Shakespeare died over 400 years ago, but his words live on in everyday English conversations. Even native English speakers who don’t know his plays, use idioms the famous playwright coined over 400 years ago.
Shakespeare had a unique insight into what makes us tick. We often hear his words in the news.
Take for example the strange tale of British divorcee Amanda Rodgers. When the 46-year-old remarried, the ceremony was rather unusual. The life partner of her dreams was a dog named Sheba.
Amanda said, “Sheba had been in my life for years, making me laugh and comforting me when I was feeling low. I couldn’t think of anything more I’d need from a life partner.”
As Shakespeare would say, “love is blind”. First used by the playwright in The Merchant Of Venice, those three words are now used to describe the union between any unlikely couple.
Also, in the news, US President Donald Trump accused Barrack Obama of bugging his telephones. The media said Trump was going on a wild goose chase to find evidence of wiretapping. The expression wild goose chase describes a hopeless search for something unattainable. It was first used by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet.
Another recent story was British man Pedro Godinho who was found injured in a car park after being stabbed in a senseless attack. He later died in a hospital of his wounds. His friends described him as having “a heart of gold.” This expression is often used to describe a person’s good nature and their caring manner. Shakespeare used it to describe Henry V.
We even hear Shakespeare’s words used to describe social problems. A local politician in the UK said people should stop giving beggars money. At first glance, it sounds cruel not to give money to people with no food or home. But this politician said that it encourages bogus beggars who would use the money for alcohol and drugs.
The politician said, “We have to be cruel to be kind.” This phrase was first used by Shakespeare in Hamlet. It is now used to describe how acting harshly to someone in the short-term will help them in the long-term.
Shakespeare was a master at understanding and creatively expressing what makes us human. And for this reason, his influence has stretched across centuries. In modern films, books, songs, news headlines, and conversations across the world, Shakespeare’s English is everywhere.