The unkindest cut? Shakespeare more popular abroad than in Britain | Reuters

LONDON On the 400th anniversary of his death, Shakespeare is more popular abroad than in Britain, according to a survey published on Tuesday which also found he makes a significant contribution to the UK’s prosperity and influence. The British Council, which commissioned the YouGov survey of 18,000 people from 15 countries, said the results showed that internationally Shakespeare is widely known, liked and understood. All the world's a stage, in fact.

Reuters April 19, 2016 19:41:26 IST
The unkindest cut? Shakespeare more popular abroad than in Britain
| Reuters

The unkindest cut Shakespeare more popular abroad than in Britain
 Reuters

LONDON On the 400th anniversary of his death, Shakespeare is more popular abroad than in Britain, according to a survey published on Tuesday which also found he makes a significant contribution to the UK’s prosperity and influence.

The British Council, which commissioned the YouGov survey of 18,000 people from 15 countries, said the results showed that internationally Shakespeare is widely known, liked and understood.

All the world's a stage, in fact.

But he was more popular as a percentage of people - 65 percent - in non-English speaking countries such as China, Turkey and Mexico than in countries using the tongue he helped so much to develop, such as Britain, Australia and the United States.

The Bard was not dissed too much at home, however, being liked, understood and still regarded as relevant by 59 percent.

"Four hundred years after his death, Shakespeare’s work continues to play a vital role in educating and entertaining people around the world," said the Council's Rosemary Hilhorst in a statement.

The Council, which fosters cultural relations between Britain and other countries, said Shakespeare’s influence internationally helps generate a positive attitude towards the UK.

Over a third of people questioned said Shakespeare made them feel more positive about Britain in general, with the greatest number of respondents holding this view in Brazil (57 percent) and India (62 percent).

The British Council said his popularity had a direct influence on Britain's economy, not just in terms of attracting visitors to Shakespeare’s theatres but also contributing to the country's standing in the world which had the knock-on effect of attracting tourists.

William Shakespeare's work, which includes 38 plays and 154 sonnets has been translated into over 80 languages and is performed throughout the world. The precise date of his death is not known but his funeral was held on April 25, 1616.

As theatre fans prepare to mark the anniversary, auction house Christie's on Tuesday presented to media the first four folios of Shakespeare's collected works to be auctioned next month.

The sale, expected to fetch more than 1.3 million pounds ($1.87 million), is led by an unrecorded copy of the first collected edition of his plays, Christie's said. ($1 = 0.6952 pounds)

(Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

also read

UK medical officers give nod for COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 12 to 15
World

UK medical officers give nod for COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 12 to 15

The medical officers said their recommendation to the government was made after considering "what effect this will have on transmission in schools and effects on education"

Simone Biles says FBI turned 'blind eye' to reports of gymnasts' abuse at hands of Larry Nassar
Sports

Simone Biles says FBI turned 'blind eye' to reports of gymnasts' abuse at hands of Larry Nassar

An internal investigation by the Justice Department released in July said the FBI made fundamental errors in the probe and did not treat the case with the "utmost seriousness" after USA Gymnastics first reported the allegations to the FBI's field office in Indianapolis in 2015.

Australia cuts French submarine deal for US nuclear fleet; Scott Morrison cites 'changed strategic environment' as reason
World

Australia cuts French submarine deal for US nuclear fleet; Scott Morrison cites 'changed strategic environment' as reason

Australia's submarine upgrade was a response to China’s takeover of the South China Sea, aggressive bullying of Australia and intimidation of Japan and Taiwan, said Peter Jennings.