William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What inspired William Shakespeare? What inspired William Shakespeare?

Expert Answers info

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,968 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

 

Shakespeare was often inspired by history. He wrote many plays with historical figures, and based his kings and queens and other characters on them as well. We know he was also inspired by Greeks and Romans, and mythology in general.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

lmetcalf eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2004

write1,941 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Shakespeare was inspired by the stories he heard or read from other sources.  Most, if not all of his plays, can be traced to other stories.  His genius is was taking the germ of a story and developing it into a full-blown drama for the stage and writing that play in beautiful language filled with eloquence and imagination.  The plays aren't "original" they are only written in Shakespeare original language and style.  He made the stories his own and infinitely better in the process.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

Another thing that inspired Shakespeare was history.  He clearly was interested in reading about the lives of "great men" and writing about the sorts of dilemmas that they faced in their lives.  This is why he wrote so many plays about important historical figures such as Julius Caesar.

So one of his inspirations was history and the acts of the people who made history.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

shaketeach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write308 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Shakespeare, like any great writer, is a product of his time period.  The Elizabethan period was an incredibly rich time full of changes.  The English language itself was changing at a rapid pace as new words were added frequently.

When Richard Brubage built the Theatre in Shoreditch, it brought about a great change for theatre companies.  They now had a permanent home.  Other theatre managers saw the practicality of this and it wasn't long before the south bank of the Thames had several...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 531 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now



check Approved by eNotes Editorial


jennie-15 | Student

I would say that Shakespeare was a naturally intuitive person, and he was more sensitive to the surroundings around him. Because of this, he could create something wonderful out of what others could consider the completely mundane activities of his society.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial