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Why Study Shakespeare today?

Many people refer to William Shakespeare as the “father” of English Literature. Although Shakespeare died almost four centuries ago, Shakespeare’s poetry and plays remain as vibrant and current today as they were then. But, with so many modern authors why should children stop studying Shakespeare?

Shakespeare was an internationally renowned poet and prose writer. His complex language, characters and themes still resonate today.

William Shakespeare was an English poet. He was also a playwright and actor. Anne Hathaway, 18 years old, married him. Together they had three kids: Susanna (in 1583), Hamnet and Judith (around 1585).

Shakespeare wrote most of his greatest works between 1589- 1613. His writings contained comedy, history, poetry, and tragedies. His plays have been translated in many languages around the world. His most notable works include:

The Merchant of Venice
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Antony & Cleopatra
Twelfth Night
Romeo and Juliet
King Lear
Winter’s Tale
It’s what you want

This list is endless and Shakespeare’s works deserve to be recognized. Shakespeare had a successful career at London’s Theatre as both an actor, and writer. He then retired to Stratford in 1613 where he was buried in May 1616.

This year celebrations will begin in the UK to mark the 400th anniversary for William Shakespeare and his works.
Why Study Shakespeare Today?

Here are four real reasons why children should participate in KS2 Shakespeare workshops on one the world’s most renowned literary giants.

1. Extraordinary Storylines

Shakespeare’s ability and talent to craft great plots was what made him so great. Some might say that Shakespeare’s writing was the inspiration behind many of the most outstanding modern works. Here are some of his themes


The story-lines of all Shakespeare’s plays are fantastic. Hamlet is a dramatic tragedy that has a great deal of depth. Hamlet is the main character and learns all about his father’s passing, his mother’s marital status to his uncle. Hamlet then talks to the ghost of his deceased father who informs him that he must seek revenge against the new King (the same uncle) for Hamlet’s murder. The play explores a variety of relationships including Hamlet’s obsession with Gertrude, the mother of his father and his love for Ophelia to whom he attempts to convince his madness to. Hamlet is a riveting drama, beautifully written.

Macbeth is another remarkable play about ambitions and contradiction, full of brilliant characters and subtle witchcraft. Shakespeare’s plays weave a story in a way that is enlightening and absorbing, captivating the reader. Children of all ages will benefit from the works this literary legend has written. It also inspires them to learn more about past history and expand their imaginations.

2. Strong Characters

Undisputed fact: Shakespeare’s characters are rich in depth. Shakespeare had a marvelous way of exploring the characters and describing their emotions.

Romeo from Romeo & Juliet has been called the most beloved young lover of all time, while Hamlet is probably Shakespeare’s most complicated character. Shakespeare’s characters come with a wide range of characteristics and are intended to capture the reader’s attention. Shakespeare’s characters can be described as villains or murderers, lovers, dreamers, traitors or servants, witches or magicians. The best way to stimulate children’s imaginations and help them understand the world around them is to encourage them to read Shakespeare.

3. Stunning Quotes

Shakespeare is remembered for his brilliant portrayal of words, and the famous quotations we still hear in his works.

The most well-known Shakespeare phrase is “to be, or not to be: that’s the question” from Hamlet. Hamlet deals in his obsession and question about death.

These are just a few of the great Shakespearian quotations:

“Romeo Romeo, Romeo! Where art thou Romeo?” Romeo and Juliet

“All the earth is a stage. And all the men and woman are only players.” They all have their exits and entrances. But one man is able to play many parts. – As you like it

“If we are prickled, will we not bleed?” Do you tickle us, or do we not giggle? If you poison our bodies, will we not die? “And if you wronged us, shall not we revenge?” The Merchant of Venice

“I am one of those who loved too well and not wisely.” Othello

“The course of true romance never ran smoothly” “- A Midsummer Night’s Dream

“The fault is not in the stars dear Brutus but in ourselves that we are underlings.” – Julius Caesar

4. It’s challenging, but it’s also inspiring

The best way to challenge children’s reading skills is to encourage them to read Shakespeare. If a child feels confident with their reading, it is a great way of stimulating their brains and building their enthusiasm. Reading together for the first time is a great way of helping them understand the language and overcome any challenges they might face.

Reading Shakespeare can be a fantastic learning experience and a great talent for all children. Shakespeare’s writings are timeless, and they have great meaning. Children can learn so many things from this bard’s works, including his history and the messages he wanted to transmit.