After talking extensively about characters from Discworld in one of the classes, and some prompting from my friends, I've decided to take a look at Terry Pratchett's novels. At first I was alarmed by the sheer amount of books and picked the first book available going from #1 from the library. It was Wyrd Sisters, #6 in the Discworld series. At first I was afraid that it won't be easy immersing myself into the world well after it was established, but I didn't struggle as much as I thought I would.
Immediately I noticed the similarities with Shakespeare. The book introduces us to Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick - the three witches. King of Lancre is murdered by his cousin. The crown and the king's baby are given to the three witches, who then hand them over to a group of traveling actors. While waiting for the child to grow up, people get angry, so the witches move everything forward in time.
Just the theme of three witches is glaringly an homage to Shakespeare's Macbeth, even repeating the play's first line in the book, spoken by one of the witches:
When shall we three meet again?
The three witches in Macbeth are also known by the names of The Weird Sisters, so the parallel is also in the book title 'Wyrd Sisters'. There are also several pieces of dialogue in the book that are almost word for word from Macbeth (Magrat: Can you tell by the prickling of your thumbs? vs. Witch 2: By prickling of my thumbs. Something wicked this way comes.) or allude to other Shakespeare works, such as Julius Caesar.
I do not mind if people take inspiration from older works or even contemporary ones. As long as it is obvious it is your
story. So, the way Pratchett took inspiration or paid homage to Shakespeare, I don't mind, I even think it enriches the story, but there are some people that just take the story and run with it (Juliet Immortal, Ophelia to name a few) and it is unbelievable. Yes, Shakespeare is in public domain, but seriously, use a little imagination.