The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Do You Know Shakespeare?
At Super Scholar, we help students get the most out of their educational experience. Recently we have developed a really interesting infographic about William Shakespeare. He would have turned 452 this year, but his works still echo through time. Many of his works are required reading throughout high school and college. His archetypes are still found in contemporary plays, like “She’s the Man” or “Lion King”.
His works are timeless and inspire generations, from reading “Romeo and Juliet” to “Hamlet” and “Lady MacBeth”. They are the inspiration for many modern writings and movies, which are sometimes strictly or loosely based off of his works. He not only wrote around 850,000 words, but he invented more than 171,000 and he’s used more words than most modern rappers, which found their way into our modern Oxford dictionary including addiction, assassination, courtship, eyeball, impartial, luggage, swagger, and tranquil.
Shakespeare was also no stranger to ensuring that many of his plays included violence featuring stabbings, poisonings, beheadings, broken hearts, hangings, bakery mishaps, drownings, smotherings, sleep deprivation, snake bites, engulfed in flames, indigestion, live burials, starvation, mutilation, and even a hungry bear!
To Shakespeare, with his creative imagination and his experience of the world and people, noted that much of our lives involve drama, or the desire for it, and led to one of his most famous quotes ever said, “All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players.” Shakespeare is so inspiration that for centuries to come, his influence will always be upon us.
This infographic explores Shakespeare in popular culture.
Infographic submitted and partial summary article by Jennifer Schneider, partial summary article by Matthew Gates
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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:
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
Only 16 modern rappers have used more unique words within their first 35,000 lyrics
“I was not born under a rhyming planet”–Much Ado About Nothing
Kool G Rap
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:
2 broken hearts
2 baked into a pie
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 thrown into a fire
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:
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