Thesis: William Shakespeare was a playwright, poet, and actor from the late 1500's in England. Shakespeare is commonly considered the most efficient poet in existence, and his works and legacy greatly affect the English language and Literature. As a talented playwright and poet, he has created many influential works. Shakespeare has also put together the foundation of modern theater, as a man ahead of his time.
Quote #1: "Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays, two major narrative poems, a sequence of sonnets, and several short poems. His works have been translated into a remarkable number of languages, and his plays are performed throughout the world” (Unknown).
Commentary: Shakespeare wrote an abundance of literature. These works of his have been translated into an extraordinary amount of languages and are still being utilized around the world. This proves that Shakespeare's influence runs deeply into the present. His literature has been revered for hundreds of years, and are still commonly acclaimed.
Quote #2: “His plays have been a vital part of the theater in the Western world since they were written about 400 years ago. Through the years, most serious actors and actresses have considered the major roles of Shakespeare to be the supreme test of their art” (Unknown).
Commentary: Even currently, actors and actresses admire Shakespeare's work by proving themselves worthy of performing his major plays. This further supports the assertion that his highly viewed works are contributing to society.
Quote #3: “Scholars have identified 20,000 pieces of music linked to Shakespeare's works” (Unknown).
Commentary: Shakespeare's words have been interpreted by artists into 20,000 pieces of music. The poet's unique ideas have inspired people to make completely new forms of media.
Quote #4: “… he expanded the dramatic potential of characterization, plot, language, and genre” (Unknown).
Commentary: Shakespeare made literature become much more profound. Now authors can further express their creative ideas through Shakespeare's influence.
Effects on Modern Theater
Quote #5: “Theater up until his time had been uniquely reserved for the wealthy and the educated” (Carina).
Commentary: Theater did not have a broad audience before Shakespeare. He familiarized the masses with plays and acting, further developing theater.
Quote #6: “...the way in which Shakespeare’s plots move forward has helped define modern playwriting. Similarly, Shakespeare’s complex characterizations have brought forth a new type of storytelling in which characters’ choices drive plots forward” (Carina).
Commentary: Shakespeare made a revolutionary structure of storytelling that playwrights use today. He gave modern playwrights a foundation and structure to work on concerning storytelling.
Impact on the English Language
Quote #7: “English was being set free to go where writers wanted to take it in their poetry. Shakespeare takes it where he likes throughout his texts, transforming the English language, pointing to the way we use it today” (Unknown).
Commentary: The English poet altered words to his advantage to convey his stories better. This gave words a malleable quality so that authors can use words freely in order to make them compatible with their work.
Quote #8: “There was a huge inflow of other European vocabulary into the English language as a result of Renaissance cross-pollination. That created new variations for English words. It allowed endless possibilities for Shakespeare” (Unknown).
Commentary: Shakespeare introduced much more words to the English language. A large amount of common English vocabulary was first utilized by Shakespeare.
Quote #9: “He is obviously having a fine time here with puns and wordplay and all other variations he can ring onto the English language” (Beers).
Commentary: Shakespeare has an elaborate structure in his very popularized works. This made his structure familiarized between other writers.
Quote #10: “Whatever Shakespeare learned of rhetoric, or language, in grammar school, he parades with relish in Romeo and Juliet” (Beers).
Commentary: An impressive, well thought out structure shows Shakespeare's talent for literature. He introduced an abundance of grammatical structures that have helped many writers for hundreds of years.
Beers, G. Kylene, et al. “Shakespeare and His Theater: A Perfect Match.” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 778-82.
Carina. “William Shakespeare’s Impact on Theatre.” Octane Seating, 3 Nov. 2016, www.octaneseating.com/the-impact-of-william-shakespeare-on-theater. Accessed 9 Dec. 2016.
“Influence.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare#Influence. Accessed 9 Dec. 2016.
“Shakespeare’s Development of Early Modern English.” No Sweat Shakespeare, www.nosweatshakespeare.com/resources/shakespeare-early-modern-english/. Accessed 9 Dec. 2016.
“Shakespeare, William.” World Book Online, worldbookonline.com/advanced/article?id=ar504520&st=william+shakespeare#tab=homepage. Accessed 9 Dec. 2016.