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William Shakespeare And The Modern World English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 797 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Whats past is prologue.Shakespeare once wrote in his play The Tempest. From history we have learned about mistakes, humans achievements, and cultures from different countries. It’s amazing how William Shakespeare’s works and themes are still present in the twenty first century; especially in the fields of literature, film and theater. His themes are preserved and admired by many people; William is known for mixing genres and for creating different ways to entertain people. Today our life revolves around objects that are affected by this author’s originality (Jenson).

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During the late XVI and early XVII century William Shakespeare was known all over England for his plays and poetry. His themes to entertain people are still present today in the field of literature; many authors have used them for their bestsellers books. The Telltale Heart written by Edgar Allan Poe tells the story about the narrator trying to kill an old man. This book also has Shakespeare’s theme used in Macbeth, the effect of guilt. In both stories the narrator wants to kill someone, they also describe how the characters become crazy because of the murders they have committed. In The Telltale Heart the narrator confesses his own crime because he starts hearing the murdered man heart. On the other hand, in Macbeth, the main character is driven crazy and starts killing more people which only leads him to his own death. Both, the play and the book, are famous today because of the tragedy they have (“Macbeth Vs The Tell-Tale Heart”). In the famous book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Shakespeare is quoted several times; “O, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world That has such people in’t!”(The Tempest, Act V, Scene, I). In both Brave New World and The Tempest, there is Shakespeare’s vision of humanity, where complex and messy emotions are not possible in utopian society. They describe how people actually don’t fall in love (“Brave New World”). Therefore, many famous authors use Shakespeare themes, to make their work interesting and famous.

However, William Shakespeare not only affects literature, he also affects the field of film. Many famous and popular movies nowadays also have important themes used by Shakespeare in his works. For example, the movie She’s the Man is the modern version of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night. They have the same themes of comedy, the same plot, and the same character names; the only difference is that they are acted in different time periods (“She’s the Man vs. Twelfth Night”). The worldwide famous movie Batman has the same theme as Henry V, which is the loneliness of the hero (“Shakespeare’s King: Some Thoughts on Henry V, Part 2 | Tor.com”). Even thought the main characters are heroes, they suffer because they are lonely and they don’t have someone important in their life. In the movie Titanic, there’s also themes used by Shakespeare in his works; the theme used in Othello of lovers with different background is also used in this movie. In the movie and in the book two people with different types of lives fall in love not caring about their differences (Scheibach). However, not only in movies has Shakespeare themes present in the field of film, but also in famous TV shows like 10 Things I Hate About You and Much Ado about Nothing. In both, the theme of people hating love but still falling in love is still used. These movies used William Shakespeare’s topics to amuse people.

Theater is also another field where Shakespeare continues to influence; he has expanded the ideas of characterization, plot, genre, and language. His particular ideas of how to make a play interesting is what caused new combinations of genres. In Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare he mixed tragedy and comedy to create a new genre. He also influenced in the idea of characterization with the plot, like in Hamlet. If the main character was different in any way the plot would be completely changed (“Geek Buffet”). Thanks to Shakespeare, theater has become more complex and interesting (“Shakespeare’s Theater”). 

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In conclusion, even though Shakespeare existed five centuries ago his work has influenced in many ways today. If you read a book, or watch a movie, or if you even go to watch a play you can perceive his unique style. The present has learned a lot from the past and William Shakespeare is an example. He had the art of captivating people during his time but also he has mesmerized people today. William Shakespeare has become an important individual around the entire world.


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