The Shakespeare Brand

Marjorie Garber

in Loaded Words

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242047
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823242085 | DOI:
The Shakespeare Brand

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Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But what if its name is Shakespeare? Created in 2002 by Robert “Shakey” Shakespeare and his son Scott, and incorporated in 2003, Shakespeare Cigars advertises itself with a tagline from sonnet 15: “Everything that grows holds in perfection but a little moment.” Advertising is dissemination, and name recognition sells products, so it is not surprising to find William Shakespeare quoted in the book How to Build a Corporation's Name and Project Its Image. This chapter deals with the concept of branding as it pertains to Shakespeare the author, and the plays and poems often metonymically referred to as “Shakespeare” (or, indeed, “the works of Shakespeare”). It begins by considering the phrase “the Shakespeare myth,” which was used in the first half of the twentieth century in the titles of a number of books about the authorship controversy (the question of who “really” wrote the plays).

Keywords: William Shakespeare; branding; advertising; plays; poems; Shakespeare myth; authorship

Chapter.  4584 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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