To Read or Not to Read: Views on Shakespeare

shakespeareWhen the word “Shakespeare” is mentioned, people often have one general emotion about it. They either abhor his writings, or they adore his works. Students in school generally dislike his literary pieces, even though they are considered masterpieces of time, because they are forced to read it and are graded on it, and because it is a more complicated style of writing. Teachers often expect students to be able to answer multifaceted questions the first time the students read over the paragraph or act, and forget that the teachers themselves have gone through years of schooling and have taught the same book for years.

Shakespeare’s plots and characters are easier to understand after analyzation and discussion, but since the older english syntax and diction are more complicated and difficult to understand, the students tend to dislike Shakespeare’s work in general, even though they are not judging on content.

Shakespeare’s works usually teach a moral or lessons during the dialogues/monologues of the plays. These snippets are applicable to life and teach about the human condition, though his literary pieces were written in the 16th century. For example he has many quotations that advise about life, and are still applicable to those living in the modern times. “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” –As you Like It.

Shakespeare’s works force students and readers alike to think critically, after having deciphered the older english text, to get the deeper meaning of his words. His plots are complex in itself and intriguing, but in between the lines, he has lessons on life. The actions of his characters are complex also, as well as the characters themselves. They are all multifaceted, driven with reason or passion, and the plots tie in beautifully with the character’s intrinsic motivations and make a cohesive and coherent storyline.

Having finished Othello, a tragedy that taught lessons to question the things we are told and not take them at face value, people tend to be most suspicious of the ones we care about most, and to look underneath the underneath, I have a new found appreciation for Shakespeare’s works and look forward to Hamlet. Hamlet so far reminds me a little of Oedipus Rex because of all the familial intermarrying. I am looking forward to Hamlet’s witty character and the actions he will take against his father/uncle Claudius in the future.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not within our stars, but within ourselves.” –Julius Caesar.


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