The Shakespeare/ Whedon Connection

Today I’m going to do a blog entry about Joss Whedon and his connection to Shakespeare. For those of you that don’t know who Joss Whedon is, his most famous work is Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which was extremely popular in the nineties and early 2000s, ran for seven seasons, and reruns are still played on some local TV stations.


In 2012, Joss Whedon did a modern, movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Yes, he did a modern adaptation of a Shakespeare play, but what else do him and Shakespeare have in common? Well…lots. The most significant link is the fact that there are multiple references to Shakespeare in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Buffy The Vampire Slayer contains multiple direct Shakespeare quotations, and one of the characters shares the same name as a character from King Lear, Cordelia.

Choosing to include subtle culture references is an example of the one thing William Shakespeare and Joss Whedon have in common: they bring culture to the masses. Whedon and Shakespeare both wrote fairy tale like fables. These fables successfully appeal to the masses through creating stories that both fascinate the audience with their stories that are both from a world that’s different from the one that the audience lives in, and contains characters that the masses can relate to.

Shakespeare and Whedon’s common goal makes Dave Golder’s belief that, if Shakespeare where alive today he would write television scripts one hundred percent true. Yes, the language would have to be a lot less flowery to make the script Buffy proof, but Golden illustrates the language differences, and how this can be addressed by creating a list of famous Shakespeare quotes and showing us how Buffy character Xander Harris would say the same thing (see link to read Golder’s list ).


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