illustrated portrait of English playwright and poet William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

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Why is Shakespeare renowned?

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Why is Shakespeare still popular today?

William Shakespeare's poetry and, particularly his plays, are still among the greatest ever, and his work is unmatched in the history of the English language. It is no wonder that students around the world are still studying and reading his works, and it is only because of the high quality of his writing that his popularity has continued. 

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Why is Shakespeare still popular today?

There is a depth of thought and feeling, and a magnificient manipulation of the English language by Shakespeare that transcends time. The renowned critic, Harold Bloom declares that "...no one, before or since Shakespeare, made so many separate selves." Thamas Carlyle declared that Shakespeare had "superiority of Intellect." Further, Bloom asserts,

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.

There is a universal appeal to Shakespeare's diverse and yet so huamn characters, who teach so many about human nature, it virtues and its foibles.

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Why is Shakespeare still popular today?

I think Shakespeare is still so popular because he understood the human character and its weaknesses and imperfections. He also poked fun at all the social norms of the day so some of his plays are quite humorous.  He also writes in very expressive tones that make for some good acting.  Another good quality is that so many of his plays are believable and teach a moral or lesson. 

It's interesting to note that here in Utah we have the Shakespearean Festival which is held annually at one of our southern universities.  It's quite popular and the cast of each production is very, very good.  That shows me that Shakespeare's works are still very popular. 

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Why is Shakespeare still popular today?

I tend to believe that Shakespeare has been able to survive as still being relevant today because his works can still be related to. His universal themes engage readers given they can relate to what is being stated. My students love reading about the supernatural, the problems associated with being overly ambitious, and the treacherous behaviors of some of his characters.

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Why is Shakespeare still popular today?

In addition to all of the above posts, which I agree with for the most part (even the more cynical view), I think Shakespeare remains popular because people who really embrace his works see what a genius he was. He truly was talented, and while his works and themes may seem cliche now, they were masterpieces at the time and remain so today. It always boggles my mind to see line after line written in iambic pentameter and still make sense. That could not have been easy. We appreciate Shakespeare today because he was too good to put aside.

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Why is Shakespeare still popular today?

Aside from the cynical reaction that we continue to spend lots of time with Shakespeare due to inertia, there is the more positive approach which says that because his works have been around for so long and are so masterfully written, there are many phrases and descriptions that originated with him but have now become part of everyday culture. It's good to know the source of phrases we use on a frequent basis.

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Why is Shakespeare still popular today?

Odd as it seems, I was going to suggest the same as pohnpei397 here. The list you have going is strong one, I think, but the popular opinion of Shakespeare should not be overlooked if we are to truly understand what has kept the Bard at the forefront of letters. 

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Why is Shakespeare still popular today?

I'm going to take a more cynical approach and say that he is still popular today because of tradition.  People have been taught for centuries that he is amazing and so there is inertia that pushes us to continue to regard him in that way.  

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Why was Shakespeare so popular during his time?

First, it is important to realize that, though Shakespeare is virtually the only Elizabethan playwright studied in high school and undergraduate school, there are many excellent playwrights adumbrated by his fame—Jonson, Kyd, Marlowe, etc., etc.—and that Elizabethan theatre was, as a public entertainment, exceedingly popular with Elizabethans of every social class. So Shakespeare’s success during his lifetime should be put into perspective. First, Shakespeare was very prolific, with something close to fourty plays to his credit. Secondly, he was part-owner in the theatre company (the Queen’s Men, later the King’s Men) that put on his plays, so he had a ready outlet for his work, and knew his actors’ best features, often writing characters specifically for them; his career stretched over several decades. Thirdly, he was on good terms with the royal court (some say even a nobleman himself), where his company performed often, because he treated the historical figures, related to Queen Elizabeth, fairly and positively. Finally, he was a savvy businessman, giving the London crowds what they wanted in the way of drama—characters they could relate to, action, love stories, intrigue, high comedy and low slapstick, etc. By securing a dedicated venue (Globe Theatre) guaranteeing a steady outlet and a place where his followers could always find his entertainments, he built a marketable “signature.” Finally, his plays were treated as literature because quartos were printed and sold in conjunction with the productions, thereby spreading his creative poetic work throughout England. When his friends gathered his work together in the 1616 Folio, it was an acknowledgement of his remarkable achievements during his lifetime.

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