Why Is Shakespeare Important?

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Last April 23, Shakespeare would have celebrated his 450th birthday anniversary. Just who is this important personality that people cannot forget even after almost five decades? Shakespeare is like a patron saint for his contribution to the literary world. His plays and poems have delivered an immense impact on mankind!

Who is Shakespeare?

A student could not pass World Literature without getting acquainted with William Shakespeare. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, during the mid-16th century, Shakespeare was as an actor and a dramatist who wrote about dozens of remarkable plays and many other collaborated with other playwrights plus hundreds of poetry. He died and was buried in his hometown in 1616.

Literary contributions:

Occupying an important landmark in literature, Shakespeare was one of the greatest writers to influence the literary world. His plays were popular and very successful that they set the precedent for the evolution of modern dramas and plays. He was an innovator with his pen and popularized the writing of modern prose and sonnets during his time.

Four reasons why Shakespeare stood the test of time:

1. His ability to present a kaleidoscope of human emotions –

Shakespeare was able to present the most colorful ranges of human emotions in simple yet eloquent verses that hit the core of what the characters were trying to express If you are lost for words to say something about age, beauty, human nature, love or music, Shakespeare has eloquent verses to say it for you. You will never find any other author in the Western world who has written so many unforgettable passages.

2. He is the storyteller of the world par excellence. The best writers in the world were masters and specific of their themes: Homer narrated about men’s adventure in war; Sophocles and Tolstoy told stories of tragedies and indomitable problems that beset men; stories from Terence and Mark Twain were comical; Dickens tone was melodramatic; Plutarch acquired fame through histories; and Hans Christian Andersen specialized in fairy tales. But it was only Shakespeare who was versatile in writing about various themes about adventure, comedy, fairy tales, history, love, stories and tragedy. Each so well-crafted that they have become masterpieces and immortal on their own.

2) His stories surpassed culture and time. Starting neither from the time they were created until the age of computers, his stories are never passé nor out of place. The tragedy of King Lear can be the story of a landed-farmer in Ohio, the forbidden love between a New York teen-ager and a Puerto Rican girl was inspired by Romeo and Macbeth can be set in Japan’s feudal kingdom.

3) He invented the most extraordinary characters – especially his tragic heroes – that remained unequal, overshadowing the majestic Greek tragedians. The characters of Shakespeare stayed popular until today because of their complexity. Look at the gentle Hamlet who was forced to seek revenge that was against his better nature. Some people are like him when force into unavoidable circumstances. Stage actors considered playing Shakespeare’s character on stage as the most rewarding.

4) Phrases that are truly Shakespearian:

Many common expressions are clichés derived from Shakespeare’s work. They are used so often that their original has been forgotten. The expressions often quoted – “neither here nor there” and “the short and the long of it” are from his work.

Influence of English language

Shakespeare enriched the English language for many of the vocabulary and phrases in his work were embedded in English dictionary, making the language richer, colorful and more expressive and colorful. Of course, during that era, language was natural, loose and unregulated.

The sonnets:

Any mention of sonnets is a connection to Shakespeare. Love is the overall theme but there are three other underlying themes: (1) life is short; (2) beauty is passing; and (3) the objects of desire.

Shakespeare like a diamond is forever:

Next to the Bible, Shakespeare is the most quoted writer in the history of the English-speaking world. Truly a literary genius, he wrote a total of 29 dramas all master pieces; 154 sonnets, and two long poems. From the 16th century to the present, he has influenced English literature & language; present-day movies; and Western philosophy. His writings have impacted a large number of notable novelists and poets over the years, including Herman Melville, Charles Dickens; as well as new authors even today. As a literary figure, his contribution is highly remarkable and remains unmatched!

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