We’ve all complained about having to study Shakespeare for exams, but one can’t deny that his works are intriguing, exciting even six centuries after they were written. The Bard is a legend, and with good reason! We still use more than 1,700 words that he — yes, Shakespeare — invented!
And since his original works can get a little difficult to read, we’ve made a list of the best adaptations that’ll introduce you to Shakespeare:
10 Things I Hate About You
A remake of The Taming of The Shrew that replaced the titular character with a modern, self-actualised feminist. What’s not to love? Also, with Heath Ledger at his charming best, this is one for the ages.
This Indian adaptation of Romeo and Juliet also stars India’s favourite Bollywood couple Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone; Sanjay Leela Bhansali played his cards right with this one. Ram and Leela, from opposing communities, play their roles to perfection, and they even have the quintessential balcony scene!
She’s the Man
Like her namesake in Twelfth Night, Viola disguises herself as a boy. She takes the name Sebastian, who is Viola’s twin brother in Twelfth Night. In addition to playing soccer, Viola also romances Duke Orsino — a shout-out to the original Duke of Illyria, Orsino.
A Thousand Acres
King Lear goes to Iowa in this Pulitzer-winning novel. A successful farmer divides his estate between his three daughters, setting off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and thereby exploring some long-suppressed truths.
Nobody loves Shakespeare’s anti-heroes more than Vishal Bharadwaj! And he makes it amply clear by setting up a Shakespearean trilogy of the most magnificent sorts. Maqbool, based on Macbeth, is the story of the gangster Maqbool who wins over a criminal empire only to throw it all away on grounds of needless suspicion and harrowing guilt of his atrocities. Omkara (based on Othello), set in the badlands of UP, is more about the death and destruction that Saif Ali Khan’s Iago causes on losing his benefactor Omkara’s loyalty. The third installment of Bharadwaj’s Shakespearean trilogy is Haider, played by Shahid Kapoor who is madness personified here! An adaptation of Hamlet that plays out through the story of Haider, in a politically charged Indian-administered Kashmir.