To Be or Not to Be

Shakespeare is Timeless

To+Be+or+Not+to+Be

Aliyah Jordan '19, Reporter

    Sophomoric teens may ask, “Why is Shakespeare still relevant?”

    William Shakespeare was a 16th century English poet, playwright and author as he is often regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. He is accredited for timeless pieces including Hamlet (1603), Romeo and Juliet (1597), Macbeth (1623), and many more.

    His work is often taught in high schools but criticised because of the usage of old English and often making his own words. I usually hear this complaint including the fact that his work is usually in play format and can become confusing at times. He tends to drag out his wording; most of the time, a paragraph of text can usually be summed up in two sentences. These are the exact reasons why it should be taught.

   Shakespeare has had a major influence on modern media and language. His works are considered some of the most expertly written and beautifully poetic.

    People quote Shakespeare more than they may think. Many cliche quotes we have assimilated into our personal lexicons come from him. Including “Fight fire with fire”, “Good riddance”, and “Heart of gold and many more.

    References to his work are virtually everywhere. From movies to TV shows to novels. Show heavy influence by his work include: Lost (2004-10), House of Cards (2013-18), and Son’s of Anarchy (2008-14).

    Shakespeare’s work has validity in today’s society. The themes of these stories affect teens to adults. They include appearance vs reality, betrayal, deception, and revenge. Not only do they address these themes but they also touch on issues teens are experiencing like mental health and relationships both platonic and not. Plays like “Othello” and “The Merchant of Venice” address privilege and internalized racism. Most of his comedies explore gender as a social construct through complex relationships and cross-dressing women.

    They contain valuable lessons while improving our comfortability with foreign text. Reading this difficult language may be seem pointless at the moment but it eventually will help you. It helps us comprehend what we are reading because we have to translate while understanding the plot. Especially if you plan on attending college or a university, you’ll most likely have to read old text. Getting used to it and understanding it now will only prepare you for the future.

    William Shakespeare was a great poet and is still relevant to this day; references to his work is everywhere. He has become a timeless author in that the message he coneys is universal and can be related to by anyone during any era.