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[[quoteright:350:[[Disney/TheLionKing http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lion_king_hamlet.png]]]]

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 ''Theatre/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 ''Literature/ThirteenthNight'' (being a sequel to ''Twelfth Night'') doesn't count, but his ''Litereture/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''[[note]]And the plot points of the shipwreck were taken from the actual shipwreck of the ''Sea Venture'' in 1609 while on its way to Jamestown, while the magical plot elements are frequently viewed as a metaphor for the relationships between the English colonists, people they imported as slaves, and the indigenous inhabitants of the area.[[/note]] and ''Theatre/TheMerryWivesOfWindsor''), was taken either from RealLife history or from pre-existing stories.



* ''Series/SonsOfAnarchy'' -- Sometimes called the "biker Hamlet", it follows a motorcycle club whose membership resembles the roles in the play.
* ''Disney/TheLionKing'' -- Evil uncle kills good king father, son overthrows him. The ending is a little lighter, though.
** Taking it a step further, ''Disney/TheLionKingOneAndAHalf'' retells ''The Lion King'' from the perspective of [[ThoseTwoGuys Timon and Puumba]]. If the original is ''Hamlet'', then ''1 ½'' is ''Theatre/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead''. Albeit again with a lighter ending.
* ''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''.
* ''Film/StrangeBrew'' is a fairly low-brow version of ''Hamlet'', with, perhaps, Bob and Doug [=McKenzie=] as Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern.
* ''Literature/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!


[[folder: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''.

[[folder:Henry V]]
* Shakespearean director and actor Creator/KennethBranagh (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 from the subplot from ''King Lear'' concerning Edgar and his bastard brother Edmund, who tricks his father into exiling him.

[[folder: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.
* ''Film/KingOfTexas'' -- ''King Lear'' set on a ranch in the Old West.
* ''Literature/AThousandAcres'' -- ''King Lear'' on a Midwestern American farm, where three daughters despise their abusive father.
* ''Film/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''.
* ''Literature/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.
* The ''{{WesternAnimation/Arthur}}'' episode "Never, Never, Never" borrows elements from the story.
* Ronald Harwood's play ''The Dresser'' takes place backstage in a regional tour of ''King Lear'' during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. The actor playing Lear, a former star known only as "Sir," suffers from dementia. Norman, his gay dresser, is the equivalent of both Cordelia and the Fool.
* The ''Series/MyParentsAreAliens'' episode "King Brian" is closely based on the play, with Brian asking the three kids who loves him best, and Lucy refusing to take part, playing the Cordelia role.

* Creator/AkiraKurosawa's ''Film/ThroneOfBlood'' was directly and consciously based on ''Macbeth''.
* ''Film/ScotlandPA'', which transplants Macbeth to a fast food restaurant in rural Pennsylvania in the 1970s.
* ''Film/MenOfRespect'' -- After hearing a prophecy, a hitman executes his superiors and rises to the head of a mob family with dire consequences. ''Men of Respect'' was a remake of the 1955 film ''Film/JoeMacBeth'', which also recast the original story with modern-day gangsters.
* ''Series/TheOuterLimits1963'' 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.
* Macbeth is a recurring AntiVillain in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' and his story is re-told with Shakespeare's story as the basis but with the Gargoyles' characters in the mix, most notably Demona.

[[folder: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 wedding tableau from the source material becomes a SchoolPlay of ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'' itself. The play goes OffTheRails when [[spoiler: the Lysander analogue falls for the Helena one, and physically changes the ending to have them end up together]].
* One ''WesternAnimation/HouseOfMouse'' short is actually based on this play.
* The Creator/WoodyAllen film ''AMidsummerNightsSexComedy''.
* The musical ''Theatre/TheDreaming''
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'' riffs on the play a bit, most obviously with Jason Ogg's Rude Mechanicals.
** ''Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld II: The Globe'' has the wizards battling elves on Roundworld to ensure that the premiere of ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'' goes ahead, as they correctly predict that it will lead to the cutesification of fairies in culture and rob the elves of their power to intimidate and prey on people.
* ''Were The World Mine'' is a gay musical which clearly has ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'' as its primary influence.
* ''Pibgorn'' did ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream'' with {{Gender Flip}}ped roles and actual [[TheFairFolk fairies]] [[RecycledInSpace IN THE THIRTIES!]].
* An episode of ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'' has the school putting on a production of the play, and real life parallels the text when couples fall in love with other people after they're cast in the wrong parts.

* ''Film/AllNightLong'' -- An adaptation of ''Othello'' set in the contemporary London jazz scene.
* ''Theatre/HellBentFerHeaven'' is a stage play loosely inspired by ''Othello''. Writer Hatcher Hughes borrowed liberally, with Sid being a war hero returning home like Othello, and Rufe being a scheming plotter like Iago, whispering things into people's ears to set them against each other rather than taking action himself. Rufe even parrots Iago's refusal to answer questions when exposed ("From this time forth I never will speak word"), saying "An' you needn't ax me no more questions, fer I ain't a-goin' to answer 'em."
* ''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.
* ''Omkara'' is a Bollywood musical version of ''Othello'', where the title character is set apart by his half-caste status.

[[folder:Romeo And Juliet]]
* ''WesternAnimation/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 ''Series/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'' keeps most of the original text, but relocates the setting to modern America.
* ''Disney/TheLionKingIISimbasPride'', when it comes to Kiara (Simba's daughter) and Kovu's forbidden romance. [[{{Disneyfication}} The ending is a little lighter, though.]]
* ''Film/WarmBodies'', with humans and zombies. The girl's name is Julie and the zombie's name is R... something.
* ''Film/MagicalLegendOfTheLeprechauns''. Let's say the original Sheakespearean ending is [[EverybodyLives thoroughly reversed]].
* ''ComicBook/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.
* ''WesternAnimation/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.
* In ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', one of the romantic subplots is based on Romeo and Juliet. Instead of FeudingFamilies, Trev and [[NamesTheSame Juliet]] are from rival [[RugbyIsSlaughter football teams]]. Glenda even describes them as "two teams, alike in villainy!" which is a reference to "two houses, alike in dignity." However, EverybodyLives, and the feud is stopped by the teams uniting against a common opponent and agreeing to more civilized rules of football.
* The GM Advice section in the post-apocalyptic pen-and-paper RPG ''Atomic Highway'' has a sample plot that is explicitly inspired by ''Romeo and Juliet'', which makes the feuding families post-apocalyptic gangs and gives individual members names like Cat Skinner.
* The ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' bonus material ''Haleo and Julelan'' is a parody where Haley plays Romeo, Elan plays Juliet, and several other other characters of the comic appear with similarly themed names.
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "The Perfect Pear" used a similar setup to tell the love story of Applejack's parents, Bright Mac and Pear Butter, and the Apple/Pear family feud. While it's [[{{Disneyfication}} definitely toned down for kids]] and avoids the DownerEnding by virtue of its ForegoneConclusion (Applejack and her siblings wouldn't have been born if their parents didn't get together), it still ends on a very {{bittersweet|Ending}} note that's almost unheard of for such a light take: Pear Butter is disowned by her father at the wedding; both lovers are all but implicitly stated to have died before their time in the end, just not before spending years happily raising a family together; and it takes many more years after that for both families to reconcile.
* ''{{Disney/Pocahontas}}'' is a fictionalised version of the real Pocahontas's life, depicting a Romeo and Juliet esque romance between her and John Smith - while their respective people are threatening war. The movie was actually pitched as '''Romeo & Juliet'' in 17th Century Virginia'.
* ''{{Series/Charmed}}'''s sixth season has an episode called "Love's A Witch", showing a feud between two witch families, the Montanas and the Calloways. In this however, the Juliet analogue was killed and her ghost is actively trying to keep the feud going in revenge.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' made a [[AndYouWereThere parody episode]] of the Romeo and Juliet story with Clumsy and Smurfette as the leads, and threw in ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers'' for good measure.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/PeterPanAndThePirates'' has the Lost Boys and the Pirates setting aside their differences (in theory) to play Romeo and Juliet with Wendy as Juliet and Starsky as Romeo. [[{{squick}} Yup...]]

[[folder:The Taming Of The Shrew]]
* ''Film/TenThingsIHateAboutYou'' is based on ''The Taming of the Shrew'', set in high school.
* ''Film/DeliverUsFromEva'' -- Revolving around Music/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.

[[folder:The Tempest]]
* ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet'', though very loosely.
* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prospero%27s_Books Prospero's Books]]''
* Robert Browning's poem "Caliban upon Setebos."
* ''Film/TheTempest2010'' - an adaption with a GenderFlip of Prospero
* "The Island", from Music/TheDecemberists' ''The Crane Wife'', is, essentially, a setting of ''The Tempest'' to EpicRocking.

[[folder:Twelfth Night]]
* ''Film/ShesTheMan'' is based on ''Twelfth Night'', set in high school.
* ''Film/WickerPark'' contains many references to the story, since one character is an actress playing Viola. When the director is talking to her, his statement "you are in love with him, and he's asking you to help him get another woman" parallels the LoveTriangle in the story.

* 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/TheLionKingOneAndAHalf'', 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 ''Theatre/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/TheComedyOfErrors'' 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 ''Theatre/TitusAndronicus'' as an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon.