Many consider William Shakespeare the ‘father’ of English Literature. While Shakespeare has stopped writing nearly four centuries ago, his poems and plays still resonate today. What’s more, there are many modern writers so why shouldn’t children continue to learn Shakespeare?
Shakespeare was one the greatest prose and poets in the world. His rich and complex language, characters and themes are still as important today as they were during the 16th and 17th centuries.
William Shakespeare was an English playwright, poet, and actor. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon (Warwickshire) in April 1564. Anne Hathaway was 18 when he married him and they had three children together, Susanna around 1583 and Hamnet and Judith about 1585.
Between 1589 and 1613, Shakespeare produced the majority of his most famous work. His writings were a mix of comedy, history, and tragedy. His plays were translated into many languages throughout the world. These are just a few of his best-known works:
The Merchant of Venice
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Antony and Cleopatra
Romeo and Juliet
It is what you like
There are many other things to mention and Shakespeare’s work deserves to be mentioned. Shakespeare was an actor and writer who enjoyed a long career in London. He died in May 1616 in Stratford.
Celebrations will be held around the world this year, beginning in the UK to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth and his work.
Why study Shakespeare today?
Here are four compelling reasons to encourage children to read the works one of the most important literary giants around:
1. Extraordinary Storylines
Shakespeare’s ability create amazing plots is what made him so special. You might argue that Shakespeare’s writing is the inspiration for many of today’s most important modern works. Some of his themes are:
Each of Shakespeare’s plays has fantastic storylines. Hamlet, a stunning tragedy with incredible depth, is an example. Hamlet, the main character discovers the death of his father and the marriage of his mother to his uncle. Hamlet speaks to his ghost to learn more about his late father. The ghost tells Hamlet to take revenge on his uncle’s murderer, the new king. The play explores various relationships like Hamlet’s obsessions, his mother, and his love of Ophelia. Hamlet, a captivating drama written in beautiful prose is a must-see for those who love literature.
Macbeth is another amazing play about ambition, contradiction and subtle witchcraft. Shakespeare’s plays all tell a story in a captivating and engaging way that draws the reader into it. The works of this literary legend are a good choice for children of all ages. They can also be used to help expand their imaginations and gain knowledge about the past.
Did you know? Sky Blue Theatre offer Shakespeare Workshops for primary schools.
2. Powerful Characters
One thing I can’t dispute is that Shakespeare’s characters are full of depth. Shakespeare’s way of exploring characters and describing emotions was amazing.
Romeo and Juliet’s young love, Romeo, is perhaps the most popular in the world. Hamlet could be described as Shakespeare’s most complex character. Shakespeare’s characters possess a variety of traits and are meant to capture the attention of the reader. Shakespeare’s characters have everything you can think of, including villains. It’s a great way to inspire imagination in children and to teach them about the various themes that today’s world has to offer than to encourage them reading Shakespeare.
3. Stunning Quotes
Shakespeare is well-known for his ability to portray words and his famous quotes, which we still hear from his works today.
Perhaps the most popular Shakespeare quote is “To Be or Not to Be: That Is the Question” from Hamlet. Hamlet is about his obsession with dying and his decision to end his life. It was a quote that would be nearly four hundred year old when it was first published.
Another great Shakespearian quote is:
“Romeo and Romeo, wherefor art thou Romeo?” Romeo and Juliet
“All of the world is a stage. All the people and women are players.” They have their entrances, and they have their exits. And one man plays many parts in his time. – As you like it
“Do we not bleed if you poke us?” We will laugh at you if we are tickled. We will die if we are poisoned by you. If you wrong us, will we not retaliate?” – The Merchant of Venice
“I am one who loved too well but not wisely” Othello
“The road to true love is never easy” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“The fault, dear Brutus is not with the stars but within ourselves, that’s why we are underlings.” – Julius Caesar
4. Both challenging and inspiring
It is my opinion that there is no better way for children to be challenged in their reading than to study Shakespeare. Encourage your child to read Shakespeare’s works once they feel comfortable with reading. This is a great way to get them to read the entire book together. It will help them to understand the language slowly and to overcome any obstacles.
Reading Shakespeare is a wonderful way to learn and an excellent skill for all children. Shakespeare’s works are timeless and rich in meaning. Reading the works of this celebrated bard can teach children so many things, including the history behind them and the messages they wish to send.