Thesis: Shakespeare was one of the greatest writers of all time because of early life/career, his work, and his appeal and influence
Quote #1: "... his literary work shows the mark of the excellent if grueling education offered at the Stratford grammar school" ("William").
Commentary: Shakespeare had to have gone through a very tough education to advance his work into such praised art, especially since he got out of school at around 13. This makes it evident that Shakespeare was a very hardworking, ambitious individual, putting in hard work in the short amount of time allocated to school.
Quote #2: "The last of the first comedies, Love's Labour's Lost (1593)... If the first of the comedies is most notable for its plotting and the second for its romantic elements, the third is distinguished by its dazzling language and its gallery of comic types. Already Shakespeare had learned to fuse conventional characters with convincing representations of the human life he knew" ("William").
Commentary: Shakespeare works seem to always be praised in his early and late work in current day for multitudes of reasons. Even in some of his earliest works that were meant to be comedies, people are amazed at his understanding and ability to connect characters with realistic representations of his day and time. Many authors must look to Shakespeare for influence on how to fuse current day human life with relatable characters.
Quote #3: "Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays, two major narrative poems, a sequence of sonnets, and several short poems" (Lander).
Commentary: Shakespeare had to have spend much of his time working on his plays, scripts, and the like. In this time he created classics to be remembered ages past his expiration date. It raises the question as to how many undocumented works he had.
Quote #4: "In Romeo and Juliet the main plot... is skillfully advanced, while the substantial development of minor characters supports and enriches it" ("Shakespeare").
Commentary: Shakespeare's work is always praised for its great characters and the development of them with the story, which is also greatly praised in modern times. Shakespeare frequently uses minor and big characters in different ways to beautifully complement and advance the plot of his plays and stories, he gives them lots of emotions and has them dramatically present them. This could be why many actors want to use his work as a testament of their skill in their line of work
Quote #5: "Year after year he provided it with plays, almost on demand. Shakespeare was the ultimate professional writer" (Anderson).
Commentary: In his own time Shakespeare was a very relevant and wanted for his plays. The company he wrote plays for was supported by King James himself and his works were so good they were on the demand year round for quite some time. It shows that his plays were always appreciated and applauded for their greatness, not just in later times when people became smarter and realized the depth of his work. Even now Shakespeare is considered one of the ultimate professional writers despite the massive amount of time that has passed since his death.
Quote#6: "Since Shakespeare's time the stage has undergone various changes...but recently we have seen a reversal of this design" (Anderson).
Commentary: Shakespeare set the stage for play stages with his "globe". Though there were many changes and transformations to the simple design, here recently the simplistic "globe theatre" is coming back. Shakespeare made the stage so he would have an adequate place to display his plays and while people have been changing it to their tastes and modern times, it seems people are seeing the beauty in his "Wooden O" again.
Quote #7: "Since his death Shakespeare's plays have been almost continually performed, in non-English-speaking nations as well as those where English is the native tongue; they are quoted more than the works of any other single author" ("Shakespeare").
Commentary: Shakespeare's works had such a great influence that many people of different languages and lands continue to act out his plays. Not only do many people still perform his art, (notably as a very serious thing) but quote his masterpieces and their great displays of emotion and foreshadowing.
Quote #8: "Through the years, most serious actors and actresses have considered the major roles of Shakespeare to be the supreme test of their art" (Lander).
Commentary: Even though Shakespeare works are older than people's great ancestors, serious actors still consider his work to be a test of skill. This shows just how much appeal and depth his works have despite the test of time.
Quote #9: "The strength of Shakespeare's plays lies in the absorbing stories they tell, in their wealth of complex characters, and in the eloquent speech—vivid, forceful, and at the same time lyric—that the playwright puts on his character's' lips. It has often been noted that Shakespeare's characters are neither wholly good nor wholly evil, and that it is their flawed..." ("Shakespeare").
Commentary: Shakespeare's works are applauded for many different reasons, but one that is probably of more recent times, is the fact that the characters are not perfect. Many modern day stories make characters so perfect, or make good and evil so black and white that their stories become predictable, less enjoyable, and unrelatable. If authors today tried a little harder to make good and evil more blurry than black and white, or maybe give characters more personal and relatable flaws, literature would be praised to the same degree as Shakespeare's.
Quote #10: "...if Shakespeare were alive, he would be receiving $25,000 a week in royalties for production of Othello alone" (Anderson).
Commentary: Shakespeare's plays are still so relevant that it would make him a very rich man in today's times. The prediction of his income was also only one estimate of the royalties of one of his lesser plays. It is hard to imagine how much money he would garner with the royalties of all 38 of them being performed frequently worldwide.
Anderson, Robert. “Shakespeare and His Theater: A Perfect Match.” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 778-80. Holts Literature Language Arts.
Anderson, Robert. “William Shakespeare's Life: A Genius From Stratford” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 776-777. Holts Literature Language Arts. “
Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.
“William Shakespeare.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 7 Dec. 2016
“William Shakespeare.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2016): 1-4. History Reference Center. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.