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Discovering Shakespeare

Updated on April 21, 2012

To be brutally honest, I had no idea a lot of the movies, shows, and phrases I come across on a daily basis come from Shakespeare’s own lips. A movie that I was especially surprised to learn was based off of a Shakespearean play was the movie She’s the Man. It’s a romantic comedy based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

This play focused all on mistaken identity, which in She’s the Man is very clear as Amanda Bynes pretends to be her brother. After doing a little more research, I found out that Twelfth Night was actually based off of another short story called Of Apollonius and Silla, which was written by Barnabe Rich, based on another story by Matteo Bandello! Wooh! She’s the Man is about Viola Hastings who wants to be sporty and tomboyish, but who’s mother wants her to be a sophisticated, tea-drinking lady. When Viola’s brother, Sebastian, goes on an unexpected trip out of the country, Viola takes his place in college so that he doesn’t get kicked out. In Twelfth Night, there is also a character named Viola who is a castaway, in disguise as a character named Cesario, in service to a man named Orsino.

This may be one of the more obvious forms of Shakespeare in modern society, but you could almost connect any basic plots/feelings/story lines to Shakespeare because he basically created the modern film/show/television outline to how a story is supposed to play out. In a book I just recently read called Exposure, there is a young girl and boy in high school who fall in love, and both want to become Broadway stars. However, her father does not want her to live the kind of life she dreams of, and when he finds naked pictures of her boyfriend on her laptop, he has the boy arrested, and when the boy’s house is searched, they find naked pictures of his girlfriend, Amelia, and so then she is arrested as well. Once they are both bailed out, they run away together and as they almost reach the border of Canada, Amelia has intense stomach pains, and it turns out her appendix needs to be immediately removed. This all sounds very Shakespearean to me because it contains a young love story similar to Romeo and Juliet. Once Romeo thinks Juliet is dying, he kills himself. After Amelia is entered into the hospital, her boyfriend wanders out into a blizzard without a coat to make a point to the DA and everyone else who put them through a nightmare of a case. Shakespeare is everywhere! People who write books and television episodes and movies probably don’t even realize they’re using Shakespeare classic model. As a writer, I will proudly use Shakespeare greatest plot lines and twist them in a new way to make a modern masterpiece.


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    • Jscott10 profile image

      Jscott10 5 years ago from New York

      Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      kiddi 5 years ago

      You are so right - all that is now is Shakespeare - awesome hub

    • bewhuebner profile image

      bewhuebner 5 years ago from Virginia, USA

      It really is amazing the amount of things in modern society that derive from Shakespeare... Great thought to center a hub around!