illustrated portrait of English playwright and poet William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

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Why is Shakespeare considered to be the greatest writer in English literature?

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Shakespeare's greatest contribution to literature would probably be the variety of material that he produced during his lifetime. He wrote histories, such as Julius Caesar. He wrote love stories, most famously Romeo and Juliet. He also wrote comedies such as The Taming of the Shrew. His poetry is often quoted as well as lines from his plays.  He single-handedly invented new words for the English language such as "assassination." His characters are quite believable and have been analyzed by critics ever since the plays were first produced. Shakespeare wrote at a time when plays were quite popular in England and he gave the viewing public what they wanted, whether they were the rich with good views or groundlings who could not afford good seats. Even in today's entertainment industry it is hard to create something that appeals to such a large group of people. Shakespeare's work is timeless and has been adapted to stage, screen, and even radio.

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