Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
Globe Illustrated Shakespeare

Picard's copy of The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare: The Complete Works

For the mirror universe counterpart, please see William Shakespeare (mirror).

William Shakespeare was a male Human playwright and poet in the 16th and 17th centuries. He lived his life in England, Earth, and may or may not have been one of the many aliases of the immortal Flint. His works are counted among the best representations of Human literature. They include 154 sonnets and 39 plays, such as Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest, Henry V, Julius Caesar, Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Merchant of Venice.


William Shakespeare

Painting of William Shakespeare

In 1986, a painting of William Shakespeare was on sale at an antique store in San Francisco. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

In 2153, Shakespeare's works were among the examples of Earth literature provided to the Vissians. Vissian Captain Drennik later quoted from Hamlet and expressed admiration for Macbeth. Before departing, Captain Jonathan Archer advised them to take their time in reading the plays. (ENT: "Cogenitor")

In the year 2155 in the mirror universe, Phlox commented to T'Pol that Shakespeare's work was similar in both their universe and the primary universe. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")

In 2266, the USS Enterprise hosted the Karidian Company of Players, a traveling Shakespearean acting troupe. While on board they put on a performance of Hamlet. (TOS: "The Conscience of the King")

Shakespeare complete

Shakespeare imprinted on the cover of a book

In 2268, at the Elba II asylum, Marta cited the Sonnet XVIII by Shakespeare, and claimed that she wrote it, but Garth corrected her. (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

Claudius Marcus - coat of arms

Shakespeare coat of arms used as Claudius Marcus' insignia

By 2293, the works of Shakespeare were known to Klingons such as Chancellor Gorkon and General Chang. Gorkon stated that Shakespeare could only truly be experienced in "the original Klingon," and Chang quoted liberally from Shakespeare's plays as his last words were "to be, or not to be." (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

In 2364, when Q placed Humanity on trial, he stated that legal trickery was not permitted. Captain Picard objected to the entire nature of the trial, stating that he recognized the court system as "the one that agreed with that line from Shakespeare. Kill all the lawyers," quoting Henry VI, Part II. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")

In a deleted scene from "The Measure Of A Man", as Picard discussed legal matters with Data, he stated that he was beginning to understand why Shakespeare had written this.

That same year, Picard displayed a volume of Shakespeare's complete works in his ready room aboard the USS Enterprise-D. (TNG: "Hide And Q")

According to Captain Picard, there is no better way to learn about the Human condition than to embrace Shakespeare. In order to do so, Data studied Henry V on the holodeck. (TNG: "The Defector")

In 2366, in order to rescue Lwaxana Troi from DaiMon Tog, Picard recited a string of quotes from Shakespeare's sonnets and Othello. (TNG: "Ménage à Troi")

When the senior officers of the Enterprise time traveled from 2368 to 19th century San Francisco they obtained a room at a local boarding house. Unable to pay the fees required them, Picard and his crew diverted the attention of the proprietress by convincing her that she should play a part in their touring production of Shakespeare's plays, specifically A Midsummer Night's Dream. (TNG: "Time's Arrow, Part II")

As part of his exploration of Humanity in 2370, Lieutenant Commander Data used holodeck reenactments of the plays of Shakespeare to examine the Human condition, playing the part of Prospero in The Tempest, and Henry V in the eponymous play. (TNG: "Emergence")

Julian Bashir introduced Deep Space 9's Cardassian tailor, Elim Garak to Shakespeare in the 2370s. (DS9: "Improbable Cause") While the Battle of the Omarion Nebula was raging and the Romulan-Cardassian fleet was being destroyed, Garak paraphrased a portion of Julius Caesar to Enabran Tain: "I'm afraid the fault, dear Tain, is not in our stars but in ourselves." (DS9: "The Die is Cast")

In 2376, Janeway described a message that had been composed to communicate with neucleogenic lifeforms as "Not exactly Shakespeare." (VOY: "Equinox, Part II")

Jean-Luc Picard quoted a line from All's Well That Ends Well ("no legacy is so rich as honesty") to his dog Number One. (PIC: "Remembrance")

In "The Vulcan Hello" a number of books were seen on a bookshelf in the USS Shenzhou's ready room. These were all named for Original Series episodes, but since two of these titles quoted Shakespeare, in-universe these might be books with titles inspired by Shakespeare. These books were By Any Other Name and All Our Yesterdays.

List of works[]


Background information[]

This character was only mentioned in dialogue.


Shakespeare seen in an episode of The Ready Room

According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia, 3rd ed., p. 439, the birth and death years of William Shakespeare were 1564 and 1616, respectively.

Because of Chancellor Gorkon's remark in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country that "You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon", members of the Klingon Language Institute translated the text of Hamlet into Klingon. It was subsequently published by Pocket Books as The Klingon Hamlet. The KLI has also translated Much Ado About Nothing into Klingon, and selections from both works were performed in Klingon by the Washington Shakespeare Company in a 2010 fundraising benefit which also featured George Takei. [1]


External links[]