What struck me that Bryson talks about is that Shakespeare added a number of words to the English language (frugal, critical, horrid, vast, excellent, eventful, lonely, zany…), but more than any other individual created a whole series of familiar phrases that we still use today; including: a fools paradise, a sorry sight, all that glitters is not gold, as dead as a doornail, dash to pieces, fair play, for ever and a day, good riddance, hot-blooded, I will wear my heart on my sleeve, in a pickle, in stitches, like the Dickens, love is blind, milk of human kindness, salad days, night owl, primrose path, rhyme or reason, send him packing, and star crossed lovers, to name a few!
I found a curious site where you can look at a quote and then go to the piece of Shakespeare’s work it is from, as well as get it’s meaning. It’s worth a look: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/phrases-sayings-shakespeare.html
Well, that’s the short and the long of it. (-;