In the mirror universe, Archer and his team captured the USS Defiant of the normal universe. After analysing the data of its computers, they found that the works of Shakespeare in both universes were same.

Human natures in both universes were completely different. One would expect to be able to assume the same for Shakespeare, too. How can two different people having two different personalities write the same work of literature?

  • 7
    The Shakespeares didn't have identical works, they had similar works. Mirror Shakespeare's work was a bit grimmer and encouraged more violence from what I can recall. The Memory Alpha page for the relevant episode explicitly states they were not identical.
    – user1027
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 14:15
  • @Keen Fine... You can roll out an answer using it.
    – user931
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 17:14
  • 2
    Because everybody knows that the works of Shakespeare weren't written by a human: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem
    – user8719
    Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 14:08
  • Maybe it was Flint? Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 23:56

2 Answers 2


Not everyone in the mirror universe is the opposite of his or her counterpart.

In "Mirror, Mirror", the TOS episode that introduced the mirror universe, both versions of the Halkans were pretty much the same, intensely idealistic pacifists. We saw Hitler in the opening credits of the Enterprise mirror episode; presumably he was just as evil but more successful. And Kirk observed that Spock was "a man of integrity in both universes".

And it's plausible that the two universes share a common ancestry, with some event in history that went one way in one universe and the other way in the other. Shakespeare may have lived before the two universes diverged.

On the other hand, in "Dark Mirror", by Diane Duane, is TNG mirror universe novel, Picard reads the mirror universe version of Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice". According to TV Tropes:

In the Mirror Universe Shylock gets his pound of flesh because no one would really think you can really get a pound of flesh without shedding blood. They weigh it, it is too much, and they laughingly say he can take some of it back.

But that's not canonical, and it contradicts the scene in Enterprise (written later) where we find that Shakespeare is the same in both universes.

  • 3
    @SachinShekhar There's a theory that the point of divergence was actually shown onscreen: What Zefram Cochrane did when the Vulcans made First Contact.
    – Izkata
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 10:47
  • @Izkata Mirror universe is a parallel universe.. Not parallel timeline / alternate reality.
    – user931
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 11:17
  • 2
    @SachinShekhar It was called the "mirror universe" because of how the Federation was militaristic in that universe; it has never been firmly established whether it has always existed, or was caused by a timeline split. All we really know is that it is somehow the "closest" universe to the primary one.
    – Izkata
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 12:23
  • let us continue this discussion in chat
    – user931
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 16:56
  • But Hitler would have been a nice fellow in the Mirror Universe, right?
    – Oldcat
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 22:47

If the Mirror Universe were the result of a divergent timeline, it depends on when and where the timeline diverged. If the divergence came after the late sixteenth century, the same Shakespeare would be in both universes. Simple.

If the Mirror Universe were truly a mirror universe, it is not unthinkable that the events and culture of Elizabethan and Jacobean England would not diverge too much from our own history. ESPECIALLY considering English being the dominant language in both universes. The proliferation of the English language came from the economic and political successes of England, starting with the time of Elizabeth (I generally consider the era of her father Henry VIII as the mopping up from the Wars of the Roses and the final break from Rome). Both universes were likely to have an Elizabeth, or a successful Edward VI (Edward was not sickly, he died of what is likely hantavirus or dengue. Which is simply a matter of being bitten by the wrong mosquito). If there were Tudors, there was very likely a William Shakespeare in the Mirror Universe.

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