19 Movies (And TV Shows) That Are Secretly Shakespeare Adaptations In Disguise

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To thine own self be true... unless you can be Shakespeare.

It's hard to compare authors on a historical or international scale, because literature varies based on language, culture, time period, and type: whether it's a play, book, a poem, or something else. But regardless, William Shakespeare is typically seen as the greatest writer in the English language, and maybe the entire world, because of his play writing and sonnets. His works have been reproduced in every single major language, and his plays have been performed in the most remote corners of the world. The only written work that has been more heavily translated and spread worldwide? The Bible. Shakespeare created entire new words, new worlds, and changed the face of theater forever.

So is it really any surprise that even modern movies and TV shows are loosely based off of Shakespeare plays? I mean, there's no copyright laws for them, first of all, so coming up with the plot makes it really easy for the screenwriters. There's also no shame in adapting Shakespeare -- almost every filmmaker does it, or at least tries to do it, and even for the dumbest cinematic works, the theatrical element makes them seem smarter. And we found a whole lot of TV shows and films that are secretly Shakespeare adaptations in disguise! None of these movies or shows feature corsets or the Elizabethan era, so you might not recognize them... but we'll explain! Get Started