Shakespeare's ability to mold the English language into eloquently written poetry gave him the ability to affect the language as he did. Hundreds of clichés that are used daily by English speakers were invented in Shakespeare's writings. Few people are aware, but expressions such as "dead as a doornail" (Henry IV, Part II) or "something wicked this way comes" (Macbeth) can both be accredited to Shakespeare. In The Story of English, Bernard Levin writes that "if [the reader] cannot understand my argument, and [declares] It's Greek to me', you are quoting Shakespeare" (McCrum, Cran, MacNeil 99). Levin is simply reminding the reader that much of common English speech can be traced back to idioms used in Shakespeare's writing. Shakespeare even took the liberty to invent words of his own, supposedly inventing over one thousand commonly used words. Shakespeare was able to create words in multiple ways, including changing nouns into verbs, changing verbs into adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and coming up with words that were completely original (pathguy.com). Shakespearian words include "assassination" and even "obscene" (McCrum, Cran, MacNeil 99), and other such words that are used by English speakers daily. Although a number of writers have used the English language to their advantage, no writer has taken the language to the level that... [continues]
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