How Did 'The Fault In Our Stars' Get Its Name?

by Alanna Bennett

The Fault In Our Stars laugh-cries its way into theaters this weekend, and it seems by now we've spent enough time with the film's cast and crew and the novel's author to know everything there is to know about the story, its characters, and what it means in the wider scopes of death, love, and modern fandom. But there are always more questions to be asked, so let's take a second to delve into The Fault In Our Stars origins. More specifically, its name.

Though John Green didn't exist until the 20th Century and the novel didn't exist until the 21st, the book's title has its origins in the 16th: It was inspired by a line in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, thought to be written in 1599:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/ But in ourselves.

The book takes on that concept by presenting its opposition: Two teenagers whom "fate" has dealt a fundamentally unfair hand. The fault there isn't with Hazel or Augustus, or any of the other humans operating in their world; they didn't give themselves cancer, the "stars" gave it to them, giving new meaning to the term star-crossed. Fittingly, the Norwegian title for both the book and movie is Fuck Fate.