Clearly, literature IS history; it is the most accurate recordings of the human soul than any other writings, for historical recordings are often changed by the powers in charge. For example we need only look at Russia's history which was altered tremendously after the advent of Lenin and those who followed him.
From Shakespeare, readers are exposed to the history of the English language and its beauty, as well. This exposure teaches readers much (modern texts can be alongside of the other as an aid for younger students). For instance, one understands why the British use certain words, and why isolated areas in the South of the US have still some of these archaic words in usage. Studying Elizabethan English and the Old English of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales helps students in their studies of foreign language as they are exposed to conjugated endings on verbs, for one thing.
Another benefit of reading Shakespeare's works is that readers learn valuable moral lessons. The plays of Shakespeare reveal his acumen and incredible insight into the human heart. Why, one can understand a modern president of tragic flaws such as Richard Nixon much better after reading of the tragic kings in Shakespeare's works. Indeed, readers learn much of life from literature.
In addition, readers understand better modern drama from having read Shakespeare, for many of the themes, motifs, characters in modern dramas and other forms of literature come from Shakespearean plays. And, how many hundreds of titles of books and movies are taken from Shakespeare?
There is little question that Shakespeare's works are the primers for life; they are an intrinsic part of the English and American culture that has its roots in English. Harold Bloom, renowned critic, writes
Shakespeare will abide, even if he were to be expelled by the academics, in itself most unlikely. He extensively informs the language we speak, his principal characters have become our mythology, and he, rather than his involuntary follower Freud, is our psychologist.