In Brave New World, Shakespeare represents two things. First, he symbolizes the art that has been rejected and destroyed by the World State in the interest of maintaining stability. Second, the powerful emotion, passion, love, and beauty on display in Shakespeare's plays stand for all the noble aspects of humanity that have been sacrificed by the World State in its effort to make sure its citizens are always happy and therefore productive. The character who quotes Shakespeare most is John (the Savage), who is given a copy of Shakespeare’s plays while living on the Savage Reservation; his speech and outlook are accordingly shaped by the language and emotional passion found in Shakespeare. Hence, “brave new world,” a phrase taken from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, becomes John’s awestruck, albeit increasingly disillusioned, epithet for the World State as well as the title of Huxley’s novel. Mustapha Mond has also read and enjoyed Shakespeare, but believes that such beautiful, old literature is useless and even destructive for happy, stable citizens, so he suppresses it.
Shakespeare Quotes in Brave New World
“Why was [Shakespeare] such a marvellous propaganda technician? Because he had so many insane, excruciating things to get excited about. You've got to be hurt and upset; otherwise you can't think of the really good, penetrating X-rayish phrases.”
"In fact,” said Mustapha Mond, “you're claiming the right to be unhappy.”
“All right then,” said the Savage defiantly, “I'm claiming the right to be unhappy.”