This has been the looming question on both High School and many college campuses today. Sadly, both campuses today are choosing to explore perspectives on gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality and transnationalism. With the ever-increasing influence of the above topics, campuses are pushing out authors who were once required reading for students to graduate. Why should students now even read Shakespeare? Are his beloved plays, poems, sonnets and prose still relevant in today’s media frenzied world?
There are approximately 1,700 original words that Shakespeare gave us. Many of these unique words are still in use today. He not only had a way with creating words but with complex characters and believable villains as well. His dynamic characters are extensive to analyze and explore through literature discussions. He had a way of crafting drama, plot twists and turns. He took vengeance and love to a whole new level. His stories have inspired countless cartoons, television, radio, movies and theatre plot lines. I often share with my students that if they’ve enjoyed watching the Lion King or Star Wars………….both story lines were inspired by Hamlet.
There’s a famous quote by Sir Isaac Newton, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” This quote held true for the advancement of Science and it holds true for those who desire to become writers. What we read has a great impact on how and what we choose to write about. If we choose to read great works of literature, we can hold onto those styles and produce great works ourselves. Shakespeare’s’ works have transcended time and still hold relevance to readers, thinkers and writers to this day.
This, of course, is just a glimpse of many reasons why we should study Shakespeare. I will share more in detail in a future post…..