Why is Shakespeare such a famous writer?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Shakespeare is famous because he wrote some great stories. People love stories above all else. One of the reasons his plays are so popular is because he wrote about kings and queens, and big lives have room for big tragedies.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Videos

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There is no doubt that William Shakespeare was prolific in his writings as well as versatile. It didn't seem to affect the quality of his works too much (although some people believe that he had help. ) one example of versatility is the plague - during the outbreaks when people wernt visiting theatres , he turned his hand to writing sonnets!

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I can think of three reasons that Shakespeare's works have withstood the test of time. And all of these reasons are in spite of the fact that many of his plot lines were unoriginal; he drew his stories from history, other literature, etc. It's what he DID with the stories that make him brilliant.

First, he creates three dimensional, complicated characters. These characters are very human - with positive and negative attributes - and constantly questioning the world around them. This appeals to any audience (Elizabethan and Modern).

Second, he takes the stories and weaves the plots together in new and captivating ways. He might take ideas from three different sources and put them together in the episodic structure he used; he then weaves a tale that holds interest throughout.

Third, he writes beautiful poetry. The craft of his writing is unprecedented. There are so many quotes of Shakespeare in common use in our society, and some of them, people probably don't even know they're quoting Shakespeare.

All three of these qualities combine to make Shakespeare the great writer we know him as today. I imagine he'll continue to be revered this way for many years in the future.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Shakespeare is known as a famous writer for several important reasons. Firstly, he had an uncanny ability to take 'human interest' stories from right around the world and make them not appealing to but also accessible to the masses, both ordinary people and royalty. His writings and plays were equally enjoyed by both. He was also very prolific and that increased his audience and readership - the sheer number of his plays, sonnets increased his profile as a writer. His writings were also very varied - he wrote not only tragedies, but comedies as well and some lovely sonnets too. All have stood the test of the time for us to enjoy. This was partly because of his patronage and that of his band of players - his writings may have been recorded partly because of his associations with influential people.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial