You Love Shakespeare, You Just Don't Know It

While you probably complained ever since you first had to read Romeo and Juliet in school about how much you hate reading Shakespeare, you know you totally love Shakespeare. It was just the rebellious teen in you that was thinking that “this shit sucks." If you were to actually read a Shakespearean play and truly analyze it (instead of reading the Sparknotes summary to pass a reading check quiz you were having the next day in class), you would realize nearly all themes and situations that take place in a Shakespearean play are still relevant today. 

Let’s, for example, look at the plot of Winter’s Tale. The basis of the play is founded off Leontes’ paranoia that his wife cheated on him with another man. While the play is actually quite a bizarre one, the issue of cheating is still prevalent in today’s society. Shakespeare and his works are timeless, for they can apply to any historical context. Look at Macbeth; he grows mad because he becomes too power hungry. Macbeth can be easily compared to any political figure in power on the global stage today.

What’s most fascinating is that a ton of school’s English curriculums explicitly mention Shakespeare’s name as a part of their course description. There’s obviously some reason that those that are educating us want us to read Shakespeare. It’s the same thing with philosophy and the works of philosophers like Aristotle or Plato; their work was significant enough that we still read and discuss it centuries later in our schools.

And guess what… Chances are you’ve watched a movie that was inspired or based off a Shakespeare play. The Lion King? That’s Hamlet. 10 Things I Hate About You? That’s The Taming of the Shrew. She’s the Man with Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum? That's just a modernized version of Twelfth Night and the characters have the exact same names as in the play. Channing Tatum’s character is named Duke Orsino. In the play, his character’s name is Orsino, but he is referred to as Duke Orsino because he the Duke of Illyria. The name of the school they all attend is Illyria.

Shakespeare’s plays are such timeless pieces, yet they can be interpreted in so many different ways and all the meaning is still there. One film version of Richard III is set in the time of World War II, where Richard is the Nazi leader. And it makes perfect sense. 

So next time you wanna say you hate Shakespeare, don’t say you like the movie 10 Things I Hate About You because if you love that movie as much as I do, you def love Shakes as much as I do. Maybe you should try reading Romeo and Juliet again, but for your own pleasure this time around.