4 Reasons To Study Shakespeare
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

4 Reasons To Study Shakespeare

The Bard's work can seem overwhelming and irrelevant, but there are so many reasons why you should still give him a chance!

4 Reasons To Study Shakespeare
Photo Courtesy of Google

As an English major with a concentration in Shakespeare and his contemporaries, I’ve been asked a few times why I choose Shakespeare. I’ve been asked why others should study Shakespeare, even if they’re not English majors. I’ve never really given the answer much thought. I’ve always jokingly replied, “Why not Shakespeare?” and that was the end of the conversation. But I think it’s a question worth examining a little. A question worth a better answer.

  1. He made a heavy contribution to the English language. By changing the grammatical function of words and creating words that were entirely new at the time, Shakespeare invented around 1,700 of our most common words! Words like courtship, exposure, hurry, and eventful only exist because William Shakespeare wrote them to life. If that wasn’t enough, he also put words together to create phrases that had never been used before. Dead as a doornail, in a pickle, break the ice, and faint hearted are all phrases Shakespeare penned, and we use them quite often.
  2. The themes and ideas in Shakespeare’s works are timeless. His stories, and the characters in those stories, reveal human nature and universal truths that readers during any time period can relate to. Themes of greed and ambition, a desire for revenge, corrupt politics, heartbreak, and the pursuit of love are weaved into the plots of his plays, and his representations of human nature are as relevant today as they were when Shakespeare wrote them.
  3. The simple, pure brilliance of his work. Shakespeare continuously penned poetry and prose in an eloquent language that many find intimidating and overwhelming. Because of this, they turn away from his plays and his poems. What they don’t realize is that unlocking Shakespeare’s language opens doors to other works. Having the ability to read, understand, and analyze his prose allows readers to then be able to read, understand, and analyze other works.
  4. Serious entertainment value. The content of Shakespeare’s plays provides readers an enjoyable literary experience. He knew how to form a good story, a good plot, and he knew how to mold relatable and realistic characters. His words cover a wide range of topics meaning there is a play to appeal to all kinds of readers.

I started reading Shakespeare when I was a freshman in high school, and I’ve been hooking on his prose ever since. I know it can be intimidating at first, but once you get through the first few pages of a play or the first few lines of a poem, it’s simple. I encourage you all to give the Bard another try.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Ready or not, here come the holidays, friends, and if you're as obsessed with the spirit of the season as I am, you are much more ready than not. Thanks to Hallmark Channel's Monopoly game making it possible to celebrate all year long, you can be ready now, too!

Keep Reading... Show less
Stephanie Tango

The pandemic has been in our world for more than half of 2020 and people are still acting stupid. If anything, they're getting stupider. They think that the virus is gone. It's not. Stop going to frat parties. Stop trying to go places without a mask. I wish things were normal, too. They're not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Kai Parlett

In the summer of 2017, 20 type 1 diabetics completed a 10-week 4,000+ mile bike ride from New York to California. They biked against the advice of doctors, family, and friends. Many were skeptical that people with diabetes could complete such a physically challenging trip without putting themselves in danger due to their disease.

Keep Reading... Show less

That's right, you heard that correctly: Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich called off their engagement after the couple originally announced their engagement in July after beginning to date in March.

Keep Reading... Show less

Demi Lovato's Called-Off Engagement Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Taking Our Time In Relationships

While this may be another hardship she sadly has to endure, I know she will find a way to inspire and help others through it.


I am heartbroken.

Keep Reading... Show less

We all love a good ol' sappy Christmas movie and this year, the Hallmark Channel is finally giving us what we want: diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Seasonal Depression Is Real And It Deserves Our Attention

Check in on your friends throughout the winter season, it can be brutal.


As we transition seasons and enter the last few months of the year, some are feeling grand about this natural shift. But that doesn't mean everyone is thrilled that the weather is cooling down — it's important to extend your knowledge to the phenomenon that is seasonal depression.

The lack of sunlight during the later seasons of the year, beginning with autumn, triggers a state of depression for about 15% of the population. This results in the lack of serotonin provided by the sun, causing it to be hard for some to do a lot of the things that would normally be deemed simple tasks to do during the earlier times in the year like getting out of bed, showering, going to work/school, etc. A major difference is an intense need for sleep similar to a hibernation effect.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

September Is Suicide Awareness Month, But Mental H​ealth Is An Everyday Discussion

Mental illnesses deserve our attention 365 days a year.


September is Suicide Awareness Month, providing an opportunity to raise awareness, further educate yourself, and remember the reality that mental illnesses present. Yet it's critical to understand that suicide awareness is not an annual Instagram hashtag to use and forget. Actively advocating for mental health resources, progress in education, and a broken stigma is an everyday ask — an activity that we can each participate in.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments