Why Are Shakespeare’s Plays Still Popular Today?

+62 votes
asked Mar 8, 2015 in Education by Lenny (580 points)
I’m in year 10 at Secondary School and our class has just been informed that we will be studying some of Shakespeare’s plays next term. I’m having a hard time getting excited about this; I admit, I don’t know a lot about Shakespeare, but I just don’t see how something written hundreds of years ago could still be relevant enough today that it is worth studying. So my question is: why are Shakespeare’s plays still popular today?

3 Answers

+13 votes
answered Mar 14, 2015 by Roberto (1,140 points)

Personally, I think the reason why Shakespeare’s plays are still so popular is because he wrote about themes that still resonate as strongly with people today as they did at the time they were written. For example, many people today will have to deal with prejudice and family opposition to a relationship (Romeo and Juliet), gender inequality (Twelfth Night) or jealousy (Othello).

Another possible reason why Shakespeare’s plays are still popular today is that Hollywood has kept Shakespeare alive and well for the modern generations through its many, many film adaptations of Shakespearean plays. Countless people today may have first been introduced to Shakespeare through movies like 10 Things I Hate About You (Taming of the Shrew), She’s The Man (Twelfth Night) or The Lion King (Hamlet).

+10 votes
answered Mar 12, 2015 by LAWRENCE (1,330 points)

Undoubtedly the potent use of the English language is one of the many reasons why Shakespeare’s plays are still popular today. It’s easy to swoon at the romance of Twelfth Night (“If music be the food of love play on”), feel the anguish of Mercutio’s death cry in Romeo and Juliet (“A plague on both your houses!”), or appreciate the timeless wisdom found in the speeches of Julius Caesar (“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once”). In comparison to a lot of the modern fluff that gets written now, the plays of Shakespeare are alive with passion, ambition and violence.

+6 votes
answered Mar 18, 2015 by Chrystal (810 points)
Why are Shakespeare's plays still popular today? Just look at the broad scope of genres and characters that Shakespeare wrote about! He covered plays that included comedy, drama, romance and suspense, intertwined with true three dimensional characters. Instead of writing text book stereotypes, a common practice back in Shakespeare’s day, Shakespeare created characters that really lived and breathed, complex individuals who felt many emotions and who weren’t necessarily good or bad, simply human.
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