Interesting Fictional Stuff Influenced by Shakespeare’s Life or Works

These are some of my favorite works that were inspired in some way by Shakespeare.  I can't recommend the first on the list highly enough, by the way.  This is an ever-growing list, so I may update this post periodically.  Please let me know any other fun books or shows or movies you enjoy so I can check them out!

  • Slings & Arrows (One of my favorite TV shows of all time; simultaneously hilarious and moving.  Canadian, 3 seasons at 6 episodes each.  Follows the work of a Shakespeare festival in a small theatre town, run by a creative genius who happens to have a history of insanity and who consults with a ghost on the regular)
  • The Weird Sisters – Eleanor Brown (Breezy summer novel about 3 very different daughters of a Shakespeare professor)
  • My Name Is Will – Jess Winfield (Intersperses a tale of Shakespeare as a young man trying to make it in 1580s London with a grad student in 1980s Santa Cruz who’s equally flailing.  Raunchy and fun)
  • The Lion King (Jeremy Irons is the BEST CLAUDIO EVER, plus it has a way more up-lifting intro scene than any Shakespearean play I've ever seen)
  • Chasing Shakespeares – Sarah Smith (Well-researched novel about two grad students who find a piece of evidence that may mean Shakespeare didn’t actually write the plays attributed to him.  The dialogue isn’t great, but the plot clips along nicely)
  • Kill Shakespeare, Vol 1 – graphic novel (First of 12 volumes about Shakespeare’s characters, who all go in search of this Author fellow.  Gory, sexy, no iambic pentameter whatsoever)
  • The Marlowe Papers – Ros Barber (Another anti-Stratfordian novel, this one imagines that Christopher Marlowe faked his death due to his spy job for the crown.  He heads to the Continent for his safety, writes the plays, and mails them back to London playhouses)
  • A Thousand Acres – Jane Smiley (Inspired by King Lear, it tells of 3 daughters splitting farmland in 20th century central USA; it won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize)
  • Forbidden Planet (A pretty awesome 1950s sci-fi movie that sets The Tempest in space.  Leslie Nielsen is in it!!) 
  • Shakespeare in Love (Yes, I still love that movie.  Watch Gwyneth's performance that won her controversial Oscar! -- yes, Cate should have won for Elizabeth)