4. Shakespeare and the English language

Transcript item

Myself, when I was reading Macbeth, you know, we all know certain of Macbeth's lines. You know, they just ... I mean, I know, there are, like, so many of them in the English language. But for me what was so thrilling was when I started reading Macbeth I was like, 'Oh, “be-all and end-all”, that's from here!’, you know? And so when I now go and see a Shakespeare, I don't know how other people feel, but I know I get a real thrill when those words that I use today connect me back to his time. It's like, wow. That's thrilling. You know, 'The world is my oyster' or … I mean, I can't think, there are so many that we use every day. He's just so clever.


Did you know that many of the words and phrases we use today were invented by Shakespeare, over 400 years ago? Listen to actor Shaheen Khan talking about this in the video.

It's your turn!

  • Do the quiz about words and expressions that were invented by Shakespeare. 
  • What do they mean? 
  • Can you use them in a sentence? Write in the comments!
Average: 5 (2 votes)
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Submitted by RRogick on Mon, 01/04/2024 - 22:57


For me, marriage isn't the be-all and end-all of a woman's life. 

When the teacher swaggered into the classroom I knew I wouldn't like him. 

If you speak English, the world is your oyster.

Talking about your likes and dislikes can break the ice in first meetings. 

Submitted by maryflh23 on Mon, 01/04/2024 - 12:44


OMG I didn't know Shakespeare's invented the word 'swagger' !!