But I would still say that Shakespeare is the one author that truly has been my greatest influence. I love utilizing several literary devices Shakespeare made famous including the use of foils, foreshadowing, and dramatic irony.
There are more reasons why I think Shakespeare rocks:
1) The drama! Oh man, Shakespeare created the kind of drama that makes you go, "Damn!" From secret affairs, betrayal, murders, conspiracies, jealousy, hatred, love, fate...and everything in between. Shakespeare created the kind of juicy tension not even Jersey Shore can touch. And there was all kinds of cool stuff for everyone. You got great fencing and fighting scenes like Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth. But you also got the romance in Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, and Pericles.
2) The humor. OK, some people don't think that puns are funny. But I sure as hell do. "I'm a mender of bad soles," remarked the cobbler in Julius Caesar. Or take Hamlet for example - a very serious and tragic play, but it had a little comedy in it too. The gravediggers provide a little comic relief as they're burying Ophelia. Shakespeare was also an expert in the "mistaken identity" plot line we see in a ton of sitcoms and funny movies.
3) The timelessness. Shakespeare is copied over and over again. The themes, drama, situations are absolutely timeless. They are as relevant today as they were centuries ago. For example, Taming of the Shrew was remade into 1999's 10 Things I Hate About You. I'm a big Jet Li fan. Remember his 2000 film, Romeo Must Die? Or how about The Lion King being based on Hamlet? The movie/musical classic West Side Story is another Romeo and Juliet remake, along with Twilight's New Moon.
Shakespeare is still so very relevant today.