Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

Bob Dylan Deserves to be Honored as a Nobel Prize Recipient for his Work in Literature

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

The times, they are a-changin’, and they always will be, for what is progress without a struggle. Revolutions come ceaselessly, like a Rolling Stone, they push through, no matter the hindrance or the strife. Revolutions are harbingers of hope, which breathe new life into corrupt institutions; these revolutionaries question and ponder the way which life presents itself, inspiring those around them. What does this have to do with the Nobel Prize?

open books laid out
Photo by Patrick Tomasso from Unsplash

The recipients are all revolutionaries in their own way. Whether changing the world by bringing peace, by discovering something remarkable, or contributing to human culture in a positive, academic, or otherwise, explosive way. Former Nobel prize laureates include Martin Luther King Jr. (Peace Prize 1964), Albert Einstein (Physics Prize 1921), Mother Teresa (Peace Prize 1979), and John Steinbeck (Literature Prize 1982). As of 2017, the Nobel Prize in Literature had been awarded to 114 individuals. Many of these individuals have been Rudyard Kipling in 1907, William Butler Yeats in 1923; even Winston Churchill received the award, for his memoirs, essays, and historical writings. But most controversially, in 2016, world-famous country, blues, and folk musician, Bob Dylan received the award.

Person Playing Sun Burst Electric Bass Guitar in Bokeh Photography

Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize and was honoured by the Nobel prize,” (Dylan 2016) Bob Dylan is an artist, a revolutionary, and a poet of the human experience. Bob Dylan deserves to be honoured as a Nobel prize recipient.


The main cause of uproar as a result of Dylan being awarded the Nobel prize was that he was never a devout student of writing as previous laureates have been, yet Dylan chose and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm… [or] something likened to poetry especially in beauty of expression” (Merriam-Webster English Dictionary 2018). According to this well-respected dictionary, poetry is described in rhythm, sound, and its predestiny to provoke an evocative response in the person interacting with said poetry. There is not a single Bob Dylan song that does not provoke this response in people; what makes Dylan even more of a poet is that his poetry is simple but powerful, it does not discriminate or and rhythm, it makes so much sense that Bob Dylan is a Nobel prize laureate.

Zodiac Decor
Photo by Samantha Hurley from Burst / Shopify

Another point of contention faced by Bob Dylan was that he failed to attend the awards ceremony. He gave a statement saying that he was unable to that he had always declined official honours and that a writer should not allow himself to be turned into Nobel prize, “a genuine and heartfelt response” (Dylan 2016).


Dylan received his Nobel prize regardless of criticisms, he deserves to be recognized as a figure in literature. Bob Dylan created sixty years’ worth of music and in its own unpretentious sense, poetry for the masses. Even renowned poet and musician Leonard Cohen said that “no prizes were necessary to recognize the indelible mark records like Highway 61 Revisited had made on popular music” (Guardian 2016). Dylan’s power of prose is distinguishable and recognizable in American culture, it saw the country through times of joy, times of strife, war, panic, trials, and tribulations; it is meaningful poetry for the people and for the revolution.



The Guardian, 2016. Web. 12 June 2018.

“Bob Dylan.” En.wikipedia.org. N.p., 2018. Web. 12 June 2018.

“Poetry.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 11 June 2018.

Sara Gray

Queen's U '22

Hi, my name is Sara Gray. My pronouns are she/they. I was born and raised in Belleville, Ontario. My ideal day involves sleeping in, reading with a cup of tea in hand and a cat by my side, painting, swimming at Sandbanks provincial park, and having a bonfire to end the night. I attend Queen’s University, working on my Honours Arts Degree in Political Science and Art History. I’m working towards heading to law school. If you want to share your story, shoot me a message @sara.grayyy on Instagram. Cheers! x
HC Queen's U contributor