The reading of Shakespeare’s work is still the tie that binds (and often gags) students across generations, but that’s far from the only way the Bard influenced our culture, as Stephen Marche reveals in his new book, How Shakespeare Changed Everything.
Jamie Spatola at mental_floss has handpicked ten examples of how Shakespeare impacts our lives in ways you probably never realized…until now, of course.
1. He gave us a lot of new words
Just say some words real quick and you’ll probably say one he coined – nearly 10% of his 20,000-word vocabulary was new to his audiences. You may consider yourself quite fashionable or softhearted. You may consider this post to be lackluster. But you couldn’t consider any of those things to be those ways if Shakespeare hadn’t made up the words for you.
2. He inspired an assassin
On November 25, 1864, actor John Wilkes Booth starred as Marc Antony alongside his brothers, Edwin as Brutus and Junius, Jr. as Cassius, in a one-night benefit performance of Julius Caesar at New York City’s Winter Garden Theatre — incidentally raising money to place a statue of Shakespeare on Central Park’s Literary Walk. Five months later, on April 14, 1865, JWB would put on a more impactful performance at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, as a real-life Brutus, assassinating the leader of a nation.
Full story at mental_floss.
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