Analysis of Time Effects over Literature

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  • Topic: William Shakespeare, English language, Ernest Hemingway
  • Pages : 6 (2238 words )
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  • Published : November 7, 2008
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Every single act or fact that occurs during the life of an author affects how they think and of course, how they write. During the early XVII century, Shakespeare was influenced by the ideas of inventors and thinkers like Diderot, Rousseau, and others. Other authors have also been influenced by the historic events and people of their time. Ernest Hemingway is one of these authors. Hemingway was influenced by his experience during WWI, and used it to write his most famous book. Another author influenced by his time is Robert Graves. He lived during European Expansion, and his way of writing and ideas are related to this period. Taking these three authors as examples, it may be said that history changes literature.

William Shakespeare is the finest representative of the Elizabethan theatre. He wrote about a society in which values such as family and honor are the most significant ones. He was the favorite author of Queen Elizabeth of England. Shakespeare wrote various theatre plays for the Queen. That is why numerous poets and writers think of Shakespeare as not the best writer of his time: his work was mass produced. However, the most famous Shakespeare plays, Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, are considered as masterpieces of Universal Literature. This fact has made Shakespeare one of the most preeminent and celebrated authors of all time.

Shakespeare contributed to enrich the English language with his work. He invented more than five hundred words that are actually used within the present society. This fact verifies the importance and impact of historical events on literature. It may also be verified with the analysis of history and evolution of English, since its beginning to its present.

The English language started to exist roughly from the IX century, when the Roman Empire fell. It is a mix of Germanic languages and Latin. It went though several changes, from the IX century to the XVI century, because of the influence from other languages, for example French, and underwent changes in the language’s very structure. English reached a stable state near the XVI century, which is the time of Shakespeare; at this point the language was enhanced by writers like Marlowe and Shakespeare. The spelling of English has not changed since then. The evolution of English that followed was driven by geographical, social and political factors. The use of English throughout the world, spread along with the British Empire. A major breakthrough in the evolution of the language happened when the British Empire started to fall. New countries appeared, and one of them, the United States, stood out among them. These events started the splitting of a common language. The British English diverged into new variations: American English, British English, Australian English and others that are spoken in smaller countries. The regional cultures and traditions, including native languages, influenced the development of English in these countries. For example, in the US, English was influenced by a mix of many different cultures of immigrants; this concluded in the combination of writing traditions. After these last three centuries of dividing the American and British cultures, varied differences have appeared involving them both. These differences are easier to determine if we take William Shakespeare’s literature as a reference point.

Shakespeare wrote about the values of his time and tried to reflect this on his plays. At this time, honor was considered as important as life itself. Romeo and Juliet is the story of a couple that is in love but can not be together because their families just will not consent it. This couple confronts their parents in order to be together and start the clash between the members of both families. After causing suffering and dishonor to their families with their actions, drama and persecution end with both lovers’ suicides. The life of Shakespeare was very different compared to the...
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