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

A replicant simulacrum of Shakespeare.

William Shakespeare (April 23, 1564 – April 23, 1616) was a male Human who lived in England on Earth during the 16th and 17th centuries. He was one of the most prolific English language writers of the Elizabethan era, having written numerous poems, 38 plays, and 154 sonnets, and is generally regarded as one of the greatest writers in human history.


Shakespeare may or may not have been one of the personæ of the immortal Flint. (TOS episode: "Requiem for Methuselah")

Shortly after the end of World War III, a new collection of his works, The New Britannia Complete Shakespeare, was published. In later years, this volume would be seen as a symbol of the resiliency of humanity and its culture even in the face of destruction. (TNG novel: Losing the Peace)

As humans joined the interstellar community, Shakespeare's works spread among other races and translated into alien languages.

One of the few possessions former Tarsus IV Governor Adrian Kodos brought with him when fleeing the planet in the wake of the Tarsus IV Massacre was his copy of the complete works of Shakespeare. While it gave him comfort to read the works, Kodos decided that he would have to obtain a fresh copy in order to prevent the book tying him back to his past. (DSC novel: Drastic Measures). Later, as Anton Karidian he and his acting troupe brought live Shakespearean performances to several outlying worlds in the mid-23rd century. (TOS episode & Star Trek 1 novelization: The Conscience of the King)

On Rigel II, the former Orion slave girl and casino-owner Marta found fame performing in Shakespearean dramas where her beauty and inventive costuming made her plays popular holotapes across the quadrant. She later used a private performance of Macbeth as a cover to poison the corrupt bureaucrats of Palmyra II. (Decipher RPG module: Narrator's Guide)

In the 23rd century, historian Alexander Lazarus created an android replica of Shakespeare on planet Gamma Alpha V, along with many other significant humans from throughout history. (TOS - The Enterprise Logs, Volume 2 comic: "The Legacy of Lazarus")

In 2293, Gorkon told the senior staff of the USS Enterprise-A that a person did not experience Shakespeare until it was heard "in the original Klingon." (The Undiscovered Country movie, novelization & comic adaptation:)

Jean-Luc Picard particularly admired Shakespeare, and kept a rare copy of The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare in his ready room aboard the USS Enterprise-D and USS Enterprise-E. When Will Riker asked Picard's advice in writing his wedding vows, Picard answered, "you can never go wrong with Shakespeare." (TNG - The Sky's the Limit short story: "'Til Death")

Data performed the role of Prospero from The Tempest in 2370. (TNG episode: "Emergence")

Prior to her death in 2377, Dr. Jennifer Almieri underscored lines from Twelfth Night in her volume of Shakespeare, and marked the page with photographs of herself and her children, Jonathan and Elizabeth Lense. (CoE eBook: Ghost)

Mirror universe

In the mirror universe, Phlox noted, upon reviewing data from the databanks of the counterpart USS Defiant that both universes' Shakespeares wrote "grim" plays. (ENT episode: "In a Mirror, Darkly")

Captain Picard, reading his mirror counterpart's copy of the works of Shakespeare, felt they were "a Shakespeare horribly changed in all but the parts that were already horrible", and was particularly shocked that his favorite passage in The Merchant of Venice had been replaced by a passage in which "The quality of mercy must be earned", and Portia successfully argues that Antonio does indeed owe Shylock a pound of flesh. (TNG novel: Dark Mirror)

Notable quotes

T'Lera of the planet Vulcan, in trying to get 21st century Human Melody Sawyer to view her as a person, paraphrased Shylock's question from The Merchant of Venice: "If you prick us, do we not bleed?" (TOS novel: Strangers from the Sky)

In 2269, Elba II inmate Marta recited a poem that she claimed to have written. When informed that the poem had been written by Shakespeare, she insisted that she had also written it herself independently. (TOS episode: "Whom Gods Destroy")

When Spock was recovering from his return from the dead in 2285, McCoy quoted Shakespeare, saying "Angels and ministers of grace, defend us." Spock not only correctly identified it as coming from Hamlet but even specified that the quote was from Act 1, Scene 4 of the play. (TOS movie: The Voyage Home)

General Chang quoted liberally from Shakespeare during his confrontations with Kirk and the USS Enterprise-A in 2293. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Undiscovered Country)

During the Battle of the Omarion Nebula in 2371, Elim Garak paraphrased a line from Julius Caesar to his father Enabran Tain: "The fault, dear Tain, is not in our stars but in ourselves." (DS9 episode: "The Die is Cast")

Following the Borg Invasion of 2381, Beverly Crusher gave a message of encouragement to Picard by bookmarking a new Shakespeare collection at the title page for the play All's Well That Ends Well. Later, when reflecting on the losses suffered in the attacks, Picard quoted from King Henry VI, Part III. (TNG novel: Losing the Peace)


Many locations and named exploits of Human history bear names derived from Shakespeare's works, including a number of moons in the Sol system.

The Miranda-class starship shares a name with the character in Shakespeare's final play, The Tempest, and the Constellation-class ship USS Hathaway shares its name with Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway. (TNG episode: "Peak Performance")



Many Star Trek episodes and stories take their names from Shakespeare's works.

Episode names

Prose names

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