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Why not refer to the obituary Marc Antony gives for Brutus in Julius Caesar as a model:
This was the noblest Roman of them all.
All the conspirators, save only he,
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;
He only, in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, “This was a man!” (5.5.74-81)
Perhaps you can get started by writing something like this:
This was the most prescient playwright of them all,
All the others have envied of great Shakespeare
His wit, his insight, his understanding of man....
Continue with Shakespeare's attributes, one of which is his uncanny insight into human nature. [Reading some biographies and criticisms on the Bard will assist you.]
I agree wholeheartedly that you would want to mention his poetry, which is often overlooked by the public, if not serious scholars. Another trap you don't want to get into when researching Shakespeare online is the unsubstantiated claim that he was responsible for authorship (or more accurately, translation) of part of the King James Bible. In short, stick to his major accomplishments, emphasize the timelessness of his works, and you should have more than enough to write a fantastic epitaph.
Shakespeare gave us quite a lot to talk about, many characters and stories and poems.
In an obituary, I'd want to make sure to mention the fact that he was not only a playwright but was a poet too. And I would try to mention also some of his most enduring characters and maybe some of the moral dilemmas he presented us with. (Should lovers be loyal to one another or to their families? Should a son revenge his father's death if that means hurting or crossing his mother?)
This is a great idea for a writing assignment. There are many sites on the internet that will give you the basic facts of Shakespeare's life. (Warning: avoid the sites that claim that Shakepeare did not write the works of Shakespeare. There is so much evidence to the contrary that this opinion is not taken seriously by serious scholars.) Below is a link to some sites that will help you learn how to write an obituary. Good luck!
An obituary usually celebrates a person's life and achievements. Of course, Shakespeare is most famous for writing plays and sonnets. The other thing a obituary usually includes is who the person is survived by. You can get cute there and say he is survived by his children, Hamlet, Romeo, and Macbeth, or you can say he is survived by millions of reader who love his works.
But on the contrary if we were to use (i too am writing an obituary on Shakespeare) " he is survived by his children" wouldnt we usse his real childrens' names?
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