Is Shakespeare Still Relevant Nowadays?

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William Shakespeare was a playwright, actor and poet. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England and while his date of birth is unknown but he was baptised on the 26th April, 1564. The first play he ever wrote was Henry VI, Part I, in 1590 and the first play of his to be performed was Henry VI, Part II, in 1591. In total he wrote 38 plays that fell into the categories of: Comedies, plays that were most often about finding love where no one dies. Tragedies, plays that were sad and often meaningful that also usually ended in protagonists dying. Histories, plays that retold a significant historical event. Even though I don’t like Shakespeare and I don’t think his work should be so over-taught in school, I cannot dispute that many factors of his work are still very much relevant today.

Shakespeare is still relevant because he alone has shaped the English language into what it is today. He created over 1700 words, many of which are everyday words that you don’t even know are his. Words like bet, hint, lonely and swagger were all invented by Shakespeare, and have been accustomed into everyday life. All these new words alone make Shakespeare’s plays one of a kind. Proof of this is in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 3, Scene 1, where puck says, “What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here?” or in Coriolanus, Act 4, Scene 1, where Coriolanus says, “Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen, Makes fear'd and talk'd of more than seen.” These quotes and many others prove that Shakespeare contributed largely to the English language, and how we communicate.

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Another reason Shakespeare is so relevant is that most of his characters, especially in his comedies, have problems that many of us can relate to and even after 450 years we can relate and sympathise with them when something bad happens, and celebrate with them when something positive happens in the play. This means we enjoy the play far more as we were far more engaged in it. There is proof of this in Much Ado About Nothing in Act 1, Scene 1, where Claudio says, “How sweetly you do minister to love,That know love’s grief by his complexion! But lest my liking might too sudden seem,” where he is talking about his love for Hero, and how he is worried he is going to scare or off or that he is in the wrong. Love is a problem that many people struggle with and by making his characters experience these problems as well makes the characters far more likeable and immerses the audience in the play, hundreds of years later.

In conclusion Shakespeare is still relevant because his plays helped build the language that we use daily and because he has the ability to engage audiences with common problems that we can all relate to. In conclusion like Valerie Strauss said in 2015, “To dismiss Shakespeare on the grounds that life 450 years ago has no relation to life today is to dismiss every religious text, every piece of ancient mythology, and…everything that wasn’t written in whatever time defined as now,” and even though I don’t think Shakespeare should be the focus of almost every english or drama essay, he is still relevant in today's world.

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Is Shakespeare Still Relevant Nowadays? (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Is Shakespeare Still Relevant Nowadays?” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
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Is Shakespeare Still Relevant Nowadays? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:

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