Why should we study Shakespeare?

Shakespeare_in_Type_by_KawaiiChan789Lots of students seem to turn up their noses when they are asked to read the works of Shakespeare.  They wonder “why should I read works by someone who died a long time ago?”.  Well, what is your view?  Why should we study Shakespeare?  How do you think this Elizabethan playwright’s works are still relevant to our time?  As a student of English, why should you bother? Wouldn’t it be nicer or more worthwhile to read “Hunger Games” or other books that reflect your interests and most of all that are written in contemporary English?  How can we relate Shakespeare to Italy? How would you love to appraoch Shakespeare’s works?

 

Shakespeare’s Insults

Shakespeare and Hip Hop

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151 Responses to Why should we study Shakespeare?

  1. Luca Musolla says:

    Studying Shakespeare is opening to me a world of thoughts that I never thought I might be interested so much.
    We should study Shakespeare not just to know what he did and what he wrote in his life, but in particular to learn lessons that could changes our way to think or to open our mind with new thoughts.
    In my case reading Shakespeare’s novels will be important to boost my vocabulary and how english is changed.
    I think that Elizabethan playwright’s works are relevant also in our days because are the base for the modern literature and without these tests we couldn’t know the story of the past.
    To me, that I’m doing a language high school, it’s important to know the differences between italian and english literature.
    As a student of english is important to know new kind of expressions that are important to enrich my english when I speak.
    Obviously I prefer read a book write with contemporary english, but in particural for two reasons: because it’s easier to understands some concepts that sometimes could be difficult and also because I can read more…
    But in the case oh the literature it’s interesting to know the changements of the english.
    What we can relate of Shakespeare with Italy is the poet Petrarca and most of his works are placed in Italy.
    I hope that study Shakespeare will be usefull and I want to learn a lot, studying different way to think and new expressions.
    It would be fun acting some part of Shakespeare’s texts and could be a way to be more involved in them.

    Luca Musolla

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      After having read and analysed “Hamlet”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Macbeth” and “Othello”, you will decide which role you would like to play!

  2. Giorgia Tesolin says:

    Why should we study Shakespeare? I’t too simply to say that we should study his works because they are key to English literature. He pays attention to issues that are contemporary and he touches feelings that concern every human being, like love, sex etc.
    W.S wrote plays but even poems, that are set in Italy, for example “Romeo and Juliet” takes place in Verona. But Italy is important also for its poets, in particular Petrarch, who Shakespeare took inspiration from to write his works. I considered W.S an inventory, not of things, but of words. We can’t forget that his expressions are still alive today and we use them unconsciously. Shakespeare must obtain the attention of the audience by the power of words,’cause of in the Elizabeth and period, there weren’t special effects, lights or microphone of course. That is the reason why William Shakespeare and his works are still alive and we, as a students, should study past to understand present and by reading his sonets and plays we could comprehend things between lines that in a book, for example Hunger Games which reading would be nicer, we could not do it.
    I have just done something to approach Shakespeare’s works by visiting ‘The Globe Thetre’ last year with my classmates. It was a very interesting experience and I hope to be one of audience at one plays that are acting in the Globe Theatre one day.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      As I told you in class, watching a play by Shakespeare performed at the Globe was a thrilling experience for me. My husband, whose English is very poor, appreciated the experience too. As I dragged you to tour the Globe, so did I with him! You are all victims of this terrible teacher of English! Bear with me. Two more years to go 🙂

  3. Gioia Magliaretta says:

    Even after centuries, Shakespeare is still important because in his plays he dealt with so many issues that are similar to the ones of our time, like conflicts, love, hate, sexuality and the human behavior. He invented new words and expressions that are still used in the English language and, in all of his plays, there are a lot of hidden meanings. In my opinion, these seem a good reasons to study him. Learning the origin of the expressions we use and understanding the complexity of his characters are so tantalising!
    He was a genius because there weren’t any special effects so the only way was trough words and he used them very well, and because he explored the depths of the humans mind, like he was a psychologist.
    He is related to Italy because he was influenced by the works of Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarca and also because he set many plays there.
    I want to read both his plays and poems and analyse them and I would like to watch some films that are based on his stories.

  4. Erika Cerutti says:

    When we think of tragedies or problematic love the first name to come to our mind is probably Shakespeare’s. Who hasn’t ever heard of Romeo and Juliet? Four centuries and the most famous love story to this day is his.
    The English playwright has had such a tremendous impact on his audience with his stories of flawed people and intriguing happenings that his works have left a remarkable lasting impression on both later literature and language. Therefore, it’s impossible to think of studying literature without analyzing Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets since so many things we may say are of his own creation. Personally, I think it’s fascinating seeing how language has evolved through time and reading books in contemporary English surely can’t show us that evolution. Furthermore, reading a recent novel rather than an old one thinking it’ll be more involving and that it’ll concern current themes is wrong; Shakespeare’s works examine issues still relevant to our time and this is why we can identify with his characters and his stories are constantly brought back up.
    As an Italian student, I can say it is amazing to know that some of Shakespeare’s plays are set in Italy, even though it’s not sure wether he actually got to visit the country or not, and that the metrical structure and even some of his poems were heavily influenced by Italian authors such as Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch.
    I would love to read some of his most famous plays, maybe Macbeth and Hamlet since I’ve already read Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice, and work on some creative activities so to have fun while studying an important author like him.

  5. Matteo Chiviló says:

    Why should we study Shakespeare?

    This is a question you could answer in many ways, but one I think includes the others: because Shakespeare is the English language, and the English language is Shakespeare. We wouldn’t speak the same English if Shakespeare didn’t write his works, because there are so many “Shakespeare aspects” in the English language. We should study his works even to know the renaissance society, his people, his traditions, his customs, so how our ancestors lived and find the similarities between our life and theirs. In fact, many of these Elizabethan playwright’s works are still studied today: we study them because the England of nowadays wouldn’t be the same if Queen Elizabeth didn’t come to throne. So, the better way to study her, what she did and how she influenced even playwright’s works is reading Shakespeare. We could say even that as a student of English, it’s fundamental first to study English literature. There is no better way to learn the language reading something full of adjectives, expressions, and why not, even insults. Without analyzing William Shakespeare’s poems you could just speak a formal and firm English, relegate just to the most common things they teach you as “How are you? How was your day? What’s the weather like?” etc. etc. Instead, with that poet you can express yourself about your feelings, your emotions, your joy, your anger, your cruelty so that you become not only an English student, but an English person.
    Most of young people think it’s pointless to read something written hundreds years ago, but I think they are wrong. Some think it would be more useful to read something like the “Hunger games” in modern English. But they don’t know even that sometimes it is pointless to stop at what we can already do ( like reading a book in modern English) instead of doing something challenging and exploring new places and old time periods( like reading Shakespeare) that could always help us in our life. For example, studying old English you could understand words you wouldn’t have been able to or why something is called that way or why we use certain expressions while talking. After doing it, it’s always beautiful to know something more, and the right one who can teach us it is Shakespeare indeed.
    Shakespeare, not just makes us closer to English language and England, but makes us even closer to another country: Italy. It could seem strange, but the poet took inspiration from many Italian writers, as Boccaccio, Castiglione, Cinzio and many others. As he was one of the most influencing writers of the renaissance and Italy was maybe the best place where renaissance became established, it was a successful choice to set a great part of his stories in Italy. One of the other reasons which connect the author to Italy is that he wrote lots of his poems partially following the Italian pattern of Petrarch’s sonnet (a poem composed by fourteen lines): in fact, he used to compose them with three quatrains and a final couplet, that is always a sonnet.
    I would like to approach Shakespeare’s works obviously acting them out with a role playing, because it is the only way to find and feel the emotions hidden between the lines, so what actually makes Shakespeare’s poems special.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      You are right when you state that the English language would be different if it had not been for Shakespeare. Reading enriches us in the way we feel, in the way we speak, in the way we think; undoubtedly so.

  6. Giovanna Da Ros says:

    I think that we should study Shakespeare because he wrote a very important poem like many others poets at that time, even the italian poets. But Shakespeare, in my opinion, is a contemporary writer. Because in his poems and plays there are many relevant and modern themes like love, hate, murders, suicide.. And maybe even if the stories and the charachters are so far from us, I think that this can help us to understand our problems and people. He also was really realistic, and that is the thing that I really appreciate about Shakespeare. For example Petrarch or Dante were both a little bit unrealistic especially in the description of women.
    Personally, I prefer reading Shakespeare instead of Hunger Games because you can not compare them and I definitely think that Shakespeare is more worthwhile and interesting. Even if the language is more difficult for us I think that this can be very helpful to improve our english,like we study latin to make out better italian. It is nice to see the differences between the Elizabethan period in England and in Italy.
    I would love to approach with Shakespeare works maybe with films or just reading his poems toghether, comment them and talk about how they can be related to us.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      We always relate what we read in class together to your own life, so there are not doubts we will be doing this for Shakespeare too!
      We will also watch some clips from the films. We won’t be able to watch full films because of time constraints, yet I have a nice project in mind that I will inform you of in class tomorrow 😉

  7. Gaia Bortolin says:

    In my opinion, we should definitely attach importance to Shakespeare’s works nowadays. Indeed, we can’t possibly say or think that they are too old compared to our times and the books we read now: Shakespeare put into all his works universal and contemporary issues like that of love, betrayal, racism and religion, and he has given us the chance to reflect on them. Although I have not read any of his works yet, I think that by doing it you can’t remain indifferent because you will probably end up reflecting on some passages and episodes that struck you, thanks to the relevant issues that they contain. Nowadays, we still deal with themes and problems that existed in Shakespeare’s times and that he chose to include in his works. In fact, he wanted to show people that we are not perfect as we may think or want to be, because, inside every human being, there is some good and some evil, and every single one of us will commit good or bad things during his lifetime. In my opinion, this is a very modern way of thinking that Shakespeare had, considering that he lived in the 16th century. I also think that someone who likes languages and English in particular will enjoy reading Shakespeare, because in his works there are so many words and expressions that were invented by him and that the English always use nowadays. For this reason, reading Shakespeare is also a way to learn more about the English language and analize many expressions. So, if you want to improve your English, it is useful to read Shakespeare. In his works, he provides a real portrait of the Elizabethan period’s society too, so it is important to read them because through them we can get an idea of Shakespeare’s times.
    So this playwright and poet gave us and still gives us a great opportunity: that of improving our English, getting a true image of a period of the English history and, above all, that of reflecting on the most important issues of humanity.

  8. Lucia Pilot says:

    Time flies but William Shakespeare is still very important for us and not only for literature, but also for our lives.
    I think that we should study Shakespeare in school because in his works he deals with issues that are very common today.
    This Elizabethan playwright’s works are still relevant and fundamental to our time for the fact that they describe situations that can also happen nowadays.
    As a student of English I should bother because Shakespeare created some expressions that are still used in the world and because he is one of the most important writers of English literature.
    In my opinion, lots of his stories are stories in which we can identify ourselves. In fact, he deals with themes like love, jealousy and power and gives to them a modern meaning.
    I think it is nice and worthwhile to read things of this author because he gives us his own point of view of themes in which all people are involved and we as students can learn from the phrases that he wrote in his plays. They are very current and reflect our interests because Shakespeare deals with topics we talk about every day. Moreover, even though his works are not written in contemporary English, they make us learn new words that were used a lot at that age. To me, this is an interesting thing.
    We can relate Shakespeare to Italy because of one of his most famous plays in the world: Romeo and Juliet. In fact, this love story takes place in Verona, a city in Veneto, a region in the North of the country.
    I would love to approach Shakespeare’s works by reading some of his works, plays and poems, watching a film about him and his life and speaking of the issues that he wants to highlight.
    To me, he is everywhere in our time because we often use expressions that he invented, quoting his wonderful works.
    William Shakespeare has left us a big heritage and thanks to him now we can know many things of his age.

  9. Giorgia Valerio says:

    I think that studying Shakespeare is very important because he’s a very famous English playwright and he introduced the modern English. His works are based on universal themes like love, death and family conflicts. I think that we should non read only books that we like, but we should get used to read many other things more useful like Shakespeare even if Hunger Games is more interesting to our age. I read some of the works of Shakespeare and I really liked them. They are full of passion, engaging and entertaining! We can relate Shakespeare to Italy because many of his works are set in some countries of Italy (Venice, Messina, Padova, Verona). Some of his works are set in Italy because in the Golden age Queen Elizabeth the first paid the playwrights to set their comedies out from England.
    His works go beyond reality.
    Shakespeare si very attached to Italy also because he admires our culture.
    That’s why we have to study Shakespeare!

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      I do not know where you got some of the information you mention. I did not know that Queen Elizabeth paid Shakespeare to have him set some of his works in Italy. Where did you get this information from?
      Shakespeare speaks to us as human beings, he forces us to see and analyse our contradictions. This is one of the reasons why we should study Shakespeare. I do not like the idea of having to study an author because s/he is famous. There are lots of artists that are considered famous, who do not actually touch my heart in any considerable way.

  10. Ilaria Morea says:

    William Shakespeare is an eternal personality. Nowadays we still study him and his works. But why?
    Shakespeare was a playwright, a poet, an actor and a shareholder. He is a mainstay of literature. He was a classic and ispirational writer and his works are still alive, they crossed lots of centuries and now they are a reference for many people. Think only of how many films or books are based on him. He was able to transform a familiar story into a complicated one, full of particular elements.
    For all these reasons I think that as a student I MUST to study Shakespeare and I bother of him.
    Why? Beacuse he teaches many life lessons and he opens the eyes of readers to one of the best playwrights in history world. Beacuse Shakespeare doesn’t show us only the themes of love, good, evil but also importance of historical aspects. Beacause thanks to him we sometimes manage to solve our problems, we manage to use our brain in different ways and we could become more efficient.
    Shakespeare is really still alive. He coined new words and phrases that we use also unconsciously every day. But not only this. Shakespeare in Elizabethan Age deal with love, jealousy, racism, mouring, power.. issues that are the core of our modern society. And Shakespeare told about them 400 years ago.
    I think that reading a novel like “Hunger Games” or other in contemporary English is totally differtent to read a novel by Shakespeare beacuse they have got different objectives.
    Reading Shakespeare improve your English beacause you can learn old words and structures. Instead contemporary novels are made to help you to realx and have fun but they aren’t as instructive as those by Shakespeare.
    We can relate Shakespeare to Italy because he was influenced by Dante, Boccaccio and especially Petrarch because his “Canzoniere” became a model for Shakespeare’s sonnets even if the structure is different. But very often he has a laugh at Petrarch because of his vision of Laura, trying to explain that women aren’t perfect, an angel. Sometimes she smell, she could be a little bit ugly but we have to love her anyway.
    To approach Shakespeare’s works I’d like to watch some of it, like Romeo and Juliet, Amleto, Otello, Macbeth, dicuss about them in class and why not.. act some of them out.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      I would not go as far as claiming that contemporary novels do not enrich us as people, do not prompt a constructive thinking process in us. There are some novels that are read just for the sake of relaxing (chick lit), but there are some others that after reading them you feel changed (recently I read “Stoner” by John Williams and I loved it deeply).

  11. Federica Del Savio says:

    Why should we study Shakespeare?

    I think that studying Shakespeare is important because it’s part of literature history, but not only for this; studying Shakespeare is necessary to understand lots of things about the Elizabethan period but even for his sonnets.
    In his sonnets we can see how Shakespeare describes the emotions and the feeling of the people in a precise and detailed way, and some words and phrases that he wrote we constantly use every day.
    Personally I like to study Shakespeare’s life because I can improve my knowledge and I can understand in a better way his sonnets.
    Reading Shakespeare is important because you find out new words and you can see the differences between Shakespeare and the Italian poets; I think that even reading books that are written in contemporary English is important to further our knowledge and to increase our vocabulary of English.
    We can relate Shakespeare to Italy thanks to some poets like Petrarch, Dante and Boccaccio. For us Dante is one of the most important poets for the “Divina Commedia” works and Petrarch for the “Canzoniere”.
    Probably I would like to study Shakespeare watching videos on the net and maybe even trying to recite some of his sonnets in the classroom in order to make it more fun and easier to understand.

  12. Persis Osei says:

    Why we should study Shakespeare?

    Well, in my opinion studying Shakespeare and his poems will helps us be cultured and also will helps us to utilize different ways to faced life problems.
    Nowadays his works are still relevant because his works deals with contemporary issues like: Love, faith, jealousy, death, art… and I think this is the reason why he still appeals to readers after so many centuries. His works became fundamental in English literature and has been a source of inspiration for many authors.
    He invented so many words and expressions that have become part of the English vocabulary, making this language richer. As a student of English would bother, the fact of not understanding immediately the story, simply because of the language used by the poet, which was a bit different at the time. I think it’s normal that students would prefer to read “The Hunger Games” because these kinds of books, obviously, are contemporary and easier to read. I’ve read ‘The Hunger Games’ and I think that it was very well written book, that catches your attention because there is a lot of immagination. Shakespeare is related to Italy because Shakespeare sated many of his plays like ‘ Romeo and Juliet’ in Italy and also because he was influenced by Italian poets like Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch, whose ‘Canzoniere’ had become the model for all European Renaissance poets. Although we know that Shakespeare did not use the Italian sonnets form, the development of the argument in many of his sonnets follows the ‘two-poem’ structure of the Petrarchan form.
    I would prefer to approach Shakespeare watching plays, movies adaptations and reading and then analyzing some books in class, because I’ve always heard people talk about the story about ‘Romeo and Juliet’ but I never had the pleasure to read the whole story. I`ve heard people acting it out and I wouldn’t mind because I think it will be interesting to identify ourselves with the characters.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      I do believe that the more we read and study the more we equip ourseves with the necessary means to tackle life and to get the best out our our own existence.

  13. Silvia Levorato says:

    Why should we study Shakespeare?

    Shakespeare was an eminent figure who shaped the culture of his nation by coining new words and aphorisms, but the main change brought by Shakespeare was a deep reflection withheld behind every tragedy or comedy. So to me studying his works enables us not only to examine the past of the culture we are learning now, but also to understand the mankind’s past. Actually, what he portrays of society concerns us all due to the variety of topics he tackles, and his plays mirror what usually occurs in us: there are sundry feelings that could cross one another and bewilder us.
    For this reason I think reading Shakespeare is paramount to judge events, to analyse people’s pose and to marvel about this world, feeling that you are a part of this society and you are able to recognize the good and the evil of daily life. This makes me think over that everything, also what is shunned because it’s bad, can be depicted to the others in a way that lets them astounded, as there’s always something to wonder about.
    As Shakespeare raised several subjects in his works, I surmise people might have had different opinions about them, so their thoughts got easily tickled.
    If you read Hunger Games in English, it can be surely helpful to look up with your language and also in that book you may glean several human features. But I think that Hunger Games doesn’t deal with such a long and thought-provoking human process as that described in books like Lady Macbeth, Othello or Henry IV, in which Shakespeare wrote about political deceptions, mischief, life tragedies and racism.
    Moreover Hamlet is indeed inward-looking, for it regards unexpected events that puzzle you: the protagonist is led to muse about death, nature, dreams and our behaviour.
    As we can remark, these themes are linked to the present, even though they were drawn up more than four-hundred years ago. This means Shakespeare succeeded in scanning so vividly the human spirit that he nearly guessed how society acted and act now, as if he drew some “rules” that identifies with our behaviour.
    Also Romeo and Juliet is bound both to the present and the past, as in this case genuine love is constrained by social conventions and the play also comprises traits of courtly love. As Hunger Games is a science-fiction novel, it is not so imbued of happenings that really occurred, but it is only shaped on some mythical beliefs.
    So the reasons for which we ought to study Shakespeare are relating to our historical process and to the modernity of his plays, for instance in those I quoted before.
    Moreover themes concerning sexuality, nation and middle-classes, which were also described by other European writers, i.e. Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, are regarded as pivotal for a person’s education, to let him find out the aptest way to approach society.
    Even though Shakespeare renewed the way to write about love, faith and art in his sonnets by parting these subjects, he drew inspiration from Italian poems themes and frame, especially from Petrarch. In addition he let everyone understand him by employing vulgar like the Italian authors and he set some plays in Italy.
    In conclusion, according to my opinion Shakespeare strengthens our critical conscience, enabling us to judge human nature and to grasp life lessons.
    You should approach his works as you feel more at ease, because everyone has got his own way to work, but I think that in order to learn the most I can from Shakespeare, I would read it aloud, halting on what might have lead him to write that play; therefore I would take heed to the historical background and to his life. Then I would like to watch some plays in the theatre or on the TV, but weighting what coincides with reality.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      You are right Silvia, Shakespeare can really be appreciated by performing his plays, by watching his plays and by reading out or listening to his lines. I really appreciated your comment.

  14. Laura Pagnossin says:

    We should study Shakespeare because he is a very important writer who wrote plays and poems. His works are the core of English literature and through them we can grasp fundamental issues like the understanding of human behaviours, love, sexuality, friendship and many others that make his works involving even nowadays. He is considered a contemporary writer because his works are still relevant in our time and they make you open your mind and make you understand the true meaning of life. He also coined new words and phrases that we still use today. As a student of English I may be bother because is difficult to grasp the deep meaning that has a poem, but once you grasp it, it touches you and it makes you reflect very deeply on life. On one hand the themes of human being are still current, but on the other hand the concepts are different because Shakespeare lived in other type of society different from mine. Read “Hunger Games” would be nice because is a contemporary book and for us is easier understand it but it did not leave you something that let you improve as a person or enrich your personality. We can relate Shakespeare to Italy because he could be compared to Dante Alighieri, both of them are the roots of English(Shakespeare)and Italian(Dante)literature and this poets are relevant in every age. I would like to approach Shakespeare’s works reading his poems, grasping the issues and them discuss in class together about them to understand completely the meaning and the concepts of Shakespeare’s works.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      All reading certainly enriches us, yet, I do think that the way Shakespeare challenges us is not generally found in lots of writers. I am no critic, I am not so widely read (unfortunately I do not have as much time as I would like to to read for my own pleasure), so I may be wrong here. However, I love Shakespeare. Whenever I teach his works I find new things and consequently I feel enriched as a person.

  15. cristianaziraldo says:

    Anna Del Grosso

    Shakespeare is one of the most important playwright in the story; in every of his works we can find lots of issues and themes that are constantly treated nowadays.
    In my opinion is extremelly important for students to learn and read Shakespeare’s compositions because inside of them we can find contemporary issues like relationships, love, homicides, sexuality and religion. It is really useful and interesting actually, reading about the ancient vision of life and world of 450 years ago, and it is fascinating to find the relations between the past and the present to understand the changing of society and mentality.
    Some students would find these “old” works really boring and meaningless but I don’t think so…if we read Hunger Games we will understand perfectly the text and all the events, because that is the language everybody can speak and read and is also the one that is commonly used; but if we take into consideration “Otello” the language that is used is not the “moodern english” because, apart of all the lexicon’s distinctions there are metaphors, psychological reasonings and alliterations that prevale between the lines and all these elements confer to the work a sophisticated speech and we must read it with a different ideology and a different interpretation.
    In Shakespeare’s works are also contained lots of rivolutionary thoughts because he lived during a century rich in alterations of the civil society and politics, and these thoughts were the one that changed this historical period. Shakespeare was also the one who coined new words and new expressions and new insults too!!! So he definitely revolutioned the language.
    Shakespeare set some of his works in Italy because he inspired himselves to some italian poets: Petrarca, Dante, Giacomo Da Lentini ecc…and this is the reason why we should study him: to grasp the differences between the italian and the english’s the points of vew about love, women, nobilty ecc…( Petrarca and lots of italian poets had a idealistic vision but Shakespeare had a realistic vision of life so he often mocked them)
    Personally I would like to take into consideration Shakespeare’s works, read and analize them first to understand what he really wanted to say and to understand the hidden meanings of his words, then I would like to see how would the theatrical rappresentation be like in the past and for last I would like to see the film’s adaptation and discuss in class the differences and the feelings that either the performance or the film convey us.

  16. cristianaziraldo says:

    Anastasia Lepeshko

    Why should we study Shakespeare? How do you think this Elizabethan playwright’s works are still relevant to our time? As a student of English, why should you bother? Wouldn’t it be nicer or more worthwhile to read “Hunger Games” or other books that reflect your interests and most of all that are written in contemporary English? How can we relate Shakespeare to Italy? How would you love to approch Shakespeare’s works?
    According to me, we should all study Shakespeare because he’s the base to modern literature and he deals with a lot of themes that we still find nowadays: love, aristocracy, treachery, jealousy, passion, religion, nation, war, drama, good and evil, are the most frequently themes that the poet uses and they’re still used in modern society because they are real life problems and Shakespeare explains them to us. In this year we celebrate Shakespeare 400th birthday and I think that he’s not really that ‘far’ from us because the deals with the human nature which haven’t changed in these centuries. He helps us learn more about the Elizabethan period because in his poems he describes how society was so he makes us cultured and well rounded. Reading other books (for example “Hunger Games”) gives us pleasure and enjoyment but we don’t get cultured from them because they aren’t as educative ad Shakespeare ones.
    Shakespeare is related to Italy because there lived Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio who influenced Shakespeare’s sonnets. Although Italian poets influenced Shakespeare, he created a different structure of the sonnet but there were the same themes as in the Italian sonnets.
    I’d love to read and study some Shakespeare poems to analyze the characters (like Romeo and Juliet) and to discover more about the Elizabethan society. I’d like to read Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth and then discuss about them with my classmates.

  17. Mariam Nofiss says:

    Why should we study Shakespeare? I don’t think that there is only an answer to this question, because Shakespeare was not only a brilliant actor, director and writer, but also a genius. I always ask myself: “How can a man who lived 400 years ago, to understand how I feel?”. I think that here is his geniality: he is a contemporary writer, because in this tragedies and in his sonnets, he treats universal and eternal themes, which nowadays are still part of the human beings and of the daily life. This themes are love, beauty, faith, the destructive action of time, art… How many times have we suffered for love? How can we describe the power of this feeling? What is beauty? What can lead to jealousy? All the answers are contained in the lines of Shakespeare’s operas. I am fascinated by the magic way that he found to enter the minds of people, traveling in it and extrapolating the simple truth. He made a parody of all the fashions of his time (like courtly love) and he has modified them within a new sensibility. For example, there was not anymore the idealization of the woman: Shakespeare describes his Dark Lady as she is in reality, because even she was not very pretty, young and perfumed, he loves her the way she is. And this is the one of the most important messages that he left us.
    We should study Shakespeare also to improve English. Even if he doesn’t use the modern language, is important to read him because in his composition we have the roots of the current English. We still use some expressions which he invented to describe situations of everyday life, like “Seen better days” or “It’s Greek to me”. Some of his quotations became proverbs, like “Love is blind”, or some of them are known all around the world, like the renowned “To be or not to be”.
    There is a huge difference between reading “Hunger Games” and Shakespeare. In one hand there is the pleasure and the entertainment of reading a “fashion” book, but in the other hand, only Shakespeare can put together amusement, psychology and culture.
    Finally I think that, for these reasons, Shakespeare will be known “forever and a day” as the most influent writer of England, everywhere and by everyone.

  18. Cristian Corcimari says:

    Shakespeare was one of the best poets and playwriters of the world that have ever existed and is called the greatest author in the English language.He made a huge contribution to the English language and culture(and also to all the humanity) not only because he invented many new words and expression in English that are still udes today and so developed better it,but also for his famous sonnets,poems and plays.To understand well Engish language,origin and culture we must study Shakespeare!The themes and ideas that emerge from his plays are timeless.His characters and stories reveal universal truths about the human condition in a way we can all relate to; whether it is the tragic outcome of unchecked greed and ambition, an unrelenting desire for revenge, or the pursuit of love. His representation of human nature is just as real and as relevant today, as it has been through the centuries.In my opinion Elizabethan playwright’s works are still relevant to our time because they treat fundamental themes which characterize us,human beings and how are we made! I think we can’t compare Hunger Games and Shakepeares book,because are two things completely different! I would choose to study and read Shakespeare for many reasons,some of them which i have already mentioned here! We can relate Shakespeare to Italy,because he travelled to Italy and set many his plays there,especially Romeo and Julietta in Verona! I would like to approach his works in different ways,creative ways,but especially by performing his play,which I believe are one of the best ways to undestand them and him.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      Though lots of the Bard’s plays are set in Italy, there is no evidence whatsoever that he visited or toured Italy.

  19. Giulia Foltran says:

    Why studying Shakespeare?
    In my opinion, and I think in the opinion of everyone who study Shakespeare, he is the an incomparable genius. He, with his plays and sonnets, can still get people involved, even if he’s sixteenth-century poet. The themes that characterize his masterpieces are full of feelings and passion, these are the ingredients that still keeps them alive.
    Studying Shakespeare, identify ourselves with him, understand his opinions is one of the biggest gift that history gave us. Thanks to him, the current language has developed, enriched with complex terms and innovative expressions. Shakespeare with his works provide us a complete vision of reality in the Elizabethan age, including aspects less “elegant” that probably Italian authors, like Petrarch, would not ever used.
    For this reasons he is considered an excellent playwright, essential to the comprehension of the history of english theatre but also of the global theatre.

  20. cristianaziraldo says:

    Castoro Deborah

    Why should we study Shakespeare?

    In my opinion we should study Shakespeare because he’s the base of the modern literature. I think we should study his sonnets and poems to understand better the foreign language. I think that all should study he to understand what literature is and to compare he with the Italian’s author: Petrarca, Boccaccio and Dante.
    His poems are relevant in our time because he deals with the human nature, which doesn’t change with the passing of time and with the contemporary issues like the love world, ethnicity and sexual identity.
    As a student of English I would bother if I couldn’t understand what I study or reading and it is a problem because I can’t find the sense in what I’m studying.
    I think that each book is worth of being read: for example from Shakespeare’s works you can learn new old words and structures and so your language ability improves not to mention the richness of your vocabulary; the same happens if I read a book like “Hunger Games” because it opens my imagination to see the world with another visual.
    Shakespeare is related to Italy because his inspiration is due thanks to Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio. Both of them was poets but the Italian’s sonnets and English’s sonnets are different between the structure of the poems, the theme but the English writer and Italian on wrote about the lady and the passing of time.
    Now we are reading the Shakespeare’s sonnet and we are analyzing them but I would like to understand better what Shakespeare wanted to convey in his poems and I would like to see reconstruction about his poems.

  21. cristianaziraldo says:

    Beatrice Moni

    Why should we study Shakespeare?
    In my opinion we should study Shakespeare because even if he lived in the XVI-XVII century his works are still contemporary for the reason that they deal with modern issues like the human being and his behaviours. He’s still relevant ’cause he revolutionised the English culture and language; he invented a lot of new words and expressions that are still used in the English language.
    I think that reading Shakespeare instead of contemporary authors help us undestanding English society, culture and language and how they evolved. We can relate Shakespeare to Italy through is compositions because some of his works are set in Italy, “Othello” in Venice, “Caesar” in Rome, and the most famous, Rome and Juliet in Verona. ( in fact in Verona you can visit Juliet’s house where famous ‘ balcony scene’ took place).
    He was also influenced by the greatest Italian poets like Dante and Petrarca.
    I would love to approach Shakespeare by watching videos and analyse documents in addition to read and investigate his works.

  22. cristianaziraldo says:

    Alessandro Fabbricatore

    Well, we know him as one of the most known poet, writer and actor of the Elizabethan period. His sonnets and quotes are surprisingly still part of modern language. So, one of the causes of “why should we study Shakespeare” could be: to learn the language and to learn to master the language you speak. Beside that, Shakespeare’s sonnets hide a lot of meanings inside themselves. For example, the representation, and the image of love for Shakespeare: his love is not angel like, she has not blond hair and light blue eyes; she is not as thin as toothpick, she tamps the soil when she walks, she doesn’t fly!
    In less words, Shakespeare describes love in a more realistic way; he makes us see all the aspects of the real love. And that could be the second cause. the third cause is referred to Shakespeare’s connection with today’s life. Yes, this man that we know as William Shakespeare is still connected to us even today. Isn’t the real love that Shakespeare described, the same we talk about even today? Aren’t Shakespeare’s artworks the same ones we see at the theatre? To me, studying Shakespeare could help a lot of people to understand the language and the history of the Elizabethan period.

  23. Matteo says:

    Why studying Shakespeare?
    Personally, I think that studying Shakespeare is extremely important. However not everybody agree on that; even me, before watching these videos, I used to imagine Shakespeare as an ancient writer whose English was very far fom the current one.
    But now that I’ve found out how many largely used expressions and new words he invented, I am much more interested in studying him.
    In addition, especially in his plays, he deals with still current topics, facing problems and facts that affected men at his time but that still has a lot to say to us.

  24. Marco Breda says:

    In my opinion we should study Shakespeare to go deeper in english language, because this author is one of the pillars of the culture of the united kingdom and the way he affects the development of a modern english should not be forgotten. Even his playwrights could be helpful to make you understand the historical context, but above all these playwrights are interesting and catchy, because the themes he dealt with are related to primitive feelings, such as violence, lust, love or fun, so they are and they will eternally be contemporary. How Shakespeare influenced modern english is not bounded to England, because the idiomatic expression he used, are now used by most languages in the world, especially in Italy, where the poet placed some of his most famous composition.
    about the question “Wouldn’t it be nicer or more worthwhile to read “Hunger Games” or other books that reflect your interests and most of all that are written in contemporary English?” I think that we can not actually compare the two, because we will probably never read “Hunger Games” as it is nowadays, if the playwrights written by shakespeare have not been published and that underline once again how Shakespeare affected all the literature.
    Coming to an end, in my opinion is fundamental to study this author, but it could be difficult to read a poem by him, so deepen the threated themes and concentrate on the narration would certainly help to make students get into Shakespeare’s literature

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      It will not be diffifult to delve into the depths of Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays because you will all be assisted by your teacher. So…no worries.
      Mind you: play is (opera teatrale), playwright is (drammaturgo). Do not confuse the two words.

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