William Shakespeare was an English writer and dramatist who, in his life, was one of the most highly respected playwrights of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras and, today, is recognized as perhaps the greatest writer in the history of the English language. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, he moved to London as an adult to build a career as an actor and writer, and became the author of at least 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and many poems. Shakespeare's works and influence have lived long beyond the man himself, making their way into all parts of the world. Futurama is no exception, having referenced Shakespeare and his works multiple times, which will be listed here.
William Shakespeare in Futurama
- "Love's Labours Lost in Space" (1ACV04)
- The title refers to Shakespeare's comedic play Love's Labour's Lost.
- "Anthology of Interest I" (2ACV16)
- "The Cryonic Woman" (2ACV19)
- A defrostee says that he froze himself to meet Shakespeare, figuring that time was cyclical. Fry, however, said that time was a straight line.
- "Spanish Fry" (4ACV17)
- Fry, Bender, and Leela visit "The Beast With Two Bucks", a sex shop. The name of the store refers to the phrase "the beast with two backs", a slang term for sexual intercourse which was used in Shakespeare's play Othello. The phrase pre-dates Shakespeare as a French phrase ("la beste à deux doz"), but was first used in English by Shakespeare.
- The Beast with a Billion Backs
- The title makes the same reference to Othello as "Spanish Fry", referring to the phrase "the beast with two backs".
- Into the Wild Green Yonder
- As Fry and Leela are bidding goodbye to one another outside Planet Express, Leela says to Fry "Goodbye, sweet goofbag". This could refer to the "Goodnight, sweet prince" line from Hamlet, which was previously referred to in "Anthology of Interest I".
- "Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences" (6ACV11)
- When Leela believes Fry has been killed by Lrrr, she remarks "Goodnight, dumb prince", which is another reference to "Goodnight, sweet prince" from Hamlet.
- "Overclockwise" (6ACV25)
- One of the books that Bender speed-reads is called Shakespeare Typed By Monkeys - Volube 78 (sic). This refers to the the infinite monkey theorem which states that, given an infinite amount of time, a monkey at a typewriter will eventually write the complete works of Shakespeare.