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Shakespeare in Pop Culture

Shakespeare is heralded as a foundational figure in
Psychology, sociology, political theory, business, medicine, and law

He’s one of the largest enablers of modern culture
For his 37 plays:

10 Tragedies
10 Histories
17 Comedies

154 Sonnets

884,647 words and 118,406 lines

Roughly 1/100 words we speak today was invented by Shakespeare

English words invented by Shakespeare: 1,700

Total number of English words in 2nd Edition Oxford English Dictionary: 171,476*
*though other dictionaries count more

Including: [9]

Only 16 modern rappers have used more unique words within their first 35,000 lyrics[2]

“I was not born under a rhyming planet”–Much Ado About Nothing

MF Doom
Kool G Rap
Ghostface Killah
Killah Priest
Wu-Tang Clan
Kool Kieth
Aesop Rock

While the number of English speakers worldwide has grown from 5 million to 1.5 billion

Raising the rate of potential Shakespeare’s at any one time from 1 to 30.

Shakespeare has created many of our most lasting cultural types

Many of which we’ve adapted…

A Romeo is a persistent romancer and philanderer
A Hamlet over thinks and is indecisive
A lady Macbeth is a cut throat and ambitious female politician

Some of which have enduring legacies:
Supernatural characters started to become common in Elizabethan England

Arial, from The Tempest is a Fun-loving, mischievous being with extraordinary abilities

Hamlet’s father’s ghost as a call for revenge
Banquo, murdered by Macbeth, returns to haunt him

Puck–fairy from A Midsummer Night’s Dream– is a mischievous fairy of the woods

“Double, double, toil and trouble”
As seen in countless supernatural thrillers

Violence Always Sells

[causes of death in Shakespeare’s tragedies]

64 violent deaths in Shakespeare:
33 stabbed
7 poisoned
5 beheaded
2 broken hearts
2 hangings
2 baked into a pie
1 drowned
1 smothered by a pillow
1 lack of sleep
1 drops dead
1 snake bite
1 torn apart by mob
1 Eating hot coals
1 “disappearing”
1 thrown into a fire
1 indigestion
1 buried to neck and starved
1 cut into pieces
1 throws himself away
1 eaten by bear

But so does some straight up Shakespeare…

Number of movies inspired by Shakespeare plays:

Twelfth Night-1
King Lear -6
Romeo and Juliet – 6
Midsummer Night’s Dream – 5
Othello – 1
Macbeth – 4
Hamlet – 7
Taming of the Shrew – 3
The Tempest -3
Henry V – 2
Henry IV – 1
Richard III – 1
The Comedy of Errors – 1

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players