When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.
Shakespeare's Shout-outs To, Um, Shakespeare
- The big tempest in Act 1, Scene 1: The storms in King Lear and Macbeth
- Prospero's evil, power hungry brother Antonio: Claudius in Hamlet, Edmund vs. Edgar in King Lear, Oliver in As You Like It, Richard III in Richard III
- The story of loss and recovery: Pericles, The Winter's Tale, Cymbeline
- Journey from court to the wilderness and back: A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It
- Prospero's obsession with controlling his daughter's sex life and choice of husband: Polonius and Ophelia in Hamlet.
- Prospero's Masque (a "play" within the play): The Mousetrap in Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry IV Part 1
- Portrayal of Caliban as a dark "Other": Othello, Merchant of Venice, Titus Andronicus
- Surprise! Miranda's really a princess: Perdita's discovery of her royal status in The Winter's Tale
- Shipwrecks: Pericles, The Winter's Tale, The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night
- Prospero's Magic: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Henry IV Part 2
Literature and Mythology
- Virgil, The Aeneid—Virgil presents the Widow Dido in the story of Dido and Aeneas (2.1)
- Ceres' loss of Persephone to Pluto in Roman mythology (4.1.97-100)