“Paradise Lost” and Robert Knox, 19th century anatomist that purchased corpses from murderers to use in his anatomical teaching practice.
“Moby Dick” and Theobald Mathew’s temperance campaign, which resulted in those who pledged to abstain from alcohol to instead consume ether.
“Romeo and Juliet” and abstinence-only sexual education, which ironically results in more teenage pregnancies.
“The Hobbit” and the rat effect, named after a rat infestation in colonial Vietnam, that caused the government to give out bounties for every rat killed, only to find that people responded by breeding rats.
“Macbeth” and Duplessis orphans, a generation of orphans that were intentionally misdiagnosed as mentally ill so that Quebec could collect additional subsidies from the federal government.
“Doctor Faustus” and medical professionals being paid only for treatment of existing issues rather than for prevention.
“The Picture of Dorian Grey” and the SESTA/FOSTA law; intended to reduce sex trafficking but instead put sex workers in more vulnerable and dangerous positions.