Shakespeare, Who’s That?
By Ethan Slaven
We hear the name Shakespeare all the time and how he has been around for 400 years, but do we really need to know about this old guy who made plays? And is Shakespeare really relevant to us modern students today? The answer is yes, that dead old white guy is still relevant to modern students today! His poems, plays and words relate to todays society, and help us to understand themes such as power, love, relationships, loyalty, fantasy, justice and fate vs freewill. We learn about these themes through the use of his detailed Shakespearean characters. Even though we may see his work as just boring old plays, the messages that are conveyed through these plays are crazy important! “Who ever thought we could learn something from shakespeare!”
For example in the play Macbeth, there is a man named Macbeth who is in a position of power, MacBeth continues to kill those more powerful than himself to gain even more power. Macbeth gets to a point where he kills the king, who was one of his best friends, just to gain the kings power and become king. In the end Macbeth is killed and we learn the important message of justice, going around backstabbing others will only end up with you being backstabbed yourself. Now thats one Blood thirsty guy. This important messages shows us how Shakespeare’s plays still relate to us today!
You’re probably thinking “yeah that it’s great how shakespeare’s plays relate to modern themes but nobody gets to see these old plays”. But did you know that many famous films are also based on Shakespeare’s plays? Movies such as The Lio
n King, She’s the Man, Titanic, Twilight and Ten things I hate about you are all based on classic Shakespearean plays and help us to u
nderstand why Shakespeare is still relevant today!
Did you know, the movie “The Lion King” is based on the Shakespearean play Hamlet? The theme of relationships is established in both the play and the movie. T
hey both involve the same contrasting characters that develop good and bad relationships. Each involves relationships between father/son, uncle/nephew, mother/son, friend/friend and ally/enemy. Surprisingly we find that none of these relationships in both plays work. Each character in the film The Lion King represents a character in Hamlet. These Modern films contain vital information about Shakespeare’s plays and we learn about him without even knowing about it! An example of a lesson learnt through the lion King is, blood is thicker than water. This is a easy theme to see when the family of lions fight back agains the evil Scar. We also learn the lesson not to trust our enemies in the movie Lion King, as your enemies will take advantage of your trust in them.
If your not a 5 year old girl and you haven’t seen The Lion King then you might wonder how modern day chick flicks such as “She’s The Man” could ever be based off a mans 400 year old play “Twelfth Night”? It comes as a surprise to some when we realise “She’s The man” is related to Shakespeare, but really this movie is just a modernised version of Shakespeare’s play.
Overall we see this further justifies the fact that Shakespearean themes really are relevant!
Relating to Shakespeare’s Translations:
Shakespeare, Shakespeare, Shakespeare he wrote a bunch of new words nearly 400 years ago! But how do these words relate to me? Shakespeare’s language relates to us today as his poems or plays help us to understand more about poetic devices and narrative conventions in our modern writings. Some of these frequently used words and phrases included anon (meaning soon), attend (meaning go along with) and behold (meaning look). Shakespeare’s language is the language of poetry, he wrote a lot of poetry so he used a lot of poetic devices. He wrote three times more lines of poetry than he prose. Shakespeare was an amazing man who devoted his life to teaching important lessons through the use of his plays, those themes would continue teaching lessons for time to come.
“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips’ red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head”
This is a quote from one of Shakespeare’s plays (Sonnet 130) that shows there is imagery using metaphors. This example shows how knowing about shakespeare’s plays can help us students out in our modern society when we are using metaphors.
Shakespeare’s words are not only used for boring old plays and developing our ‘narrative conventions’. These word can help us to make some sick ass insults.
Some examples from Shakespeare’s plays include:
– “Thou weedy open-arsed eternal devil!”
– “Thou traitorous hell-hated hag-seed!”
Overall we have learnt that Shakespeare is actually relevant to todays modern society:
- He is relevant through the use of his Plays such as Macbeth
- He is relevant in modern media such as the movies “Lion King” and “She’s The Man”
- He is relevant to through his modern day words and narrative conventions
- And he is relevant today for his famous insults
Shakespeare is crazy, he has created so many themes that will always been relevant to society. Who Knows maybe next time when you are watching a movie it could be based off Shakespeare’s work!