The Overuse of Shakespeare’s Catchphrases in Modern Journalism

William Shakespeare, the renowned 16th-century literary genius, has left an indelible mark on the world of literature. His catchphrases are still popular and widely used in day-to-day journalism after four centuries.

To Be or Not to Be, That is the Question
Shakespeare’s most powerful soliloquy from “Hamlet” gave the world the most commonly used phrase adapted for various scenarios. Overusing this phrase, which was originally written around the moral question of life and death, about whether embracing death on the grounds of escaping the bitterness of life is the right thing to do, kills its true essence. It is best to reserve this quotation for extremely critical decisions that are immensely difficult to take.

Et tu, Brute?
Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” play made this famous quote well-known and widely used. Although it represents violent treachery and betrayal resulting in a leader’s death, it is often used in scenarios involving betrayal of slight importance. The strong emotion of betrayal evoked through this sentence does not always match with trivial activities in human social life.

Something’s Rotten in the State of Denmark
Another gem from “Hamlet,” a representation of the first realization of grave situations and impending doom, this statement is not suitable for scenarios arising from barely affected conditions. Although apt for describing turbulent political conditions, it could also be potentially used well in foretelling natural catastrophes, a mass upheaval of animal habitat, and other incidents of such scale.

While anyone is free to use Shakespeare’s quotations, it is best not to overuse them, and save them for truly special occasions, in order to preserve their beauty. Tips to improve your English for free

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