Why Shakespeare is still important today

Mackenzie Karnig, staff writer

Throughout high school, students read several of William Shakespeare’s plays and poems. Although many students feel that reading Shakespeare is outdated and too hard to read, it has many benefits. Shakespeare has shaped the way we read and write and will continue to do so in the classroom. Many songs and movies today have referenced Shakespeare in its work. Shakespeare is a big part of history that is still popular after four hundred years.

One of the most important reasons why we should still be learning Shakespeare is because it is apart of everyday pop culture. Many song writers think about Shakespeare’s poems and plays when thinking of lyrics for their songs. Taylor Swift used a reference to Romeo and Juliet in her song “Love Story” and many others have used lines from Shakespeare’s most famous plays. Songs are not the only form of pop culture that use Shakespeare’s famous words in lyrics, but many movie directors and productions have used Shakespeare’s plays to influence their movies as well. One example of Shakespeare’s words making it to the big screen, is from the film West Side Story. This movie resembles his play Romeo and Juliet by creating a storyline of lovers from two sides of enemy groups. Other examples are The Lion King resembling Hamlet, 10 Things I Hate About You resembling The Taming of the Shrew, and She’s The Man resembling Twelfth Night. As you can see, many examples have made it to the big screen, and most of these movies are meant for kids and teens. If we don’t keep reading Shakespeare, we will miss out on all the clues given in pop culture about how big of an impact his writing made on modern film and song writing. Reading Shakespeare will give you a better perspective on the background behind songs and movies. Missing out on Shakespeare’s historic writing will make you miss the the real meaning behind them.

The most important reason why we should keep reading Shakespeare, especially in the classroom, is because it has a huge influence on the English language we use today. There are also many lessons in the books to be considered. Many metaphors and idioms are used today such as “all that glitter is not gold” from The Merchant of Venice. Many of Shakespeare’s words are used today to emphasize our language spoken today. In order to understand these idioms and metaphors, understanding the development and evolution of the language is very important. If we don’t keep reading Shakespeare and his work, we will miss the examples of how the language has evolved. Shakespeare uses many themes that we use today to craft essays and understand the deeper meaning to books, such as his own. As we continue reading his work, we soon realize that many of our novels today have many of the same themes presented in Shakespeare’s work. Reading Shakespeare will further our knowledge of the English language today and continue our improvement in English.

As we read more and more Shakespeare, we can recognize how it is used in modern day and how it has been revolutionized throughout history. The basis of the English language has come from Shakespeare and many others writers and now we can see how much it has changed and how to used its modern version in our own language. Although his work is “old” and “hard to understand,” we can learn to read what was English back then and learn the themes and deeper meanings behind his work.