Wikipedia:WikiProject Shakespeare

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Welcome to the Shakespeare Wikiproject main page. This project is devoted to increasing the quality of any and all articles dealing with William Shakespeare. Anyone is invited to join in the effort by adding their name to the members list. A list of current jobs needing to be done can be found in the to do section.

For information on assessments of articles within the scope of the project please go to Wikipedia:WikiProject Shakespeare/Assessment.


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This project deals with everything concerning William Shakespeare, poet and playwright, man of theater, who has influenced English, Western and world culture for four centuries and counting. Specifically, it is intended to bring Wikipedia's main Shakespeare articles to Featured Article standards, raise the quality of the more peripheral Shakespeare articles, as well as set specific standards and guidelines to future editors on articles on the writer and his works.

To do

  1. Maintain FA status for the articles William Shakespeare, Shakespeare authorship question, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet.
  2. Decide on the next project collaboration

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Project organization



The assessment department focuses on assessing the quality of Wikipedia's Shakespeare articles. The article ratings are used within the project to aid in recognizing excellent contributions and identifying topics in need of further work.

The ratings are done in a distributed fashion through parameters in the {{Wikiproject Shakespeare}} project banner; this causes the articles to be placed in a set of categories that serves as the basis for an automatically generated worklist.


The project's Collaboration department seeks to identify particular articles that would benefit from a significant collaborative effort. A single article is selected as the focus, and the project attempts to improve it, potentially to featured article standards. The current collaboration article is The Tempest.

Any Shakespeare article is eligible, and everyone is invited to nominate articles.


To join this project, add your user name to the list below:

  1. Curtangel 20 April 2007
  2. VanTucky 20 April 2007
  3. Wrad 20 April 2007
  4. Smatprt 20 April 2007
  5. AndyJones 20 April 2007
  6. Mandel 21 April 2007
  7. RedRabbit1983 22 April 2007
  8. Tiria 23 April 2007
  9. BeastKing89 23 April 2007
  10. Drboisclair 23 April 2007
  11. Jlittlet 23 April 2007
  12. Ojevindlang 25 April 2007
  13. Ladb2000 25 April 2007
  14. Ham 28 April 2007
  15. Tprosser 14 May 2007
  16. Ceranthor 20 May 2007
  17. Sydneysaurus 30 May 2007
  18. Romeo in love 6 June 2007
  19. Macman202 10 June 2007
  20. Sbp 6 July 2007
  21. Xover 11 July 2007
  22. Brandon Christopher 16 July 2007
  23. GuillaumeTell 28 July 2007
  24. Bardofcornish 8 August 2007
  25. Buey36 10 August 2007
  26. Dionysos Proteus 13 August 2007
  27. kaylin814 21 August 2007
  28. Nowah Balloon 30 August 2007
  29. Moz1916 15 September 2007
  30. Tanstaafl28 29 September 2007
  31. Trixi72 October 2, 2007
  32. ROGER DAVIES 21 November 2007
  33. Graybeard67 26 Nov 2007
  34. guycox65 28 Nov 2007
  35. Elesi 15 January 2008
  36. Cowardly Lion 4 February 2008
  37. Sutherland4l 15 February 2008
  38. George D. Watson (Dendodge) 20 February 2008
  39. Luksuh 5 April 2008
  40. Jgurd 8 April 2008
  41. Olaf Davis 4 May 2008
  42. Erik the Red 2 5 May 2008
  43. BenJonson 21 July 2008
  44. Maedin 23 July 2008
  45. BlackPearl14 20 September 2008
  46. Septemberfourth476 7 October 2008
  47. Dr.h.miller 11 January 2009
  48. TheGeniusPrince 13 February 2009
  49. Malkinann 28 October 2008
  50. Themis-Athena 16 December 2008
  51. Heslopian 6 February 2009
  52. Springboard08 8 March 2009
  53. Yuma 16 April 2009
  54. JiveTalkinChoirBoy 24 June 2009
  55. Bertaut 4 August 2009
  56. Sean 25 December 2009
  57. Lo, i am real 25 August 2010
  58. Ling.Nut 27 September 2010
  59. UltimateCoach 16 December 2010
  60. Roscelese 15 February 2011
  61. Rogala 27 March 2011
  62. Jg2904 9 January 2012
  63. Songeant 3 February 2012
  64. Macbeth1313 27 February 2012
  65. RussellM 29 August 2012
  66. Cfsibley 27 October 2012
  67. Jwalkfour 31 October 2012
  68. Iamthecheese44 25 November 2012
  69. Lord Sjones23 2 April 2013
  70. Clockery 8 April 2013
  71. Biggs Pliff 15 September 2013
  72. TomCheesman 26 January 2014
  73. Five Antonios 5 March 2014
  74. Falkirks 11 August 2014
  75. BenLinus1214 3 December 2014
  76. Apragopolis 25 January 2015
  77. Accurateedits 25 February 2015
  78. ZonMusicStar 22, April 2015
  79. Twomcvms 22 April 2015
  80. The Dancing Badger 8 July 2015
  81. Bhanks 19 October 2015
  82. Prof TPMS 17 January 2016
  83. Rajeshkumar Pipaliya 19 May 2016
  84. love2evolve 12 December 2018
  85. WanderingWanda 12 May 2019
  86. Partytemple 11 June 2019
  87. Elizabeth Tavares 24 September 2019
  88. Samsmachado 19 January 2020
  89. Doromiant314 24 January 2020

Former members

The following editors who have passed away have contributed to or been active in WikiProject Shakespeare. They are sorely missed!


WikiProject Shakespeare (Rated NA-class)
WikiProject iconThis page is within the scope of WikiProject Shakespeare, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of William Shakespeare on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 NA  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.

To be placed on the talk page of all articles within the scope of the project. {{WikiProject Shakespeare}}


Wikiproject Membership

Shakespeare2.jpgThis user is a member of the Shakespeare WikiProject

 – {{User WikiProject Shakespeare}}


Shakespeare2.jpgThis user has read # of William Shakespeare's plays.

 – {{User:UBX/User playread|#}}

Article policies

Sonnet articles

Phil wink has created a proposed policy for the 154 individual sonnet articles as the Sonnet Uniformity Act. The proposal has received some feedback, but not enough to determine a firm consensus. It is recommended that the proposed policy is used as a guideline for editors on these articles, but care should be taken to not lean too heavily on it before more feedback is gathered.

Play articles

At present, Shakespearean articles, particularly those on the plays, are not standardised. The following is a proposed guideline to achieve standardisation in the writing and copyediting of articles pertaining to the plays of William Shakespeare. (Note: All play articles should use British spelling. See WP:ENGVAR.) Note that a more detailed proposal is here.

  1. Intro paragraph with graphic to the right (as recommended in the MOS) – The title of the play should be given in full, bold, modernized spelling, in its most commonly used form. Follow WP:LEAD.
  2. Characters – Very brief, NPOV description. Should not attempt to analyze characters in this section but give, briefly, who they are and their relationship with a protagonist. No spoiler details should be added here just the character as described at the start of the play or in the first scene. Characters in need of a more in-depth analysis should have their own article.
  3. Synopsis – Accuracy and a lucid style.
    Wikipedia asks for plot synopses to stay within 500–700 words, with a ceiling of 900 words in special circumstances only. The summary is not to be subdivided in further Acts and scenes. Acts and scene divisions do not exist in the earliest Shakespeare texts and were probably added by later editors. Furthermore, sub-dividing synopses into acts and scenes could make this section too long.
    Key idea here: synopsis means to summarize the vital plot points of the play, not to re-tell the entire plot in your own words.
  4. Sources – What works influenced the play or poem?
  5. Date and Text – The play as it survives to us. Are there Quarto versions? What is its relationship with the Folio text? What other titles (if any) were attached to the play, and under what circumstances?
  6. Analysis and criticism
    1. Critical History – How have scholars' views about the play changed over time?
    2. Structure – What have scholars said about the plot structure?
    3. Language – ...about language and style?
    4. Themes and motifs – ...about themes and motifs in the play?
    5. Other interpretations – Add a bit about Feminist, Psychoanalytic, Queer, and other readings.
  7. Performance history – What is the first known recorded performance?
  8. Influences – Literary and cultural
  9. Adaptations and cultural references – What the world has done with it...
    1. Musical adaptations – and music, including opera and musicals
    2. Screen versions:
      Where there are numerous versions, there should be a separate article, eg. Macbeth on screen, which will allow fuller coverage. That should have a {main article} tag and a brief prose summary on the play's article, and a {main article} tag and a brief list summary at Shakespeare on screen.
      Where there are only a handful of versions, these should be covered in a prose section on the page, and in list form at Shakespeare on screen.
  10. References
  11. External links

Character articles

Because of Shakespeare's prominence, nearly all of his characters have enough scholarly information on them to qualify under wikipedia's notability guidelines (with a few exceptions). Several of his characters have been represented in later works of fiction. The below is not intended as a standard as much as a guideline for character article expansion. Look here for ideas on how to expand a character-stub article to a B-or-higher class article:

  1. Intro – Of course, summarize the rest of the article as per WP:LEAD, as with any other article. Add a picture of the character to the right (see King Hamlet), or, if you can't find one, consider adding a quotebox with one of the character's more famous quotes or descriptions (See Sycorax (Shakespeare)).
  2. Origins – Where does the character's name come from and what does it mean? Did Shakespeare borrow this character from another story? What was his source?
  3. Role in the play – Describe the character's role in the play. Avoid providing analysis or interpretations of the text in this section. Leave that to later sections.
  4. Analysis – Summarize the scholarly opinion surrounding this character. Use sources from academic books and journals only.
  5. Performance history – Outline the development of the role by different actors or actresses over time.

Using one Standardized Complete Shakespeare for quotations

The complete Shakespeare used:

  • must be modern enough (at least 19th century)
  • preferably in public domain
  • easily accessible and verifiable
  • critical

The template {{Shakecite}} has been proposed as a solution. It is still under construction, but usable, and includes the ability to link to quartos, folios, and in some cases, modern versions of all the plays.

Note that consensus in this area is drifting towards the use of the latest individual Arden edition of the play, rather than any "complete works" collection.

Research help

To be acquainted with the latest scholarship on the Bard, we strongly advise frequent editors to read at least one modern critical edition of Shakespeare's works. Recommended are the "Big 3": Arden (2 or 3), Oxford and New Cambridge. These have copious notes, lengthy introductions, helpful appendices, and full critical apparatus. Also recommended are the Penguin Shakespeare and New Variorum editions. Other editions usually do not give as detailed an analysis or footnotes, or offer the variant readings.

For journals, one could consult Shakespeare Survey, Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare Studies, or Borrowers & Lenders (online, open-access). Or, if you have access to a college library, consult their databases for several excellent references, starting with The World Shakespeare Bibliography Online.

For books, college libraries are also excellent. If you don't have access to one, though, an option is to use The Internet Archive and search for your subject. This search engine provides facsimiles of books, although sometimes it cuts out portions of them. In using this site, be sure that you are only using scholarly books as sources for your article.

For biographies, take a look at the references used in the William Shakespeare article.

Accomplishments and notoriety

There are 1489 articles within the scope of the Shakespeare project. Currently the project has 10 Featured articles and lists, or 1 out of every 148 articles in the project (0.7%). It also has 30 Good articles: 1 out of every 49 articles (2.0%). Thus, one in 37 articles in the project is rated GA or higher (2.7%).

Featured articles

Former featured articles

Good articles

Did you know? articles

In the News articles

Picture of the day pictures

Featured pictures

Quality matrix


Main tool page:
  • Reflinks – Edits bare references – adds title/dates etc. to bare references
  • Checklinks – Edit and repair external links
  • Dab solver – Quickly resolve ambiguous links.
  • Peer reviewer – Provides hints and suggestion to improving articles.

External watchlist

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