If you look closely, Shakespeare is all around us. From nightclubs and suburban mall food courts to the theatre where Lincoln died, from coffee mugs to shopping bags—William Shakespeare’s literary power is so intense and so widespread that it intrudes into the material world. How Shakespeare Changed Everything, by novelist and esquire columnist Stephen Marche, takes us on a delightful tour through the continuous stream of Shakespeare’s influence on the world stage.
The gifted playwright who moves audiences to laughter and tears has also moved history. Marche summons up the great Bard in the most unexpected places. He explains the political currency of Shakespeare in both democracies and totalitarian regimes; during World War II, Churchill, Hitler and Stalin all appealed to Shakespeare’s works.
Packed with fascinating tidbits, How Shakespeare Changed Everything takes a deep look at how Shakespeare’s spirit permeates our everyday lives, and, more importantly, how the world as we know it would not exist without Shakespeare. Did you know:
- Shakespeare coined somewhere in the vicinity of 1,700 words, including lacklustre, fashionable, auspicious, bandit, glow, hush, dawn, gnarled, hobnob, traditional, and even the name Jessica.
- Abraham Lincoln read Shakespeare aloud as he was sailing up the Potomac days before his death and, through mysterious coincidence, chose Macbeth to recite, the very play in which Shakespeare is believed to have invented the word “assassination.”
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