Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge
A lot of people think Shakespeare's the guy who wrote this famous line about Helen of Troy: "Was this the face that launched a thousand ships?" He's not. That line comes from Doctor Faustus, a play written by one of Shakespeare's frenemies, Christopher Marlowe. But Shakespeare does give Marlowe's famous phrase a shout-out in Troilus and Cressida when Troilus says that Helen's "price hath launch'd above a thousand ships"(2.2.82). Want a fun take on these playwrights' relationship? Check out the Oscar-winning film Shakespeare in Love.
In 1973, Toyota introduced a car named after one of Shakespeare's most unreliable characters. (That would be Cressida.) What were they thinking? (source)
Too busy to read a five-act play? This is how the Reduced Shakespeare Company sums up the play in their "Tweeting Shakespeare" project: "Trojan wars are complicated, and Trojans sometimes break." (source)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) gives a big shout-out to Troilus and Cressida. Check out a clip from this classic flick (based on Betty Smith's 1943 novel), where little Francie reads a passage from Troilus and Cressida andsays she likes the words, even though she doesn't understand them. (Too bad Shmoop wasn't around back then to help her.) (source)