Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

The writings of William Shakespeare, often associated with high culture, are considered some of the best writing in human history. Star Trek in contrast has been derided as a pop culture television show with a cult following. However, throughout the 50-year period over which Star Trek has aired, there have been many episodes that have overt references to Shakespeare’s writings. Many have examined the references to Shakespeare in the titles of episodes, characters, and direct quotations. However, it is equally important to realize the connections that may not be as obvious. One of the themes that is present in both is the portrayal of the human condition and the hope for humanity that comes in recognizing ourselves in others. Just like Shakespeare, Star Trek teaches principles of empathy and tolerance and because of this, will have a legacy that is just as lasting as that of the Bard.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Dr. Gideon Burton

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Human Condition, the Prime Directive, and the Bard’s Connection with Star Trek

The writings of William Shakespeare, often associated with high culture, are considered some of the best writing in human history. Star Trek in contrast has been derided as a pop culture television show with a cult following. However, throughout the 50-year period over which Star Trek has aired, there have been many episodes that have overt references to Shakespeare’s writings. Many have examined the references to Shakespeare in the titles of episodes, characters, and direct quotations. However, it is equally important to realize the connections that may not be as obvious. One of the themes that is present in both is the portrayal of the human condition and the hope for humanity that comes in recognizing ourselves in others. Just like Shakespeare, Star Trek teaches principles of empathy and tolerance and because of this, will have a legacy that is just as lasting as that of the Bard.