Thomas C. Foster writes very in depth about the relationship between popular novels/literary works and television/movie premises that reflect classic works of literature such as Shakespeare and the Bible. I can definitely agree that there are sole works of literature that act as the prompt for every other storyline created from that point on (these being the Bible and Old Willy Shakes). From a popular culture standpoint I can right off the bat name several modern day adaptations of Shakespeare's plays. There is always a slight adaptation of the plays that we know and the new stories that are emerging.
I thinkVanessa's entry regarding this topic reflected very well on the use of Shakespeare and the Bible to write new literature. The most commonly used Willy Shakes play is 'Romeo and Juliet' which has been applied to every type of story over the years. A tale of star crossed lovers...that can even describe the cartoon Disney movie 'Lady and the Tramp'. Today on most Soap Operas and television dramas there is almost always a tale of two people that want to be together but are being kept apart by their families or due to the fact that they come from different backgrounds.
It is amazing to me how timeless Shakespeare has become and this poses a very interesting question regarding the evolution of literature. If Shakespeare was where it all began, then where will it all end? Such a complex group of tales, along with a much different dialect seems as if over time we have dumbed down our literature and way of speaking. We as a society have gone a step back to a simpler time yet the most influential works of all time are written in the old English as was the King James version of the Bible.