When asked who their favorite writer is, the chances that a person will say William Shakespeare may be relatively small. With that in mind, if say to that same person, "to be or not to be" they will most likely respond with "that is the question" and even if they don't they are sure to know what it is from. Aside from the Christian Bible, Hamlet is the most quoted and known piece of literature in history. Many of the play's quotes have become popular phrases, such as "to thine own self be true" and "there's something rotten in the state of Denmark." This phrase is also commonly adjusted to fit any city or situation in which something foul has taken place, it doesn't usually affect available apartments for or the inhabitability of that town. And while much of the play's story, themes and lines have ingrained themselves into popular culture and remain there today, not all of them are immediately attributed to this iconic tragedy. In fact, while the majority of people might be aware that Hamlet was melancholy prince who was torn between action and inaction and spoke the famous line about the perils of life and that choice between such and a nightmarish afterlife, not everyone is actually even able to attribute the line or the speech itself to him. In fact, that can be a fun social experiment, setting up on a street corner and interviewing people about which quotes from Hamlet, or any other Shakespeare play, they can name and place.
This is one of the interesting aspects of Shakespeare's works. His characters helped to define humanity, according to Harold Bloom and other critics, and his words are part of common speech and randomly quoted in various forms of literature and in film, Shakespeare himself remains something of a mystery. Frequently people will hear a line from one of his plays quoted and recognize what they hear, and maybe even quote him themselves, while not fully understanding even what they're saying. What does this say about society, Shakespeare, culture and history, if anything? And is it more of a testimony to his greatness, or the apathetic nature of society. Do his words ring any differently in modern ears than do common wives tales and simple rhymes from history? Regardless of whether you yawn, scream, faint or smile when you are told Shakespeare will be on the semester's reading list, you are most definitely more likely to hear him quoted, and also to see one if his shows performed, than any other writer in history, save those who contributed to the Holy Bible as was mentioned before. And whether you're looking an appartement montreal from Starlight Investments Ltd or moving anywhere else, most likely you will find one of his plays onstage in that city sometime during the year.