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Why is Shakespeare still important today?

27th February 2017


Shakespeare is probably the most famous playwright in the world, having written 37 plays and 154 sonnets. But why is his work still read, studied and loved 400 years later?

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Shakespeare wrote about timeless themes such as life and death, youth versus age, love and hate, fate and free will, to name but a few. With the constantly changing world, we live in today these themes are perhaps more relevant than they have ever been.

Not only did Shakespeare teach us about ourselves and humanity, but he also invented around 1700 words which we still use in everyday English today. He often changed nouns into verbs, verbs into adjectives, connecting words together and coming up with wholly original ones too.

Here are just a few to which we owe Shakespeare a thank you:

generous, birthplace, negotiate, gossip, bedroom, and amazement.

It truly is amazing that one person could have such an influence on a language. What Shakespeare has taught us is that success comes through being creative, playing with language and finding new ways to communicate.

Shakespeare’s plays are studied in schools across the country, the most famous include: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar and Macbeth. Aside from the rich language, these plays contain hundreds of pearls of wisdom.

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice…..”

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so…”

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”

“The meaning of life is to find your gift….the purpose of life is to give it away.”

As a teenager, it was a little daunting opening Shakespeare’s Macbeth, attempting to read the unfamiliar words and understand them. Yet, with a little patience and hard work I soon came to love the stories and its imaginative language. The same can be said of mastering any new language: stay positive and push yourself to do your best.

We, at Celtic English Academy are running lots of activities and lessons this week about the fantastic work of Shakespeare, we hope you enjoy them!

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