“To be or not to be…”

Shakespeare’s importance in our English classrooms

Many students have heard the name Shakespeare. We have heard it over and over during our high school careers.

Some have probably even read one of his famous stories like Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet. But just like other subjects, students wonder why Shakespeare’s plays are important to learn about.

Students can hardly understand what his words mean but they know it must be something amazing by the way our English teachers talk about him.

“I would have two versions with the original language on one side and a more modern translation on the other side so students could still see both versions so that really help out a lot. I also made them act some scenes out but not many,” English teacher Susan Kaspar said.

Shakespeare’s writings go back to the 1500s and he is often considered the best writer of the English language. His plays have been translated into every major language and are performed more often than any other play writer’s plays.

What makes his plays so loved by everyone is his power of capturing human emotions so perfectly, his great plots and his compelling characters.

Many students complain about not being able to understand what Shakespeare talks about, but he is one of the very few authors who perfectly grasps real emotion and can put unspeakable words down on paper and make them beautiful. If there is something that you cannot put into words, Shakespeare surely could.

“Once my students really began to understand the language and got into it, they enjoyed it,” Kaspar said.

Studying his writing allows students to appreciate and truly understand how his words are still used today in common expressions that we use. No other author has written more beloved passages than him.

Shakespeare’s stories are amazing if you dissect them. His plots where so well thought and some were so realistic that his audience felt that those situations could happen to them.

Shakespeare wrote about every type of story from comedy to tragedy and from fairytales to history. Some of the things he wrote about are still being used today in books, movies and TV shows. He has a huge influence to the things we see today and audiences even hundreds of years later can still make connections to the things he wrote about.

“His topics are relevant to things that we go through today. Hamlet is all about making your family proud and figuring out who you’re going to be as an adult. The Lion King was based on Hamlet,” Kaspar said.

His characters have a high level of complexity that people get so captured in them. His characters are more famous than celebrities today. Readers always find themselves torn between whether to love or hate them.

The tragic heroes always receive the most love because of his skillful and psychologically clever characterizations. People will always associate Romeo for a young lover and Hamlet for a gentle murderous revenge seeker.

Shakespeare is a legend. His work has lived through hundreds of years without vanishing. We find his influence in everything we watch and read.

Learning about him in school gives people a better understanding and appreciation for his work.