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Shakespeare Compiler written in Python,

This is a compiler from SPL to C that implements the majority of the Shakespeare programming language invented by Kalle Hasselstrom and Jon Aslund, I take no credit for inventing the language.

This software is free to edit, use, or sell, but I wouldn't mind if you attached the following copyright notice to any work that utilizes this project.

Copyright © 2014-2015 Sam Donow

This compiler implements most features of the Shakespeare Programming language described at

The following features have yet to be or may never be implemented:

  • Stacks (because who needs data structures in Shakespeare, really?)
  • multiple-word nouns in cases where using just the last word would generate any confusion

The following features not in the original language spec is implemented but is a work in progress:

Pretty Gotos

In the original language spec, goto statements take the form let us proceed to scene III, let us return to act I, etc. As this is both awkward and non-Shakesperian, I have made it so that you can use the name of an act or scene (not case, punctuation, or whitespace sensitive) in place of a this awkward structure. Therefore, if you had Act I: The Forest.

Then the sentence let us return to the forest is equivalent to let us return to act I.

Like standard gotos, you can not jump to a scene within an act other than the one you are currently in.

Initial Declarations

In the original language, everything after the comma in a declaration, such as:

Romeo, an evil octopus.

is ignored: so in the above, though octopus is not a Shakespearean noun, this is allowed. However, the spec does not make it clear what the initial value of a variable should be, which would lead to undefined behavior. In SPL, you can put a noun phrase after Romeo, and it will be evaluated to a number, so for example

Romeo, a good man.

will assign 2 to Romeo. Any non-legal noun phrase will assign 0 instead (as though it had been ignored).

The following are planned features not in the original language spec that may be implemented in later versions of this compiler.

  • Support for word replaces of functions: If the goal of Shakespeare is to make programs look like plays, then it is sub-optimal having to use words like "square root" all over the place, so I may add a way to define equivalent words for math functions in a text file.

To use spl, simply run

$ ./spl [Input File]
$ ./a.out

Or, if you would like, you can run

$ python [Input File] > [Output File]
$ gcc [Output File] -lm
$ ./a.out

The spl script should work in any bash terminal, on Windows, the explicit python method should work if you have all of the right programs installed. I may at some time get around to writing a .bat script for Windows users.


  • Python (2.X or 3.X)
  • gcc


A Compiler for the Shakespeare Programming Language Written in Python. Compiles from SPL to C.







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