Shakespeare Taught In School Essay

669 words - 3 pages

Romeo and Juliet have the most well known love story of all time, even though some people have never even read it. This is the impact Shakespeare has had on literature. He wrote plays over a century ago, yet they are still known and popular, such as Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, and of course Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare’s work should be taught in school due to that fact that he made so many advancements in the English language, he is a popular reference, and his works explain how people used to live and speak.
William Shakespeare made significant advancements in the English language from the help of his influence in theatre. He made his entire crew well respected and well known, and his works were enjoyed by many, including Queen Elizabeth I. Since he reached so many people, when he created a new word or phrase, it quickly caught on with his audience. Many phrases that are used today were coined by ...view middle of the document...

There are many instances in our society in which one of Shakespeare’s plays are referenced. Look at movies and at least 20 of the romances have a reference to Romeo and Juliet and their infamous relationship, such as “Warm Bodies”, “West Side Story”, and “Lion King II”. While some references are more blatantly obvious, others are much more subtle. Not all references to Shakespeare are for Romeo and Juliet though, such as “She’s the Man” is about Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “The Lion King” is in referenced to “Hamlet”. But references aren’t the only modern representations of Shakespeare, there are also plenty of adaptations of his plays. To fully understand these references, there needs to be prior knowledge of his writing and what his purpose and audience were.
While learning Shakespeare we also learn about Elizabethan culture. We learn that there were three tiers on their social ladder: the peasants, the merchants, and then the aristocrats. Since the peasants didn’t have the same schooling as the others, Shakespeare had to add jokes that were simple so they would understand them. Such as, “I will bite my thumb at them” (1.1.39), which shows us that they had a different way of flicking people off. Then in the plays Shakespeare also shows that children didn’t have stable relationships with their parents. “Thou wast the prettiest babe that e’er I nursed” (1.3.60), which tells us that Juliet was nursed by her Nurse and not her mother, which explains why children were married so early because they were more like property and their parents weren’t usually concerned with their well being.
I understand that some people believe that Shakespeare can be inappropriate at times, but it is nothing worse than what is in the media today. I think Shakespeare offers insight into the way things were, and it shows us how lucky we are to be living in the present. Thanks to Shakespeare’s work, many advancements were made to the English language, references are still made about his work, and he sheds some light on his society, so I think that he should be taught in school because he is such an important literary figure.

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