8 Shakespeare Plays You Need To Read, Based On Your Favorite Movie

If you’re contemplating jumping into the Shakespeare canon, it can be tough to know where to start. Maybe you’re in the mood for a comedy, but you don’t know if rogue fairies or mistaken identity will make you laugh more. There’s no shortage of love stories, but even limiting yourself to tragic romance leaves you with several titles to chose from. Why not let your favorite movie guide you to your new favorite Shakespeare play?

1. If you love Titanic, try Romeo and Juliet

Like Titanic, Romeo and Juliet is about a love burning so fast and bright that destiny won’t let the young couple sustain it, intervening so their story ultimately ends in tragedy. Looked at another way, they’re both about adolescents making questionable decisions for a very new crush. Either way, swoons all around.

2. If you love Moonstruck, try The Taming of The Shrew

Like Moonstruck, The Taming of the Shrew is all about romance in the face of someone who’s very, very sure they have no interest in carving their name in a heart on a tree. They also both feature complicated, sometimes comical family dynamics.

3. If you like The Godfather, try Hamlet

If you’re just starting a quest to become better versed in the world of cinema, everyone from your cousin in film school to the person sitting next to you at the coffee shop will recommend The Godfather. And if you’re cracking the Shakespeare canon, you’ll be advised to check out Hamlet. The two stories have more in common than just their reps as essential, yet accessible viewing. At their core, they’re about sons trying to figure out their place in their family and the world, how far loyalty can take you, and the price of revenge.

4. If you love Moulin Rouge, try Antony and Cleopatra

Some people like their love stories with happy endings. Others insist on passion tinged with tragedy. If you’re the latter, you can’t go wrong with the sweeping romance of Antony and Cleopatra, a story about the clash between love and power. Love stories and tissues often go together, but these two stories also share a sense of grand pageantry that drama lovers will appreciate.

5. If you love Tootsie, try Twelfth Night

Two stories of gender bending that makes the protagonists’ love lives very complicated.

6. If you love Practical Magic, try Macbeth

If you’re a child of Hot Topic, you’ve probably already found yourself drawn to the witchiest of all of Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth. Beyond covens, both Practical Magic and the Scottish play explore misunderstandings of curses and prophecies, proving that even when magic seems to be on your side you need to watch out for your demons.

7. If you love Sweeney Todd, try Othello

Watch as two men consumed by destructive emotions—revenge and jealousy, respectively—end the lives of the women they love, only to realize afterward how wrong they were, and how much they let themselves be manipulated by other people.

8. If you love Love Actually, try A Midsummer’s Night Dream

There are multi-layered love stories, then there are tangled love knots. With their multiple intertwined stories of romance, Love, Actually and A Midsummer Night’s Dream jump from one love-sick character to another so quickly, you’re guaranteed never to get bored, even if your attention span has been irrevocably shortened by Twitter.