16 November 2017
Why is Shakespeare still Relevant Today?
William Shakespeare’s writing is one that the world will never forget. His stories of love, betrayal, justice and many other real world problems, keep his stories alive even after 400 years. But the question many people ask is ” Why is he still relevant?”.
Alan Craven, a shakespeare enthusiast, states “humans still experience love, loss, betrayal, war, humor and tragedy, which gives Shakespeare a foothold in modern times”. One example is the story of “Romeo and Juliet”. This story is about two people who loved each other dearly but, their families were rivals. So to be together sacrifices were made and those sacrifices ultimately led to their deaths. This story about love and tragedy is relatable to people all around the world so when reading these kind of stories from him, his popularity can stay alive.
Another way in which Shakespeare stays relevant is through academic curriculum. Mark Bayer, who is an associate professor in the english department at UTSA, states that typical high school students read at least one play written by Shakespeare every year. Alan Craven also states that in prisons for inmates seeking academic opportunities they often read shakespeare. More notably his play “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” which deals with murder and conspiracy which would be relatable to prisoners. With Shakespeare being popular within the academic field it allows his name to be more popular among the younger generation carrying on his name.
Shakespeare also stays relevant through pop culture. Bayer states that “even popular music and television commercials have been built around notable Shakespearean characters like Romeo and Juliet”. A good example was the movie “Gnomeo and Juliet” which had the same blueprint ,storytelling wise, as “Romeo and Juliet” but included different characters and a slightly different storyline. With this movie coming out in this modern era Shakespeare’s writing and legacy was brought to the attention of many more people especially younger kids who were drawn by the movie.
In conclusion, with the help of pop culture, academic curriculum and Shakespeare’s ability to connect with his audience even after hundreds of years, his writing is able to stay relevant in this day and age despite it’s age.