Shakespeare is unquestionably an icon of English literature. His plays and poems are, seriously, SO ENGLISH. He is estimated to have contributed at least 1700 words to the English language (or at least to have been the first to write them down), and he coined dozens of phrases that we still use today. His plays drip with allusions to the Bible and classical mythology, topics that would have been well-known to his Elizabethan audiences. His plays are full of contrasts between English dialects, and his wordplay and puns are knife-sharp, slicing through his dialogue in every play.