Creator/WilliamShakespeare has created some of the most memorable works in the history of the English language. So when you're a struggling writer, trying to find a good plot, why not take one of his?

A subtrope of WholePlotReference, and also of SettingUpdate. A lot of RecycledINSPACE would be these as well (especially the rash of [-[[HighschoolAU IN HIGH SCHOOL!]]-] films like ''Film/TenThingsIHateAboutYou'' (''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew''), ''O'' (''Theatre/{{Othello}}''), and ''Film/ShesTheMan'' (''Theatre/TwelfthNight'').

This trope only applies to works that follow the plot of a Shakespeare play, ''not'' to works using his characters or written as sequels. So ''RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead'', despite being made entirely of characters in ''Hamlet'', is not this. It would only be so if Rosencrantz was Guildenstern's evil uncle, who killed Guildenstern's father...
So Alan Gordon's ''ThirteenthNight'' (being a sequel to ''Twelfth Night'') doesn't count, but his ''AnAnticDisposition'' (which follows the plot of ''Hamlet'') would.

See also [[ShoutOut/ToShakespeare Shout Out: to Shakespeare]]. Not to be confused with ShakespeareInFiction, which is about appearances by the man himself. Anyone who regards this as writers being unoriginal should consider that [[JustForFun/TheZerothLawOfTropeExamples Shakespeare did this himself]]. Every Shakespeare play, with only two exceptions (''Theatre/TheTempest'' and ''Theatre/TheMerryWivesOfWindsor''), was taken either from RealLife history or from pre-existing stories.
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!!Examples

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[[folder: Theatre/Hamlet ]]

* ''Disney/TheLionKing'' -- Evil uncle kills good king father, son overthrows him. The ending is a little lighter, though.
* ''Film/TheBadSleepWell'' -- Young man gets a prominent position in a corrupt postwar Japanese company in order to expose the men responsible for his father's death. It has its roots in ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''.
* ''LetTheDevilWearBlack'' -- ''Hamlet'' updated to modern-day southern California as a moody grad student is compelled to take revenge on his uncle for his father's death.
* ''Film/LegendOfTheBlackScorpion'' is the wuxia version of ''Hamlet''.
* ''StrangeBrew'' is a fairly low-brow version of ''Hamlet'', with, perhaps, Bob and Doug [=McKenzie=] as Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern.
* ''TheDeadFathersClub'' is a novel that reimagines the story of Hamlet in modern-day England.
* ''Discworld/WyrdSisters'', while mostly ''Macbeth'', has a fair chunk of ''Hamlet'' as well; most notably the CatchTheConscience scene.
* Scott G. F. Bailey's ''The Astrologer'' resets the action to the seventeenth century.
* ''The Tragedy of Greenhilt'' from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' supplement ''Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales'' is a retelling of ''Hamlet'' by Roy Greenhilt, with himself as the hero, BigBad Xykon as King Xlaudius, and the rest of the cast in various other roles. Classic literature, ruined in the way that only ''The Order of the Stick'' can!

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[[folder: Theatre/Henry IV ]]

* ''Film/MyOwnPrivateIdaho'' -- The story of two hustlers on a journey to find peace and a long-lost mother, inspired by ''Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2''.

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[[folder: Theatre/Henry V ]]

* Shakespearean director Kenneth Branagh (who has directed and starred in acclaimed versions of ''Hamlet'', ''Othello'', and ''Much ado About Nothing'') stated that he based ''Film/{{Thor}}'' on ''Henry V''; a prince fights in a war, has a romance with a girl from another land, and undergoes some basic character development. He also drew inspiration the subplot from ''King Lear'' concerning Edgar and his bastard brother Edmund, who tricks his father into exiling him.

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[[folder: Theatre/King Lear ]]

* Creator/AkiraKurosawa's ''Film/{{Ran}}'' is an interesting case. He [[WordOfGod said in an interview]] that he wrote a draft of the screenplay and showed it to a friend, who read it and said "Oh, it's ''King Lear''!", to which Kurosawa responded, "It's what?" After he read ''Lear'', he edited ''Ran'' to match it more closely, and threw in some quotes.
* ''KingOfTexas'' -- ''King Lear'' set on a ranch in the Old West.
* ''AThousandAcres'' -- ''King Lear'' on a Midwestern American farm, where three daughters despise their abusive father.
* ''HarryAndTonto'' -- After his life-long New York City home is torn down, a retired schoolteacher makes a cross-country journey to visit his estranged children in this adaptation of ''King Lear''.
* ''MossGown'' is a mix of "Literature/{{Cinderella}}" and ''Theatre/KingLear'' with a SettingUpdate to the antebellum SweetHomeAlabama.
* Creator/HonoreDeBalzac's novel ''Literature/LePereGoriot'', in which the Lear figure is a wealthy merchant who gives his money to his status-seeking daughters.
* Marcus Pitcaithly's ''Literature/TheRealmOfAlbion'' is the Lear story firmly in its original ancient British setting... from the viewpoint of the King's otherwise unknown wife.

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[[folder: Theatre/Macbeth ]]

* Creator/AkiraKurosawa's ''Film/ThroneOfBlood'' was directly and consciously based on ''Macbeth''.
* ''ScotlandPA'', which transplants Macbeth to a fast food restaurant in rural Pennsylvania in the 1970s.
* ''MenOfRespect'' -- After hearing a prophecy, a hitman executes his superiors and rises to the head of a mob family with dire consequences.
** ''MenOfRespect'' was a remake of the 1955 film ''JoeMacBeth'', which also recast the original story with modern-day gangsters.
* The TOS ''OuterLimits'' episode "The Bellero Shield" takes some elements from ''Macbeth'' without following the plot exactly. The Lady Macbeth role is filled by [[AmbitionIsEvil the greedy, ambitious wife]] of an idealistic scientist. When a gentle alien accidentally winds up in the husband's lab, he becomes the equivalent to [[spoiler:Banquo's ghost; the wife kills him and tries to pass off his ImportedAlienPhlebotinum as her husband's invention, only to learn that the alien is NotQuiteDead.]]
* ''Discworld/WyrdSisters'' is a parodic retelling, from the perspective of the (benevolent, in this case) witches.

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[[folder: Theatre/A Midsummer Nights Dream ]]

* ''Film/GetOverIt'' is based on ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'', set in high school. Bonus points for the fact that the SchoolPlay ShowWithinAShow is a musical version of ''A Midsummer Night's Dream''.
* One ''HouseOfMouse'' short is actually based on this play.
* The Creator/WoodyAllen film ''AMidsummerNightsSexComedy''.
* The musical ''Theatre/TheDreaming''
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'' riffs on the play a bit, most obviously with Jason Ogg's Rude Mechanicals.

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[[folder: Theatre/Othello ]]

* ''AllNightLong'' -- An adaptation of ''Othello'' set in the contemporary London jazz scene.
* ''Othello'', a modern language adaptation of Othello that aired on BBC in 2001. John Othello, a cop promoted to police commissioner, is manipulated by his former partner Jago. Stars Eeamon Walker as Othello and Creator/ChristopherEccleston as Jago.
* ''"Film/{{O}}"'' -- Odin James(Mekhi Phifer) is the captain of his high school basketball team, while Hugo(Josh Hartnett) plots to undo his popularity.

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[[folder: Theatre/Romeo And Juliet ]]

* ''GnomeoAndJuliet'' [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on it in the introduction, where one of the gnomes mention that "this story has been retold. A lot."
** Not just that. Later in the movie, [[spoiler:a statue of Shakespeare himself shows up and talks over the story with the main character, Gnomeo. He even says, obliquely, that the original story was a tragedy and that he hopes Gnomeo's story ends on a happier note, setting Gnomeo further on his quest to make sure his story turns out differently]].
* ''Theatre/WestSideStory'' is a modernized, musical version of ''Romeo and Juliet''.
* An in-universe example: In one episode of ''HigherGround'', the students practice and perform a play written by their classmate, which eerily follows the plot of ''Romeo and Juliet'', despite the writer's claim that he's never read Shakespeare. In the end, of course, it turned out he had, but his friend tells him that it's not a problem copying Shakespeare; writers do it all the time.
* ''Film/RomeoMustDie'' -- Loosely based on ''Romeo and Juliet'' featuring Chinese and black mob families as the Montagues and Capulets and lots of kung fu.
* ''LoveIsAllThereIs'' -- ''Romeo and Juliet'' with two rival restaurant-owning Italian families in New York at constant odds especially after their children fall in love.
* ''ChinaGirl'' -- ''Romeo and Juliet'' in New York City, with rival Italian and Chinese gangs as the feuding families.
* ''Film/WilliamShakespearesRomeoAndJuliet''
* ''Disney/TheLionKing II: Simba's Pride'', when it comes to Kiara (Simba's daughter) and Kovu's forbidden romance.
* ''WarmBodies'', with humans and zombies. The girl's name is Julie and the zombie's name is R... something.
* ''MagicalLegendOfTheLeprechauns''. Let's say the original Sheakespearean ending is [[EverybodyLives thoroughly reversed]].
* ''MonicasGang'' had ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrPmtCc1bso Jimmy Five and Monica in the World of Romeo and Juliet]]'', which is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, cuts out all references to death, and ends in a much happier note.
* ''RomeoAndJulietSealedWithAKiss'' -- Pretty much ''Romeo and Juliet'' [-[[RecycledInSpace WITH SEALS!]]-]
* John Keats' poem "The Eve of St. Agnes" borrows heavily from the ''Romeo and Juliet'' plot.

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[[folder: Theatre/The Taming Of The Shrew ]]

* ''Film/TenThingsIHateAboutYou'' is based on ''The Taming of the Shrew'', set in high school.
* ''DeliverUsFromEva'' -- Revolving around LLCoolJ's character Ray being paid to date a troublesome young lady named Eva. To some extent, it is a modern, urban update ''The Taming of the Shrew''.
* ''Theatre/KissMeKate'' is a musical about a company putting on a musical version of ''the Taming of the Shrew'', while the in-show actors' lives mimic those of their characters. And yes, the unfortunate implications about spousal abuse are intact.

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[[folder: Theatre/The Tempest ]]

* ''ForbiddenPlanet'', though very loosely.
* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prospero%27s_Books Prospero's Books]]''
* Robert Browning's poem "Caliban upon Setebos."

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[[folder: Theatre/Twelfth Night ]]

* ''Film/ShesTheMan'' is based on ''Twelfth Night'', set in high school.

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[[folder: Misc/Multiple ]]

* In the ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' Saga Official guide, Stephenie Mayer says that ''New Moon'' was inspired by ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' and ''Breaking Dawn'' by ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream'' and ''Theatre/{{Othello}}''.
* The Consul's Tale ("Remembering Siri") from ''Literature/{{Hyperion}}'' is a literary example.
* Simon Hawke wrote a [[ShakespeareInFiction series of books]] with a young Shakespeare and his buddy solving mysteries that bore a strong resemblance to Shakespeare's plays (which, InUniverse, he [[IShouldWriteABookAboutThis wrote much later]]). The first one was called ''A Mystery Of Errors'' followed by ''Much Ado About Murder'', ''The Merchant of Vengence'', and ''The Slaying of the Shrew''.
* Also in-universe, in ''VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland'', a theatre performer on the pirate-infested Plunder Island rewrites a host of Shakespeare plays to better suit the local pirates' tastes, turning them into "Speare!", a revue of mishmashed Shakespeare plots with piratey undertones and new acrobatic stunts.
* ''[[Disney/TheLionKing The Lion King 1 1/2]]'', which is essentially the first film, but told from Timon and Pumbaa's perspective.
** Therefore, since ''The Lion King'' is ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'', ''The Lion King 1 1/2'' must be ''RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead'', which is surprisingly accurate given how both works poke at meta. Hell, from a plot perspective Timon and Pumba ''are'' the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern characters; both pairs fill the role of the Prince's friends who tell him to lighten up and not be so moody all the time. This ''had'' to be intentional.
* Several ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' episodes are based on Shakespeare plots, most notably "Sweet Dreams", which is a ''Theatre/ComedyOfErrors'' type story in which a LovePotion goes awry. In "Goblin's Gold", Arthur ends up with donkey's ears, rather like Bottom from ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream''.
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/WyrdSisters'' combines elements of ''Macbeth'' (witches, a ghost, evil usurper, true heir in exile) with ''Hamlet'' (play-within-a-play, er, a ghost, evil usurper, true heir in exile...)
* [[ComicBook/TheSimpsons Simpsons Comics]] once did an issue parodying various Shakespeare plays, the highlight being ''TitusAndronicus'' as an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon.

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