An Argument for Shakespeare

An Argument for Shakespeare

If the title of this post made you start running and screaming, stop right there. You are going to come back and sit down and finish this post. Know why? Because I am going to make a great argument.

I blame my mom for my love of Shakespeare (thanks, Mama!). She's even more into Shakespeare than I am. I'd consider myself a mid-level fan. But his writing has so many great benefits, I thought I'd write a post trying to convince people of that. Even if I don't change your mind, I hope you learn something from this post.

Shakespeare was a master with words

You know Lin-Manuel Miranda, right? (Who am I kidding? Everyone knows him.) You know how he has a way with words, and he can write that lyric that makes you stand in awe of his word prowess? Well, he's been called a modern Shakespeare. So that's an example of how good with words Shakespeare was.

Shakespeare knew how to pick words that brought what he was trying to say to life. He's the master of not just writing whatever words come to mind, but instead searching for that perfect word. That's why what he writes sticks with us. "Once more unto the breach." "Boil, boil, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble." "But soft what light through yonder window breaks?" "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." Listen to that poetry.

Give Shakespeare a try and don't just read it on the page. Try reading it out loud, the way it was meant to be read. Yes, it's hard going and confusing, but you'll really grow from doing it. (And you can read the SparkNotes afterwords if you still need help.)

Shakespeare wrote relatable stories

Even though he wrote his stories hundreds of years ago, we can still relate to them and to the characters. We understand Romeo and Juliet's plight. We laugh along with Puck at the trouble he causes in the woods. We boo all the awful characters in his plays. Don't even get me started on his amazing sonnets.

That's why Shakespeare is still so popular. Stories that last are the ones that we understand. And many of his stories have many things that we understand even today. Love, laughter, war, and more. Even musicians have been known to use Shakespeare as inspiration for songs, including Elton John, the Beatles, and Taylor Swift.

Shakespeare gave us many great words

Tell me if you use any of these words in your day to day life, or at least once a week. Addiction, bedroom, cheap, downstairs, excitement, laughable, money's worth. You probably have, and many more that you can find on this list. All of them are attributed to Shakespeare for being invented or used in the way we do now.

Can you image what things would be like if Shakespeare hadn't given us all these awesome words? Words are being invented every day, but I don't think anyone was as prolific as it as he was.

Shakespeare teaches us things

His plays don't have morals, exactly, but you do come to realize things at the end. Like in Romeo and Juliet, you learn that love overcomes hate and people shouldn't let their differences divide them. Or in Macbeth, you learn that you can't escape fate. Like I said before, these sorts of things are relatable, so even today we can learn from his plays.

So my hope with this post is to give you a little more appreciation for Shakespeare and maybe even read one of his plays. Some of you may have had a bad experience with him in high school or college, but it's never too late to learn to understand him.

What are your thoughts on Shakespeare? Have you learned anything from him? What's your favorite play? Tell me in the comments.

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  1. I believe there is always so much to learn from classics, whether they be good or bad, but I happen to like Shakespeare. His writing is beautiful and his story ideas were phenomenal and imaginative, he really dived deep into human emotions.
    My favorite play would have to be The Taming of the Shrew.


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