Does Shakespeare Still Matter?

Subject: Literature
Pages: 2
Words: 655
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: School


Many of Shakespeare’s thoughts about the struggle between good and evil, about deals with human nature, are timeless, as are most of the characters and passions described by him. Shakespeare is a great playwright who created unfading and ageless works of art. What then, what now, next to people, love and betrayal, truth and lies, laughter and tears go hand in hand. And the immortal works of the great playwright will not leave anyone indifferent because everyone has a soul and a heart. Scientists who have studied Shakespeare’s work cannot answer how it was possible to create works that could excite the souls of any generation. Firstly, Shakespeare’s relevance lies in the fact that his characters face the same problems as ordinary people nowadays. Secondly, in many of his works, the theme of good and evil is raised, which is relevant today. After all, Shakespeare’s works are ambiguous and make the reader think about the genesis and eternal questions.


A characteristic feature of the playwright’s works is morality, meaning, and intrigue that changes people, which compares favorably with dramas and comedies of that time. In my opinion, the relevance of Shakespeare is based, firstly, on the timeless components of his plays. That is, on personalities and all the same eternal passions and let his characters be kings, queens, and princes, they struggle with the same problems that ordinary people have now. Shakespeare does not describe a character through his feelings, but feelings through a character. For example, in Sonnet 29, the protagonist encounters an existential crisis. This poor depressed person is going through hard times, and he doesn’t like being who he is: “I all alone beweep my outcast state” (Shakespeare & Haply, 2018, line 2). He wants to be someone else, someone talented and beautiful. However, he is unsure that he can cope with being someone else – what brought him happiness now upsets him even more.

Shakespeare lived and worked in an era when Europeans were exploring new lands, and scientific discoveries changed people’s ideas of the world around them. Theatrical art tried to comprehend the cultural shifts caused by discoveries. In Shakespeare’s dramas, there is a noticeable gap between the old ideas about the world governed by higher forces and more modern ideas about the human will as the root cause of actions and events. In his texts, polar opposite, mutually exclusive pictures of the world coexist. Such contradictions are of an intellectual or value nature and allow us to look at the same event from several points of view: “One may smile, and smile, and be a villain” (Shakespeare, 2018, lines 50-51). A quote from Hamlet shows the reader that a smiling mask can hide evil.

Reading Shakespeare is not a passive form of leisure but an active action. To commit it means asking questions, questioning the truisms, overthrowing the authorities, and looking beyond the ending. Thus, for me, there is no reason to doubt the modernity of Shakespeare. Rather a more interesting question is why the plays of Shakespeare, a man who wrote back in the distant sixteenth century, are relevant now, because not so much literature of that time enjoys such popularity: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” (Shakespeare, 2019, line 1-2). In the work, Shakespeare raises the eternal theme of changing the roles of a person throughout his life.


In conclusion, it is important to note that Shakespeare’s works are relevant because they reveal the problems of good and evil, love, passion, and hatred. Moreover, his texts primarily pose questions rather than provide answers. That is why they remain eternally sharp and provocative; that is why we become the creators of their meaning and why they so urgently require our attention. Many of William’s works are included in the mandatory list of literature studied at school, and it is impossible to call these works anything other than brilliant.


Shakespeare, W. (2018). Hamlet. Spark.

Shakespeare, W., & Haply, I. (2018). Sonnet 29 “When, in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes”. Poetry Foundation.

Shakespeare, W. (2019). Speech: ‘All the World’s a Stage’. Poetry Foundation. Available from: Accessed on, 26.