#TalkLikeShakespeareDay

Name: William Shakespeare
Baptised: April 26, 1564
Died: April 23, 1616

Can access his works on Gutenberg.org

National Talk Like Shakespeare Day’s Beginnings:

When: Today! April 23, 2018 — every year
Started By: Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2009
Links: How does speaking like Shakespeare sound like?

Many know him and were forced to read his work through high school. There are teachers who dread teaching him or have taken him out of the classroom. It’s either the kids aren’t interested or there isn’t a way to relate to his stuff anymore.

But a lot of modern day pieces are inspired by him or came from him directly. We have words and phrases from his works. We have movies, television shows, books and songs about his work or were inspired by his work.

The idea that we shouldn’t teach his work is silly. It shouldn’t be the only materials taught in an English class. But he should show up somewhere along the way. I’ve created a very long blog post about him for this National Calendar Day. I may have went a little overboard I know but here it is.

Have you read any of his works? Listened, watched or enjoyed a book with Shakespeare as inspiration? Did I miss anyone’s work that contains Shakespeare somewhere? I probably have so feel free to let me know!

Everything here is a small part of someone else’s article. If I’ve borrowed from an article it is linked in the title of the section it’s being used in.

My most recent interaction with his work is a manga classic Romeo & Juliet. I’ve watched, listened and read some of the things below. I’ve certainly used many of the words listed under “words coined” by Shakespeare. One of the reasons I am annoyed when people get upset with new words that enter our dictionaries our language is alive and forever changing. This is definitely a helpful example of this.

Modern Day with Shakespeare:

Words Coined or Used by Shakespeare as they mean today
small list rest in link

  • accessible
  • barefaced
  • catlike
  • cold-blooded
  • distrustful
  • employment
  • fairlyland
  • hostile
  • inaudible
  • sucsseful
  • upstairs

Popular Shakespeare Quotes:

small batch rest in link

To be, or not to be: that is the question  Hamlet Act 3, scene 1
Now is the winter of our discontent – Richard III Act 1, Scene 1
A man can die but once – Henry IV Part 2  Act 3, part 2
The lady doth protest too much, methinks – Hamlet Act 3, Scene 2
To thine own self be true – Hamlet Act 1, scene 3
What light through yonder window breaks – Romeo & Juliet Act 2, scene 2

Phrases From Shakespeare

Just a few rest at link

  1. Green-eyed monster comes from Othello
  2. Seen better days is from As You Like It
  3. Off with his head  Richard III
  4. Good Riddance is from Troilus and Cressida — WHAT?!
  5. It’s Greek to me is from Julius Caesar
  6. Love is blind from Merchant of Venice
  7. Kill with Kindness taken from The Taming of the Shrew
  8. Knock, Knock! Who’s there? Macbeth  – Shakespeare is the cause of this ??

Songs that mention his work:

  1. Dire Strait’s Romeo and Juliet
  2. Sting’s Sister Moon  : Shakespeare’s sonnet #130
    “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”
  3. Rush’s  Limelight – lines from As You Like It
    “All the world’s indeed a stage, and we are merely players”
  4. The Beatle’s I Am the Walrus  lines from King Lear
    “Oh untimely death..”
  5. Mumford & Son’s Sigh No More title comes from Much Ado About Nothing
  6. Elvis Costello’s Miss Macbeth
  7. The Lumineers’ Ophelia
  8. 2Pac’s Something Wicked Macbeth
  9. Iron Maiden’s The Evil That Men Do Julius Caesar title of song comes from Mark Anthony’s speech.
  10. Metallica’s King Nothing King Lear & Macbeth

TV Shows:

which I know could technically go under the next heading but I wanted to separate it.


Shows with similarities,  aspects taken from his works or about his works on TV.

  1. Empire – King lear
  2. House of Cards – Richard III
  3. Son’s of Anarchy – Hamlet
  4. Will – About William Shakespeare
  5. Star-Crossed – Romeo & Juliet
  6. Game of Thrones  Henry VI — some aspect

Modernized adaptations of his works:

10 Things I Hate About You is an adaptation  The Taming of the Shrew
Stars Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik and more. Came out in 1999

Coriolanus Shakespeare’s tragedy set in modern times. Set in Rome as riots progress as citizens/civil liberties are restricted due to a war with Volsci.

Stars Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain and more.

Based on Cymbeline — revolves around a war between dirty cops and a biker gang.

Stars: Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich and more.

1954’s Forbidden Planet based on The Tempest set on planet Altair VI in the 23rd century.

Starring Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, and Leslie Nielson

Get Over It adaptation of A Midsummer’s Dream is a teen comedy focused on a senior who is trying to win back his ex. 2001

Stars Kirsten Dunst, Ben Foster, Melissa Sagemiller, Sisqo and more.

Gnomeo and Juliet is an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet (if you couldn’t guess). From 2011 and voice stars: Kelly Asbury, Mark Burton, Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil and more.

Hamlet 2000 is based off of Hamlet. Stars Ethan Hawke, Kyle Maclachlan, Diane Venora and more

This was actually good? If I am thinking it’s the one I watched in high school.

The Lion King is another adaptation

O, 2001, film based off Othello

Follows high schoolers and involves school violence. Was shelved two years because of Columbine shooting.

Stars Mekhi Phifer, Josh Hartnett, Julia Stiles and Elden Henson

Scotland, PA based on Twelfth Night released in 2001. A dark comedy set around a fast food restaurant. Stars Maura Tierney, James LeGros and Christopher Walken.

She’s the Man is another adaptation. 

Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori is an adaptation of As You Like It. About Haruhi Fjioka a scholarship student of Ouran Academy for rich kids.

Books inspired by Shakespeare

more at link


A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley – King Lear


The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey is a mystery novel defending Richard III


The Story of Edgar Sawtelle  by David Wroblewski a retelling of Hamlet.

Romeo and Juliet turned Manga. Comes out May 25th published by Udon Entertainment.

I know it’s the play turned into a graphic novel but it fits well enough. 

Thank you for reading!

What’s your favorite thing by William Shakespeare? Or inspired by his works? 

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