Modern Bard

Shakespeare-Inspired Books to Give You a Break from Thees, Thys and Thous

If you get mixed-up with Shakespeare’s language, you’re not the only one. It can be difficult to figure out what he’s talking about. The language is beautiful but it’s definitely not the way we speak anymore.

However, Shakespeare’s words are much easier to appreciate when we understand the story he’s telling in his plays. Unlike the words, these stories can still be found in popular movies, TV shows and books.

You might be surprised at how much Shakespearean stories work their way into pop culture. Shakespeare’s crazy plot twists and complicated characters are masterpieces because they still captivate our attention hundreds of years later.

In an interview with Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, she says that two of her books were inspired by Shakespeare. New Moon was “closely tied to” Romeo & Juliet and she “loosely worked with” A Midsummer Night’s Dream when writing Breaking Dawn.

Check out these other Shakespeare-inspired books for when you want a break from the thees, thys and thous but not from the Bard’s top notch storytelling. We like what these authors have done with the classics from a time traveling romance in Venice to a King Lear through the jester’s eyes and a version of Much Ado About Nothing that’s pure beach reading.

Did we miss your favourite Shakespeare-inspired book? Let us know!

When Jessica Pruitt arrives in Venice to star in a film based on The Merchant of Venice, she is preoccupied: she has recently lost custody of her daughter, and as an older actress she is increasingly aware of the difficulty of landing leading roles.One day, as she wanders through an old Jewish ghetto, Jessica is magically transported to sixteenth-century Venice where she finds herself the heroine of “Will” Shakespeare’s play. Immediately attracted to the younger playwright, Jessica enters into an intensely passionate love affair that defies time and place.

A twisted and insanely funny tale of King Lear and his deceitful daughters, as seen through the eyes of a man wearing a codpiece and bells on his head.When Lear demands that his kids swear to him their undying love and devotion, his daugher Cordelia finds the request stupid. Her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.The only person who can possibly make things right is Lear’s cherished fool, Pocket. He’s going to have do some very fancy maneuvering to get Cordelia back into Daddy Lear’s good graces and to derail the fiendish power plays of Cordelia’s twisted sisters.

Three girls witness the action of Shakespeare’s play firsthand and their lives are forever changed because of it. Lady Mary is a ward of Lord and Lady Macbeth whose life is forever changed when her father, Lord Cawdor, betrays the Scottish king and is hanged as a traitor. In an instant, Mary has lost both her father and future. Now she’s trapped in a castle with a power-hungry couple who will do anything to get what they want and are willing to crush anyone in their way.


Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Jody Gehrman
Geena can’t wait to spend summer vacation at the Triple Shot Betty coffee shop with her best friend, Amber, and her cousin, Hero. But Amber and Hero hate each other on sight, and Geena’s dreams of a girl-bonding summer fly out the window – then vanish entirely when a few cute guys enter the picture. This book is a modern-day version of Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare, complete with mistaken identities and romantic blunders.

iBardbooks offers a new approach to studying Shakespeare with original high quality videos and interactive features. You can find iRomeo from iBardbooks at the iTune Store.