The online poll of 18,000 people in 15 countries was carried out by YouGov on behalf of the British cultural organization in November. Among its conclusions, if we are to accept them (some polling experts question the accuracy of online surveys), it appears that Shakespeare is "most liked" in nations further removed from the traditional Anglophone world, such as Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.
The Bard scored poorest in Germany and France -- rival European nations that have a keen sense of their own own cultural patrimony.
The country at the top of the pack, though, is India, a former British colony that is home to its own robust English-language literary scene and where, for generations, the country's urban elites were steeped in a style of orthodox English education that is probably no longer seen even in Britain. In recent years, a trilogy of Bollywood films based on "Macbeth," "Othello" and "Hamlet" won plaudits worldwide. Shakespeare, to some Indian authors, is as indigenous a literary icon as any other.
The findings of the survey speak to the universality of Shakespeare's works, which have been translated in myriad languages and, over the decades, made into celebrated theatrical and cinematic adaptations from Argentina to Japan.
"Shakespeare’s adaptability and continued relevance suggest that his works can remain part of efforts to promote both historic and contemporary U.K. culture," the British Council says in its report, "All the World's." You can read more about the poll's methodology and findings here.
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