Brave New World

Shakespeare Symbol Analysis

Shakespeare Symbol Icon
In Brave New World, Shakespeare represents two things. First, he represents all of 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 of the noble aspects of humanity that have been sacrificed by the World State in its effort to make sure all of its citizens are always happy.

Shakespeare Quotes in Brave New World

The Brave New World quotes below all refer to the symbol of Shakespeare. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of Brave New World published in 2006.
Chapter 8 Quotes
"O brave new world," he repeated. "O brave new world that has such people in it. Let's start at once."
Related Characters: John (the Savage) (speaker), Bernard Marx, Helmholtz Watson, Lenina Crowne
Related Symbols: Shakespeare
Page Number: 139
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes
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.
Related Characters: Helmholtz Watson (speaker)
Related Symbols: Shakespeare
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 16 Quotes
You've got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art.
Related Characters: Mustapha Mond (speaker)
Related Symbols: Shakespeare
Page Number: 220
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 17 Quotes
"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.'
Related Characters: John (the Savage) (speaker), Mustapha Mond (speaker)
Related Symbols: Shakespeare
Page Number: 240
Explanation and Analysis:

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Shakespeare Symbol Timeline in Brave New World

The timeline below shows where the symbol Shakespeare appears in Brave New World. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Individuality Theme Icon
...dressed like an Indian, but has blond hair and blue eyes. He says in peculiar (Shakespearean) English that he wishes he were the one who had been whipped. Lenina asks him... (full context)
Chapter 8
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
Individuality Theme Icon
...from her work in the Hatcheries... Popé brings him a book: the Complete Works of Shakespeare. Inspired by Hamlet, he tries to stab Pope. Popé laughs off what is just a... (full context)
Technology and Control Theme Icon
Individuality Theme Icon
...married to Lenina. Bernard bursts out laughing. John is overjoyed, and quotes a line from Shakespeare's The Tempest: "O brave new world, that has such people in it." (full context)
Chapter 11
Technology and Control Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
Individuality Theme Icon
...her apartment, but he says good night in a strangled way. Later, the Savage reads Shakespeare's Othello to calm himself down. Lenina, upset he didn't want to sleep with her, takes... (full context)
Chapter 12
Technology and Control Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
Individuality Theme Icon
Helmholtz and the Savage like each other immensely, and Helmholtz is mesmerized by Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet, however, makes Helmholtz laugh. The entire plot strikes him as ridiculous. But... (full context)