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Detailing in Classic Literature and Art: Part 1

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There are many instances in classic literature, art, and theatre, where ‘detailing’ as it has become known today was discussed, or demonstrated by some of history’s greatest minds. In this article, is listed an example from the famous, late 16th century English playwright, William Shakespeare, who discusses the merits and Glazes and Polishes (For such detailing products existed in his day, albeit not for automobiles.) in his infamous ‘To Be or Not To Be’ speech. This speech from Act III, Scene I, Page III of Hamlet has puzzled literary historians for centuries, as in it the mentally unstable Dane begins to elucidate on such a surprisingly practical subject with his companion Claudius; a matter more suited to the skills of a footman than a prince, and at odds with the rest of the story line. Theories abound as to why Shakespeare chose to integrate this relatively trivial subject into such a pivotal moment in the play, with the most common being that it helped to underline Hamlet’s mania that he swing in and out of the realities of his social station (An unforgivable madness at the time the play was written.). However, detailers today look at it as a key moment in history when their craft began steadily working its way into the popular entertainment over 400-years ago. It also shows that whilst centuries have passed, little in the realm of ‘detailing’ has actually changed…


Hamlet to Claudius –Act III, Scene I, Chapter III, Paragraph III

“To glaze, or not to glaze; that is the question…

Whether tis nobler in mind to suffer,
The slings and arrows of swirls and hazes,
Or to wither under the mocking gazes,
Of detailers violently opposed to glazes,
Those who argue the merits of correction,
But whose harsh prose leads to insurrection.

An old battle, neither lost nor won; now lacking in much of its fun…

You may ask being confused of heart,
Which way is best in the detailer’s art,
I can only offer the experience of mine own eyes,
That when one is fresh to the world,
A glaze to the detailer is like the breeze to the summer or the flower to the bee,
With it perfection comes quite quickly and easily.

But as time goes by, one’s life does change; youth is to age as the moon is to the sun…

Perfect paintwork through correction is a battle which I have fought,
And a battle I have won,
Now in my life I enjoy the purity,
Of unglazed paint,
Of practicing my craft,
And detailing quite simply.

Both have their place, their time; their space…

There is wisdom in knowing the place for each,
For youth and for age,
To learn and to teach,
To glaze,
To correct,
To listen to your heart,
And do what is right for thee.

I offer these verses with neither want, nor malice; the opinions of the masses are only so much ballast…

If perfection you have already reached,
All on your own,
Without glazes or fillers or other trickery,
This is preferable for your LSP,
It’s a guarantee that it will bond fast,
But if not just use a glaze for it will look better and still will last.”


(1) – Dr. Tilda Fibb, Professor of English Literature, University of Bodmin, 1972-1994

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