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99 words invented by Shakespeare (but 'bitch' ain't one)

 

 

What did William Shakespeare – who died 400 years ago this Saturday – ever do for us? Well, he invented most of our best words – without him nobody would be ‘fashionable’, a football match could not be a ‘fixture’, it would be impossible for a doctor and/or lover to ask you to ‘undress’, nobody going on holiday would have any ‘luggage’ to carry, and the TV show ‘Gossip Girl’ would simply have been called ‘Girl’. We’d be screwed basically, the only consolation being that we’d literally live in a world with no ‘discontent’. 

He also came up with most of our best stories, from lone-hero-takes-revenge-on-evil-tyrant (‘Hamlet’) to bickering-man-and-woman-love-each-other-really (‘Much Ado About Nothing’) to overprotective-dad-learns-to-accept-daughter’s-new-boyfriend (‘The Tempest’). And now you can vote for your favourites in our mission to answer an almost impossible question: what are Shakespeare's very best and very worst plays?

For more Shakespeare400 celebrations head to Bankside this weekend for 'The Complete Walk' using our handy route map to the 37 outdoor screens.  

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