When people talk about English literature, there is one specific person they would immediately think of, and that is the great William Shakespeare. He was considered to the most successful and most popular person in the English literature because he was not just an amazing playwright, he was also an exceptional poet and an actor.
“You say that you love the rain, but you open your umbrella when it rains. You say that you love the sun, but you find a shadow spot when the sun shines. You say that you love the wind, but you close your windows when wind blows. This is why I am afraid; you say that you love me too.” – William Shakespeare
WHO IS WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE?
Before he became the greatest playwright in history, he was actually an actor first. While working as an actor, he then wrote a couple of plays for the acting company he’s working at which is the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, and some of these plays (The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) have actually played such a huge part in his success as a playwright. Through the years, even after his death, his legacy continues through his writings.
HIS INFLUENCE IN ENGLISH LITERATURE
Shakespeare was fluent in seven different languages not including English. According to historians, his vocabulary was so large that some of the words he made up in his plays are included in the dictionaries that you’re using today. Since Shakespeare was just so influential, we are going to give you some of Shakespeare’s Greatest Plays.
“I feel happy, you know why? Because I don’t expect anything from anyone. Expectations always hurt, life is short so love your life, be happy and keep smiling, just live for yourself. Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you pray, forgive. Before you hurt, feel. Before you hate, love. Before you quit, try. Before you die, live.” – William Shakespeare
ROMEO AND JULIET
This has got to be one of Shakespeare’s most popular works. It is a tragedy that he wrote in 1594. There has been tons of movie adaptations of this play because no matter how many times they make a film or a story that is based from the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. However, these films are not exactly how the play was actually represented. Yes, it is a tragic romance, but it is deeper than that. If you get a chance to read the play itself then it will make more sense.
In the beginning, it seems like it’s just about feeding families, and everything is light, there may be tension because of the fight but that’s just it. Then the party happened, where Romeo and Juliet met and said their iconic lines. The deep and at the same times, the fascinating turning point was when Romeo’s cousin died and he took Tybalt’s life as well, it is no longer just a romantic film. The play involves a very detailed emotion of Juliet and how she’s torn between what she wants and what is right. Romeo and Juliet did end up being together, they didn’t just get to live.
One of the reasons why Macbeth is considered as one of Shakespeare’s greatest works is that because it never goes out of style. It is a classic, and yet the theme and ideas that the play represents are indeed still relevant today. The character of Macbeth symbolizes humanity itself. People making wrong decisions, people choosing what they want instead of what they need, people doing everything to get what they want, people who are doubting their friends, and people who are willing to lose everything. It’s all in there, and that’s what makes it a timeless masterpiece.
Hamlet is just full of complexity and dilemma, just like life. Hamlet is more than just a play, it talks about how life is like. Life is complicated, life involves doing things you’re no supposed to do, life involves making mistakes, and in the end, despite what people think of each other, despite all the things people have done, whether it is good or bad, every single one of them will be six feet under the ground, so the roller coaster of emotions and happenings in a person’s life is completely normal, and that’s what Hamlet is all about, never ending complications.
Shakespeare has indeed changed the entire English literature because of his great works, and up to this date, and even in the farm future, this man’s work will still be considered as a masterpiece. What is your favorite Shakespearean play? Let us know what you think.