Why is Shakespeare Relevant?

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Shakespeare is still relevant today for his insight into human behavior and experiences, and in the way he represents aspects of human life, including love, loss, greed and hate. These insights into human life that Shakespeare represented in his plays reflect a lot of the modern society we have today, and provide people with a deeper understanding of the world.

Shakespeare's tragedies are often about loss, and death. His tragedies will generally include a tragic hero, external and internal conflict, revenge and chance. Loss and grief is something humans and the world has had to deal with for millennia, and this fact will never change. Shakespeare shows how grief affects people, and can make people do crazy, irrational things. In Romeo and Juliet, both Romeo and Juliet die for one another, purely because they were so in love. Shakespeare uses the grief Juliet experiences in regard to Romeo’s death to describe the decisions people make in despairing or tragic situations. The themes explored in Shakespeare's tragedies in today's world can be seen in regard to poor relationships, crime, war and death in general.

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Shakespeare's romantic comedies also show how Shakespeare is relevant. In Much Ado About Nothing there is a familial struggle at the very beginning of the play, which then turns into a vengeful, you hurt me so I hurt you love story, which then finishes with two pairs of people in love. While at first this play seems as far away from a reflection of life as possible, it is actually rather similar to modern human themes. Familial struggles happen on a daily basis. Perhaps they don’t happen to quite the extent where one member is virtually excommunicated, but members of families especially with barriers such as technology can feel left out, and unloved. You hurt me so I hurt you can be seen everywhere all the time. Generally if someone has grown up in society to act or feel a certain way, they will carry out their lives constantly believing in what society has told them. This is seen most specifically today in race and sexual identity. In Much Ado About Nothing this is reflected in Don John and his ‘illegitimacy’.

Similarly between Benedick and Beatrice there is a never ending feud of over the top statements and hypothetical scenarios, however when given the chance to be open with one another, they realise they are perfect for each other. This is relevant to today’s world and when understood creates a deeper knowledge of the world. Shakespeare proves that if people are given the chance to show affection and love, no matter how the chance is created, it can emerge into something exquisite, and something worth far more than a petty argument.

Hence we can see from these examples that Shakespeare and his insight into human themes, experiences and behaviour, and the reflection Shakespeare's plays have on a modern society that his plays are incredibly relevant. In fact it can arguably be said that if you understand the themes in Shakespeare's plays, you can find yourself in a deeper understanding of humans, the world, and how society functions. Shakespeare may not only be relevant today, but he is one of the most influential men in history.

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Why is Shakespeare Relevant? (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-is-shakespeare-relevant/
“Why is Shakespeare Relevant?” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/why-is-shakespeare-relevant/
Why is Shakespeare Relevant? [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-is-shakespeare-relevant/> [Accessed 14 Jul. 2024].
Why is Shakespeare Relevant? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2024 Jul 14]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-is-shakespeare-relevant/
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