Skip to Content

Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Listed: Modern Day Shakespeare Adaptations

I must confess that I really do love Shakespeare. The way he writes things is positively beautiful, and his stories are completely timeless. And while you don’t need to completely understand every single word in order to get an idea of what’s going on and to appreciate the story he’s written, a lot of times people find the fact that they don’t understand every single word daunting. But there are many other ways that you can enjoy Shakespeare – there are many books an films that are adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. Below are ten modern-day adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays.

I tried to make this list take a look at a whole bunch of different plays… but for some reason, the majority of Shakespearian adaptations seem to be about Romeo and Juliet, and … well, I have to say this bothers me, because so many people that I’ve talked to about R&J think the story is “omg so romantic!!”. And I know I’ve ranted about the idea before (many times, in fact, but that’s the only one that I know of on my blog), but dude!!! Tragedy! Fourteen year olds killing themselves does not equal romance!!


  1. Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Jody Gehrman. Originally Published 2008. Based on Much Ado About Nothing. LT.
  2. Come Like Shadows by Welwyn Wilton Katz. Originally Published 1993. Based on Macbeth. LT.
  3. Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors. Originally Published 2008. Based on Romeo and Juliet. LT.
  4. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. Originally Published 1991. Based on King Lear. LT.
  5. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston. Originally Published 2009. Based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. LT.
  6. This Must be Love by Tui T. Sutherland. Originally Published 2004. Based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. LT.
  7. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. Originally Published 2008. Based on Hamlet. LT.
  8. Scribbler of Dreams by Mary E. Pearson. Originally Published 2002. Based on Romeo and Juliet. LT.
  9. Something Rotten by Alan M. Gratz. Originally Published 2007. Based on Hamlet. LT.
  10. The Loser’s Guide to Life and Love by A.E. Cannon. Originally Published 2008. Based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream LT.

Have I missed one that you think should be on this list? Or! Rather, have I missed some non-R&J ones that should be on the list?

Do you like this feature? You should also check out Librarian’s Book Reviews’ Listless Monday and A Bookshelf Monstrosity’s Books By A Theme.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 6:34 am June 7, 2010.
Category: Listed

  • Tara SG (25 Hour Books)

    The Iron King by Julie Kagawa is another Midsummer Night’s Dream based YA. Well, it has carry over character with a whole new plot… not sure if that counts…

    LOVE your site! You had linked to a review on my old site (before I bought the new domain) and I just saw it. Thanks for the link!

  • Anita Rodgers

    Well, it’s not a book but I think the most famous adaptation of R&J is Westside Story.