The rise of the text tattoo
It probably wasn't on Shakespeare's radar that his work would one day unite Megan Fox, Danielle Lineker and Lindsay Lohan. But it has - they all have Shakespeare quotations tattooed on their bodies. Why are more people getting such high-brow inkings?
The trend for long pieces of script is part of the tattoo's journey from the margins to the mainstream.
Rarely a week passes without a celebrity being spotted with a defiant rallying cry, knowing aphorism or erudite quote inked on their bodies.
Angelina Jolie, the doyenne of written tattoos, was recently spotted with a long bit of text - thought to be Arabic - on her right arm. It joins a Tennessee Williams quotation, the Arabic word for determination, and the geographical co-ordinates of her six children's birthplaces, among others.
Literary quotations, song lyrics and philosophical musings are popular. Megan Fox took her Shakespearean tattoo from King Lear - "We will all laugh at gilded butterflies" - while Danielle Lineker chose "Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt" from Measure for Measure, and Lindsay Lohan went for "What dreams may come" from Hamlet.
It's not all high culture, though. Harry Styles has a few words fromGeorge Michael's Careless Whisper on his feet - "never gonna" on his right foot and "dance again" on his left.
People often seek out the profound or portentous phrase. David Beckham has "Ut Amem Et Foveam" - So that I love and cherish - below wife Victoria's name, as well as the saying "Perfectio in Spiritu".
Script has always had a following in the tattoo subculture - "Carpe Diem" is a staple. But as techniques have improved, the lengthy quote has grown in popularity, says Stefano C, a tattoo artist at Frith Street Tattoo in London.
He had to fit AA Milne quote "Always remember you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think" between someone's arm and shoulder. It took up 10 lines. Many people have more personal text, such as a grandfather's favourite saying.
Length can be a problem. "People come in with a big essay. But in order to age well, it needs to be big letters," he says.
His focus is on making it look good. "It needs to be elegant and easy to read."
Librarian Meghan Jones has a line from graphic novel The Sandman by Neil Gaiman on her arm - "Sometimes, when you fall, you fly." She had just left university and moved to London, and everything was in flux. The tattoo has helped her to conquer her fears, she says.
"It acts as a totem. It's something I think about when I'm not sure which way to go."
But why text and not a picture? "I can't think of an image that would have the same emotional meaning as a quote," she says.