Five Love Lessons from Shakespeare for 2021

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge Shakespeare fan. I could watch different productions of his plays all day long, but I’m aware that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the Bard. Many claim that Shakespeare’s plays are old and not relevant for people today, but I beg to differ. There are many lessons that can be learned, especially about our love lives, through his infamous characters’ struggles. Here’s five lessons about love we can learn from Shakespeare’s plays to carry through 2021.

  1. 1. Don’t hide your true feelings

    Beatrice and Benedick, one of the two main couples in the play Much Ado About Nothing are the best example of this lesson. Throughout the play the lovers quarrel as an act to hide their true love for one another. Since they didn’t reveal their true feelings to each other, they lost out on time they could’ve spent together. It’s definitely scary to put yourself out there and tell someone how you feel, but if you never share how you truly feel about someone, you’ll always be left wondering what if.

  2. 2. Know your own worth

    In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Helena continuously chases after Demetrius, even though he is interested in another woman. She ends up miserable for most of the play because she values her own worth based on his love for her. Instead of pining for someone like Helena does or basing your worth off of whether or not that someone likes you back, know that you are worthy of everything you want, and the number one love you should always have is love for yourself.

  3. 3. Always be yourself

    Cheesy and cliche, yes. But that doesn’t make this any less true. In the play Twelfth Night, there are many characters who dress up in disguises, hiding their true identity from the people they wish to pursue. Instead of donning a disguise (either literally or figuratively), just show your true colors! If it’s the right person, they’ll love you for just being yourself.

  4. 4.  Don’t rush decisions

    I’m pretty sure that most of us have read Romeo and Juliet in high school, so we all know that the young lovers definitely rush through the different phases of a relationship. Now, I’m not saying that love at first sight isn’t real, but not all decisions should be rushed. Make sure you take time to think things over before you make a decision, because when things are rushed, you don’t always get the result you were hoping for.

  5. 5. Don’t let your partner pressure you into something

    This is a lesson from the lovely (yet bloody) tragedy of Macbeth. Okay, before you laugh, hear me out on this one. Even though we are all intrigued by Lady Macbeth’s character, she is the one who pressures Macbeth to kill the king, inciting his downfall of blood and destruction. This is obviously an extreme case, but my point is to not let your partner pressure you into anything you don’t want to do. This can often have disastrous consequences for a relationship, and frankly, if someone pressures you into something, it’s very possible that you shouldn’t be in a relationship with them at all. Respecting boundaries with partners is everything.