Is Shakespeare Still Relevant Today?

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NAME: Danielle LLoyd

In secondary schools today we force our children to study Shakespeare from first form through to till fifth form and for those fortunate few also in sixth form. Ironically it is only the famous works that make it unto the syllabus. Plays like Merchant of Venice, King Lear, Henry the fifth, A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream and Macbeth are some of the few Shakespearean works we are exposed to, unless we go find others and read. Interestingly they seem to be a structured rotation of the presence of these plays on the literature syllabus over decades and decades of students. But what do we take away from it. Each generation consist of different personalities growing up in completely different environments to those who have gone before them and those who will follow. So why are they forced to study the same literature? From personal experience and observation I have realized that the themes explored in most Shakespearean works are very much applicable to any society and any generation. Themes such as love, trust, honesty, obedience, faith and discrimination are issues we face every day no matter which generation you were born in. These are the same things are parents try to teach us about at home. These are the same issues that the government spends millions on to educate citizens about. This suggests that people are not taking away the valuable lessons to be learnt from studying Shakespeare. For some of us Shakespeare is just another part of a subject we are forced to study , it’s just another obstacle we much over come before we are 16 and can leave school. It’s only after when you come across a situation and for a brief second your mind flicks back to that paragraph or scenario from a book u read during school that is similar to your own. It may not always be a Shakespeare play but the simple fact that you can relate to the literature you learnt in school; shows that it must be relevant today. Whether your...
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