Phrases from Shakespeare’s works have inspired writers of all nationalities for 400 years. There are thousands of novels, plays, biographies and other books that take their titles from phrases in Shakespeare’s works. From Hardy’s romantic novel Under The Greenwood Tree, to the terrifying book Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, Shakespeare’s words have proved a fertile ground for those creative minds. Here are just a few of the most famous Shakespearean inspired novel titles:

Antony and Cleopatra inspired novels

  • Joyce Carol Oates: New Heaven, New Earth
  • Eva Figes: Seven Ages
  • Francoise Sagan: Salad Days

As You Like It inspired novels

  • Thomas Hardy: Under the Greenwood Tree

Hamlet inspired novels

  • Richard Matheson: What Dreams May Come
  • Edith Wharton: The Glimpses of the Moon
  • David Foster Wallace: Infinite Jest
  • Peter Spence: To the Manor Born
  • Steven Berkoff: I Am Hamlet (play)
  • Monica Dickens: The Winds of Heaven
  • Anthony Powell: Infants of the Spring
  • Philip K. Dick: Time Out of Joint
  • Nigel Balchin: Kings of Infinite Space
  • Isaac Asimov: The Gods Themselves
  • Aldous Huxley: Mortal Coils
  • Graham Greene: The Name of Action
  • Agatha Christie: The Mousetrap (play)
  • Georgette Heyer: No Wind of Blame
  • Tom Stoppard: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (play)
  • David Foster Wallace: Infinite Jest

Julius Caesar inspired novels

  • Frederick Forsyth: The Dogs of War
  • Thornton Wilder: The Ides of March

King John inspired novels

  • Charles Dickens: Twice-Told Tales
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne: Twice-Told Tales
  • Erle Stanley Gardner: The Case of the Gilded Lily
  • Stella Gibbons: Cold Comfort Farm

King Lear inspired novels

  • Pearl S. Buck: Words of Love
  • Honoré de Balzac: A Father’s Curse and Other Stories
  • Francis King: Act of Darkness
  • Eric Linklater: Ripeness Is All
  • Isaac Asimov: The Gods Themselves
  • Peter Straub: Full Circle
  • Danielle Steel: Full Circle

Macbeth inspired novels

  • Alistair MacLean: The Way to Dusty Death
  • Agatha Christie: By the Pricking of My thumbs
  • Ray Bradbury: Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • William Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury
  • Terry Pratchett: Wyrd Sisters
  • John Wyndham: The Seeds of Time
  • John Steinbeck: The Moon Is Down
  • Bob Shaw: Dagger of the Mind
  • Rachel Billington: A Painted Devil
  • Paul Bowles: Let It Come Down
  • Ambrose Bierce: Can Such Things Be?
  • Ellery Queen: Double, Double
  • Ted Hughes: Four Tales Told by an Idiot

The Merchant of Venice inspired novels

  • Faye Kellerman: The Quality of Mercy
  • Erica Jong: Shylock’s Daughter: A Novel of Love in Venice
  • Frances Parkinson Keyes: All That Glitters

Pericles inspired novels

  • Georgette Heyer: Behold, Here’s Poison

Richard II inspired novels

  • O. Henry: Sixes and Sevens
  • Richard Matheson: Bid Time Return

Richard III inspired novels

  • John Steinbeck: The Winter of Our Discontent

Romeo and Juliet inspired novels

  • Dorothy Parker: Not So Deep As a Well
  • Ford Madox Ford: It Was the Nightingale

The Tempest inspired novels

  • Robert Bloch: Such Stuff As Screams Are Made Of
  • Aldous Huxley: Brave New World

Timon of Athens inspired novels

  • Vladimir Nabokov: Pale Fire
  • Truman Capote: In Cold Blood
  • William Trevor: Fools of Fortune

Titus Andronicus inspired novels

  • Irwin Shaw: Gentle People

Troilus and Cressida inspired novels

  • Isaac Asimov: The Gods Themselves
  • Pierre Boullé: Not the Glory

Twelfth Night inspired novels

  • W. Somerset Maugham: Cakes and Ale
  • Agatha Christie: Sad Cypress

The Sonnets inspired novels

  • H. E. Bates: The Darling Buds of May
  • John Mortimer: Summer’s Lease
  • Anthony Burgess: Nothing Like the Sun
  • Marcel Proust: Remembrance of Things Past

See some Shakespeare inspired operas >>


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