Why Shakespeare Will Always be Important

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I openly admit to the fact that I find the task of reading Shakespeare to be a challenging and tedious one. Just the fact that I would refer to reading Shakespeare as a “task” illustrates my lack of enthusiasm for attempting to tackle one of his works. However, despite the fact that a Shakespearean play would not be my first choice when curling up on the couch for some rainy day reading, I still value the works of Shakespeare and recognize their everlasting importance. Shakespeare wrote his works hundreds of years ago and yet he still remains a household name. While the language may scare some readers away, the content is what keeps the majority coming back. This is because no matter how much time has gone by, themes of forbidden and passionate love, jealousy, murder and betrayal are always going to be relevant and entertaining. Shakespeare may have taken inspiration from or adapted other works, but he is still considered a literary pioneer for incorporating these and other themes into his works. His stories were complex with intricate plots that enthralled viewers and readers as they unraveled. Ever since their publications, Shakespeare’s works have been adapted to be made more applicable to the “current” time, whatever that may be. A key example of this would be the famous Romeo and Juliet adaptation of the late 1950s, West Side Story. This week in my Theater Appreciation class, our homework was to view this film. It was while I was watching this movie that I really recognized the fact that Shakespearean themes have been relevant and can always be made relevant no matter what time period we are in. This is because Shakespearean themes relate to universal human experiences that will exist as long as there are families, lovers, friendships, and other types of relationships. 

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3 thoughts on “Why Shakespeare Will Always be Important

  1. I completely agree with you in that while Shakespeare’s language is a difficult task to overcome, it doesn’t undermine the quality and originality it contains. I like how you use the example of West Side Story and your theater class to back up this statement! Great post!

  2. Whenever, I find out I have to read Shakespeare for class, I always get a little nervous. I know its going to take me so much longer to read than something written, you know, in this lifetime. However, whenever I finish reading and understanding it, I find that I grow to really love and appreciate it. When we were reading Hamlet, I read both the Old English and the modern, spark noted text. It might be a little nerdy, but I found myself wanting to tweet quotes from the new text cause they were “Shakespeare” but understandable. If given the chance, I think everyone would be able to understand, relate to, and enjoy Shakespeare’s works.

  3. I love how you closed out your blog! I completely agree with you statement “Shakespearean themes relate to universal human experiences.” I find this to be true in my daily life and I’m sure many other individuals do as well. You also made excellent points to support this idea!

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