Every British schoolchild is made to read Shakespeare, it is on the curriculum so therefore schools 'legally' have to pin down children and shout 'Forsooth' and 'To be or not to be' in their ears.
I am not particularly sure why Shakespeare has persevered all these years and why 400 years after he Soothed his last For we are still wittering on about him but i believe it is a Emperors new clothes thing where nobody is prepared to stand up and say 'hang on, his stories are more Suckspere then Shakespeare'.
There must be better and more relevant books written for our children to read from the past four centuries, books that are written in a language we understand and doesnt contain sentences such as 'You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!' and 'thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch!'
As i am knocking down well loved historical characters, how did Van Gogh ever become as famous as he did? Have you ever seen a Van Gogh painting? What about Picasso, another artist who you wonder who the hell paid money for a painting of a woman with one eye next to her nose and the other in her forehead. If a seven year old gave me it i would use it to mop up the spilled tea on my coffee table.
Oliver Cromwell was so loved he had a song written about him and a statue in Westminster while in France they have statues of Joan of Arc dotted around but all she ever did was pick up a sword, get caught and set on fire by the English which lowers the bar considerably for receiving a sainthood.
Anyway, as the TV is full of Shakespeare plays to commiserate his death, i just say 'Forsooth, what through yonder window breaks..ti's my works of Shakespeare book'.