Shakespeare’s plays often have songs and are known for their lyrical quality. Lorenzo, in “The Merchant of Venice,” states the importance of music and wisely warns against those who don’t love music:
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music. (5.1.91-7)
Shakespeare was obviously a lover of music, and the characters, plots, and themes of his plays have inspired operas, ballets, musical theatre, and classical pieces. Here are some modern rock and pop songs inspired by Shakespeare. If Shakespeare had an iPod, he’d most likely be listening to these tracks. Mark the Music!