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Analying Shakespeare Essay, Research Paper

WHY IS SHAKESPEARE REGARDED AS THE GREATEST IN ENGLISH LITERATURE,

AND WHAT IS IT ABOUT HIM AND HIS WORK THAT DISTINGUISHES HIM FROM THE REST

In the process that it took to choose the topic, which I was supposed to write about, I had a couple of choices that I could ve written about. Maybe Antigon and Oedipus, or maybe another poet or poem that was discussed in class, but I couldn t think of anything that I could write five pages about or anything that I would enjoy learning and writing about, as much as Shakespeare. I believe that we only covered one of Shakespeare s poems in class, Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer s Day?, and I know that I may have read the poem before in high school, maybe like some others in the class, but I believe that everyone knew the poem and they knew Shakespeare wrote it before anyone could look in the book, unlike most of the other poems that we covered. That is one example of how well known his work is over other poets, to where a regular college student would recognize his work over others. I feel that one day I would like to be great, maybe not in poetry and drama, but great in some area of life. I believe that to achieve greatness, it would be in my best interest to learn about great people of the past, so that I may fully understand how one becomes great in the present. Shakespeare was a great writer, in the minds of everyone who studies poetry and drama, and even those who don t.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) lived and died in England. He was probably a normal person and probably educated at a local grammar school. He was married at eighteen to a twenty-six year old woman. Marring a woman eight years your senior maybe a little awkward now, but maybe not in those days, so he has yet to show any genius-like qualities. He moved to London at the age of twenty-four with a wife and children, and by the time he was twenty-eight, he had attained success as an actor and as a playwright. I think that maybe something happened during that period of his life when he moved to London. He may have been working somewhere in Stratford, Enland and he just decided to take a chance and maybe pursue his dream to write and act or maybe someone gave him the opportunity to do it, or maybe he had no choice and he had to leave. Either way, I believe that opportunity only knocks at your door maybe once or twice in a lifetime. What if William followed what his father did, and worked the family business or anything like that, he never would have had the chance to unleash his writing ability, and the world would be at a loss. I believe that everyone comes to a crossroads, and I know that I have come to about five of them and I m only twenty-one, where they will have to make a decision that will affect the rest of their lives. Maybe it s a decision to go to college, or to quit high school and work, or to smoke marijuana with your friends for about an hour. Shakespeare s decision to go to London to act and write plays affected his life, and everyone that reads his work.

Shakespeare s poem, Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer s Day?, is one of my favorite poems, and of all the poems that we have went over in class, this poem was for me the easiest to understand, analyze, and relate to, even though he wrote the poem close to 400 years ago. This poem for me embodies what I think how a man should express his feelings for a woman. This poem was written in the times, when men were gentlemen and woman were ladies, and this poem to me describes how men talked to women, to persuade or entice them. This poem is in a sonnet form, and usually sonnets are about love, and in this case this one is about love, and love is one of the few things that people can relate to no matter what age, culture, or background. Love is ageless; it helps us get through days that we never thought we could overcome. When I look at the poem, first I look at the title. This poem could ve been called anything, but he chose that the first line of the poem to be the title, which I think is a beautiful title. The title is asking a question, and the poem answers the question. It makes the poem and writer seem so humble, proper, and respectful, like asking a woman, May I kiss you. Just from looking at the title I imagine that Shakespeare was a calm and maybe soft spoken gentleman, as many were in those days, but he was a true gentleman who could use words as elegantly as Michael Jordan gliding through the air, or like Wayne Gretzky skating around defenders and scoring. When I look at the words in the poem, Shakespeare is comparing a person s beauty to all the aspects of a summer s day, hopefully a woman. He uses figures of speech to describe how he feels about her, and it says that her beauty will not fade, and that as long as people read the poem, they will know of her beauty. In the poem, I believe that he says that every beautiful person will in time lose his or her beauty, but to him, the beauty that she has is eternal. As I read the poem, I believe that one thing that made Shakespeare great was his usage of words. I believe that words, if used correctly are very powerful, and can be a greater gift to someone than anything materialistic. Shakespeare s word usage in this poem helps answer the question of why he was one of the supreme writers of the English language, but one question I often ponder was who was the person that he wrote the poem to, or did he just write it with no attached feelings.

In encyclopedias and in the book, Shakespeare is noted and recognized more so as a dramatist, more so than a poet or author. Shakespeare’s plays embody a deep knowledge about human behavior, revealed through portrayals of a wide variety of characters. His use of poetic and dramatic means to create a unified aesthetic effect out of a multiplicity of vocal expressions and actions is recognized as a singular achievement, and his use of poetry within his plays to express the deepest levels of human motivation in individual, social, and universal situations is considered one of the greatest accomplishments in literary history.

To me what makes Shakespeare great is the same as what everyone else thinks, I don t have any different feelings than anyone else, because I haven t studied his work and related it to others to find out for myself the true difference between his work and another poet s work, besides the obvious.

I got a lot out of writing this paper about Shakespeare and his work; I really didn t think that I could write it in five pages. One thing that I learned about Shakespeare is that when he came to a crossroads, like everyone does at one point or another, he chose the right path. I also learned that he is most noted for his plays, not just his sonnets. Shakespeare was a great writer, dramatist, and poet, but another characteristic of what I consider for someone to be great is their lifestyle. I believe that a person can be great and not be publicized to where everyone knows his or her works. Greatness is not just about how many people agree with what you do or what you believe in, or how many people support you. I really cannot put it into words, but I will try. I think that I will be great if when I come to my crossroads, and I have to make a life changing decision, I will choose the right path, just like Shakespeare did.


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