives a clearer impression of the building without the flowerbeds and other details in the first image. @Chris PTR:, since you reverted my edit, perhaps you have an opinion? 𝕱𝖎𝖈𝖆𝖎𝖆 (talk) 11:21, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Can we give some thought to this paragraph?

In 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two of Shakespeare's friends from the King's Men, published the First Folio, a collected edition of Shakespeare's plays. It contained 36 texts, including 18 printed for the first time.[1] Many of the plays had already appeared in quarto versions—flimsy books made from sheets of paper folded twice to make four leaves.[2] No evidence suggests that Shakespeare approved these editions, which the First Folio describes as "stol'n and surreptitious copies".[3] Nor did Shakespeare plan or expect his works to survive in any form at all; those works likely would have faded into oblivion but for his friends' spontaneous idea, after his death, to create and publish the First Folio.[4][unreliable source?]

The first two sentences seem to me to be correct. Given the context of the preceding sentence, perhaps "Many of the plays..." could become "The others..." (or "Most of the others..." to allow for Octavos [If indeed there are any to which this would apply, I haven't checked]). But more importantly:

  • My understanding is that some of the Quartos are thought to have the King's Men's knowledge and approval (or at least may have done so) in which case the "stol'n and surreptitious copies" are references mainly to the bad quartos, not to all quartos. (Although, for fear of being misconstrued, I confirm I think we should say, correctly, that "No evidence suggests that Shakespeare approved these editions".)
  • As to the last sentence (with its "unreliable source") its opening clause ("Nor did Shakespeare plan or expect his works to survive in any form") might be more-or-less right with regard to the plays - I doubt it could honestly be said of the Sonnets. But it seems a very odd way to describe the publication of the Folio as "his friends' spontaneous idea". After all there must have been some quite serious commercial considerations, which I'm not saying we need to discuss, just that we shouldn't present it in language that makes it sound like a sudden whim.

Does anyone have any thoughts? AndyJones (talk) 09:22, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Wells et al. 2005, p. xxxvii.
  2. ^ Wells et al. 2005, p. xxxiv.
  3. ^ Pollard 1909, p. xi.
  4. ^ Mays & Swanson 2016.

AndyJones (talk) 09:22, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In the absence of any comments, I'll take the following action in the next day or so:

  • First sentence: no change.
  • Second sentence: change "Many of the plays" to "The others", otherwise no change.
  • Third sentence: no change (although I will keep an eye out, in my reading, for contrary sources).
  • Fourth sentence: simply remove.

Unless anyone has a comment? AndyJones (talk) 12:27, 12 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You certainly deserve one, but since I'm uninformed on this I'll trust you. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 14:39, 12 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll make those changes, now. AndyJones (talk) 12:38, 14 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good removal – I had been concerned of the NY Post being used in the first place, so its likely inaccuracy fits with that. – Aza24 (talk) 18:33, 14 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


He was indian (talk) 09:51, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Absolutely. So was Minha Lohsa. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:07, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


@Astrophobe, I agree with you [7], but this should have a place somewhere, Florida Parental Rights in Education Act perhaps? Here's more sources:[8][9][10]. @Jenhawk777, any thoughts? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:24, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I say, how helpful: RSC gives extensive examples of “slang or sexual language which were clearly understood by Shakespeare’s original audiences but may be less obvious to audiences today”. Patrick Stewart's old gang to the rescue. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:31, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, my mind is a blank! Jenhawk777 (talk) 19:28, 14 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Probably because of lack of Shakespeare in Florida... Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 19:32, 14 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 12 September 2023[edit]

I'd like to add an image and information about folio production and editions Southport1639 (talk) 20:08, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Southport1639, you can either become WP:AUTOCONFIRMed and WP:BOLDly edit the article yourself, or you can write your suggested changes with refs here on the talkpage. If someone else think the changes are good, the may do them at some point. Note that the folios have separate articles, too. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 20:51, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]