Shakespeare's an authority figure. Kind of.
"There is a kind of authority lent by something being almost universally, known, where one has only to utter certain lines and people nod their heads in recognition." Foster, 43.
In chapter 6, Foster makes a case for the fact that Shakespeare has a great influence on a lot of writers, and that many stories, most of them, are based on one of his works. He proves his case by naming various quotes, most of which I knew, and then saying something along the lines of, "I bet you know these quotes, but can't tell me where exactly they are from." As the reader, I would say that he makes a good argument, basing most of his claim on different examples throughout literature that imitate the storylines or characters in Hamlet, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and Taming of the Shrew. He makes the statement that writers bounce ideas off of eachother, and says that they quote things they have read or heard, and more of them have Shakespeare in their heads than anything else. (Except Bugs Bunny.) The claim Foster makes about students being able to connect more to a piece of literature, and allow the imagination to fill in the blanks in the story line when they realize or learn that it is based on Shakespeare, is a good point. I've read books where Romeo and Juliet was the 'backbone' of the work, and, until someone told me or I realized that it was that way, I couldn't see the connection or where the story was headed. It makes Shakespeare a sort of authority figure due to the fact that most stories can be related in one way or another, to one of his works.