How and why do you think Huxley uses Shakespeare's works in Brave New World? What do you think of the affect of the works in the context of Brave New World?

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Shakespeare functions as a symbol of the past in Brave New World. John, the "Savage," has grown up in conditions apart from the Society, and his quoting of Shakespeare indicates that the values of the old, pre-dystopian world are John's values as well. Shakespeare, as the iconic writer of Western culture, is the central reference point for a superseded world.

Much is made in Brave New World of the sexual freedom that exists in the society. When Lenina tries to hook up with John, he is appalled at her behavior and begins quoting lines that Othello castigates Desdemona with, calling her a "strumpet." It's as if the archaic terminology available to him from the reading of Shakespeare suits his view of the situation better than any current words. Just as John has an antique view of life and of human relationships, he uses a poet from the distant past as a means of expressing that view.

A recurring theme in early-twentieth-century intellectual life is that the "world has passed us by"—"us"...

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