William Shakespeare Questions and Answers

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Why is Shakespeare still a very popular playwright? Why is Shakespeare still a very popular playwright?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are two reasons Shakespeare is popular. First, many people are curious and want to read the plays they have heard so much about. The other reason is because they are very engaging stories, full of great characters, tragedy and fun too.

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Shakespeare's work is still relevant because it still reflects human nature--who and what we are.  Young people still fall in love and do rash and permanent things (Romeo and Juliet). Sometimes people just can't make up their minds to act, and sometimes it costs them dearly (Hamlet).  Sometimes people act out because they aren't getting the proper attention and just want to be loved (The Taming of the Shrew).  Sometimes people do awful things to pursue their own selfish ambitions (Macbeth).  Lots of other reasons, but this is top of the list for me.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write16,848 answers

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I would say that Shakespeare is still a highly popular and relevant playwright because modern drama's roots and exploration of character motivations can be first seen in his works.  For example, when conceiving of a character rooted in jealousy and envy, Iago becomes almost a template.  When creating a character tormented with indecision, Hamlet becomes a model.  Considering the intense nature of young love, Romeo and Juliet are the guides.  The challenges of parenting can be seen in Lear.  It seems that when constructing a character or behaviors, Shakespeare might have done it first and better than anyone else.  In this light, I cannot help but feel he is relevant to the modern construction of literature.

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