Is Shakespeare Shaking it Up with Florence?

I am a big fan of Shakespeare, and I am a big fan of the TV sitcom “Friends”. I also like betting on football games, and I like going to the theatre. I regularly go to an English pub where I drink Franconian beer and Scottish whisky side to side. I study literary and cultural studies and at the weekends I serve schnapps at a bar.

I think that this already gives you a very good picture of who I am but I might need some more words to explain the existence of this blog.

I started my day with my daily routine of checking my twitter timeline, having a Nespresso, stepping under the shower and listening to my current shower sing-along-song: “Shake it Out” by Florence and the Machine when I suddenly really noticed the following line for the first time: “Every demon wants its pound of flesh.” There he is: Shakespeare! Isn’t this a clear reference to The Merchant of Venice’s Shylock who demands a pound of flesh from Antonio in exchange for the money he owes him?

And believe me or not: this happens to me quite a lot. Once, I listened to Katy Perry (very likely under the shower again… and just as likely singing along again) and her line “heavy is the head that wears a crown” has to be a misquotation of Shakespeare’s “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”, right?

As an explanation for everyone who doesn’t know me (yet): I have been doing a master’s degree in Shakespeare Studies in London and Shakespeare haunts me. He is everywhere: in “The Simpsons”, in Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, in Dr. Who, in Jane Austen novels, and a (notoriously) famous German newspaper even declared top model Claudia Schiffer to be related to him… and apparently he is also present in the lyrics of Florence and the Machine and Katy Perry.

This is why I decided to create this blog: Pop Culture and its strange occurrences and creations surround us and are an integral part of our lives. Pop Culture entertains us, it shapes us, it makes life worth living.

This blog is not a blog on Shakespeare or Jane Austen although they might come up from time to time. I rather want to share with you my random thoughts on the latest H&M designer collaboration, my new cook book, English beer, Spanish football, 19th century literature and everything else that finds its way into “this thing of darkness”, that I call my brain.

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4 thoughts on “Is Shakespeare Shaking it Up with Florence?

  1. Pingback: Songs für William – Leider Geil! | Pop Culture and Its Discontents

  2. I also noticed many of the songs on the album Ceremonials reference Shakespeare. “Remain nameless” is basically an ode to the famous quote from Romeo and Juliet: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” You should do a post on the others; I’m sure you’d catch more references than me.

    • Up to now, I have only noticed the one reference but I will listen more closely. I have done some research and according to Wikipedia, Florence even said that she wanted her album to sound like the Baz Luhrman Romeo + Juliet: Shakespearean tragedy meeting neon signs and trash. 🙂

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