Did you know the name Jessica was first used in The Merchant of Venice?
Or that Freud's idea of a healthy sex life came from Shakespeake?
Nearly four hundred years after his death, Shakespeare permeates our everyday lives: from the words we speak to the teenage heartthrobs we worship to the political rhetoric spewed by the twenty-four-hour news cycle.
In the pages of this wickedly clever little book, Esquire columnist Stephen Marche uncovers the hidden influence of Shakespeare in our culture, including these fascinating tidbits:
- Shakespeare coined over 1,700 words, including hobnob, glow, lackluster, and dawn.
- Paul Robeson's 1943 performance as Othello on Broadway was a seminal moment in black history.
- Tolstoy wrote an entire book about Shakespeare's failures as a writer.
- In 1936, the Nazi Party tried to claim Shakespeare as a Germanic writer.
- Without Shakespeare, the book titles Infinite Jest, The Sound and the Fury, and Brave New World wouldn't exist.
Stephen Marche has cherry-picked the sweetest and most savory historical footnotes from Shakespeare's work and life to create this unique celebration of the greatest writer of all time.