November 18, 2014 at 2:17 am
Shakespeare, Shakespeare, Shakespeare. Everyone knows of William Shakespeare. But Why? Why do we still recognise Romeo and Juliet, the world’s my oyster, love is blind, even though all these terms were invented by the guy who lived over 400 years ago? Is Shakespeare still even relevant to today’s students?
I believe that Shakespeare is still relevant, but only to an extent. The modern day adaptations should be studied, but I think that the older stuff should just be left alone.
These next points about Shakespearean language, characters and themes will hopefully answer all those questions you have about Shakespeare and why his works are still known and studied today.
Shakespeare wrote heaps of poems, plays and sonnets that are still remembered today. In doing this, he added so many words to the English language, nearly 3,000! He did this by creating, borrowing or altering words and phrases from other languages. Some of today’s words that Shakespeare introduced include ‘advertising’, ‘excitement’, ‘majestic’ and ‘uncomfortable’. A list of modern day words from Shakespeare are in the link below.
Shakespeare’s words helped, and still help people to express things, whether that be emotions or stories. The language he used was powerful, delicate and diverse.
Shakespeare is the second most quoted writer, and besides from his words, some of his sayings are also still used today. You may be using them yourself without even knowing, for example, have you ever said “Knock knock! Who’s there?” That’s from Shakespeare. Other popular Shakespearean sayings are here.
Although Shakespeare contributed a lot to the english language, many of his words and phrases are rarely used today or are almost forgotten, but students are still forced to learn about them. What they are learning won’t help them in any way whatsoever! You don’t hear people walking up to other people saying ‘hail to thee’, meaning ‘hello’, or ‘perchance’ when they are meaning ‘maybe’. It’s just not what people do these days. And why are students learning this when it won’t help in getting a job, raising a family or any other skill?
Even though some of Shakespeare’s language is important to the modern english language, a lot of it shouldn’t be taught to modern students because it doesn’t help them at all and makes them confused, just like this guy.
Shakespeare had a huuuuge imagination which reflected in his innovative characters. All of his characters were unique and held different messages within them.
Shakespeare’s play ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ has a wide range of different characters with different personalities. Firstly there is Lucentio, a young, rich guy who is planning to excel in his studies, but changes his plans as soon as he sees Bianca, a beautiful girl who everyone is crushing on. Katherine, Bianca’s older sister, is the complete opposite to her. She is stubborn and doesn’t see why any woman needs a man in their life. Katherine and Bianca’s father, Baptista, makes a rule that Bianca isn’t allowed to date until Katherine gets married, and this makes Bianca furious, saying that no one would ever want to marry her sister. A young man Petruchio, however, is the solution to Bianca’s problem. A rich woman is what Petruchio is looking for, and that’s exactly what Katherine is, so Petruchio agrees straight away to marry her. After Katherine and Petruchio get married, Bianca and Lucentio also get married. Petruchio ‘tames’ Katherine, keeping her from eating and sleeping. Towards the end of the play, Katherine gives a speech about how women should be loyal to their husbands.
All these characters teach people how to and not to act, and also reflect a number of different characteristics.
Bianca – snobby, eager and flirty.
Katherine – insulting, bad-tempered and eventually respectful.
Lucentio – loving, passionate and determined.
Petruchio – selfish, powerful and greedy.
The popular movie ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ is a modern version of the wonderful Shakespeare play. Kat and Bianca are sisters, and Bianca isn’t allowed to date until her sister does. Cameron (Heath Ledger <3), Lucentio in the play, falls in love with Bianca as soon as he sees her and tried to find someone who will date Kat so that he and Bianca can be together. He finds Patrick, Petruchio in the play, and persuades him to ask Kat out.
This movie is one of my favourites, and I didn’t even know it was to do with Shakespeare until a few weeks ago! Students shouldn’t have to study old Shakespeare plays to know about his characters, but to instead study modern day Shakespeare movies that have the same characters and are much more engaging and interesting to watch.
Shakespeare’s works are filled with many different universal themes. His themes are meaningful and make his stories even more significant. If Shakespeare didn’t use the themes that he did, his stories wouldn’t be as powerful as they are.
‘Twelfth Night’, one of Shakespeare’s plays, is filled with many different universal themes that make it a unique and interesting play. ‘Twelfth Night’ is about how a girl, Viola, pretends to be a boy to get a job, and at work she falls in love with her boss, but her boss thinks she’s a boy. Viola’s boss, Orsino, is in love with another girl named Olivia, but Olivia is in love with Viola because she think he’s a boy. This forms a complicated love triangle.
‘She’s The Man’ is a modern remake of Shakespeare’s play. It is about how a girl Viola pretends to be her twin brother Sebastion while he is away. She falls in love with her roommate, Duke, but finds it extremely hard because she is meant to be a boy! Duke, Orsino in the play, is in love with a girl Olivia, but Olivia is in love with Viola, who she thinks is Sebastion. The themes in this story are the same as Shakespeare’s play. These themes include;
Love is shown in the love triangle that is formed with Viola, Orsino and Olivia. It is a complicated relationship that is eventually resolved and causes everyone to be happy. Mistaken identity and disguise is visible when Viola dresses up as Sebastion and pretends to be him. These themes, especially love, are also important in life, and Shakespeare did an excellent job in using and defining each theme.
Shakespeare’s themes and use of themes are important for students to learn, but they shouldn’t need to study old plays to learn about them. Why study the old stuff when the new stuff has the same content but is more enjoyable to watch and learn?
I think I’ve said enough about Shakespeare and his relevance. I truly believe that only modern day Shakespeare should be studied as it has the same details as his olden day stuff but is way more interesting and engaging. Hopefully I helped you to make up your own mind about whether Shakespeare is still relevant to modern students. Thanks.
November 19, 2014 at 6:56 am
You did a fantastic job on writing this blog post. It was very engaging for teenagers and you did an amazing conclusion and introduction talking about your main points. I love your examples of Shakespearean language and how you cleverly constructed your blog so it was engaging.
I agree that William Shakespeare is still relevant to modern studies, although I believe that we should study his older works too. Shakespeare’s famous poems and plays are remembered through Shakespeare’s relevance of his old works. Let’s take Romeo and Juliet as an example.This play is remembered all across society and is performed in many different ways, but why are people performing these plays? Why is this still remembered? Well it’s remembered through generations of all of Shakespeare’s works, meaning that all of his works should be studied and not just some be forgotten.
I love the themes and characters that you mentioned that William has enhanced us with. You did a great job on discussing the question in your blog and I really enjoyed reading it. You are a fantastic writer!
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November 20, 2014 at 12:40 am
Fantastic comment Sinead! 🙂
November 19, 2014 at 9:20 am
Good Job Abbey! I definitely agree with your point of view. You didn’t lose my focus at all, you have made your blog really interesting and engaging. You supported your answer with good examples (for example talking about Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew). You told us about the themes and characters Shakespeare used and you definitely knew what you were talking about and you also had a lot of information to back up your answer. All together I really enjoyed reading your blog and learning about what you think of William Shakespeare. Great Blog Abbey.
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