To whom does Shakespeare belong?
This is a very sensitive topic for anyone I’ve ever worked with and can elicit some very strong opinions, including my own.
William Shakespeare is arguably the greatest writer in the history of the English language. He is the second most quoted English writer after the King James Bible and when he says “All the world’s a stage,” he’s speaking the absolute truth.
Shakespeare has been translated into over 100 different languages, including German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Polish, Swedish, Finnish, Russian, Dutch, Estonian, Czech, Hebrew, Uzbek, Ukrainian, Romanian, Afrikaans, Tsonga, Northern and Southern Sotho, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. Even Star Trek’s Klingon, Esperanto and Interlingua have their own Shakespearean translations!
Estimates of his vocabulary range from 17,000 to an incredible 29,000 words - at least double the number of words used by the average speaker of English.
Shakespeare is a citizen of the world. He belongs to everyone, to all of us, all around the globe.