|Born||Baptized 26th of April, 1564|
|Died||23rd of April, 1616|
|Famous Quote||“Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste death but once.”|
|Known For||Changing western literature, reviving age of performance plays, and the world’s best selling playwright|
|Region of World||England, 16th century.|
Of all the writers of the modern era none have had the impact that William Shakespeare has had. Writing over 39 plays, 154 sonnets, and three long poems his written work has been translated into every single language on earth.
There are 3 things that made Shakespeare a good writer. First, Shakespeare wrote his work to appeal to both the commoner as well as nobility. Second, Shakespeare as a writer revived ancient storytelling narrative. Third, as a writer Shakespeare introduced the concept of mixing iambic pentameter with natural poetry prose to create world class narratives.
Today writers from all over the world study Shakespeare because of his legacy as well as his ability to captivate an audience.
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Without further ado, here are the 3 things that made Shakespeare a good writer.
Shakespeare Wrote His Works To Be Understandable By Both The Nobility And The Commoner
Before Shakespeare English writers would often write for the nobility and clergy of England and the countryside. After all these people were the literate ones who would buy the books, plays, sonnets, and poems.
Literacy rates in England during the 16th century among the commoners simply were not wide spread enough for writers to target them as an audience. As such the common 17th century English commoner would often listen to plays and written works performed in oratory environments.
This often took the shape of musicians or speakers telling stories of folk tales. Scotland and Ireland for example have a very rich history of bardic song detailing their history dating back to the time of the crusades.
What made Shakespeare a good writer was his ability to write a story that would captivate the literate audience of the clergy and nobility while also enthralling the common English man.
This is why Shakespeare’s early writings such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream contained low comedy along with highly intellectual plot twists. From the start Shakespeare designed his work to be appreciated by everybody.
Because of this Shakespeare as a writer exploded in popularity towards the end of the 16th century. For the first time in English history stories were being told in England that captivated everyone.
As such Shakespeare was a good writer because he knew how to write so that his work could be enjoyed by everyone in England. Because of this today we know him to be a good writer.
Shakespeare As A Writer Revived Ancient Storytelling Narrative
One of the reasons that Shakespeare is remembered as a good writer is his revival of ancient storytelling narrative.
Ancient writers such as Homer, Virgil, Ovid, and Horace all wrote in a way that explained history to the common man. During the dark ages writers would instead write targeting more divine stories as mediums of narrative.
Shakespeare was born into this world. It is theorized that while attending King’s New School in Stratford Shakespeare was taught the ancient classical Latin writers.
These ancient classical Latin writers heavily inspired Shakespeare. Almost immediately Shakespeare would begin writing history driven ancient narrative that sought to explain both society and history to its readers.
This form of writing was not new during the time of Shakespeare. However, how Shakespeare wrote it was new. Previous historical work was bland and academic in nature. Shakespeare saw that as a writer he would have to engage his audience much like the ancient Latin writers.
As such Shakespeare revived the ancient narrative of historical storytelling to explain contemporary events. The commoner listening to Shakespeare’s plays would notice similarities between the play’s actors and themselves that would help to explain their current situation in life.
This forced Shakespeare’s audience to pay attention.
As such today we remember Shakespeare as a good writer due to his revival of ancient storytelling narrative. This storytelling narrative would take history and use it to explain the audience’s contemporary history.
Shakespeare Introduced The Concept Of Mixing Iambic Pentameter With Natural Poetry
Shakespeare introduced the concept of mixing iambic pentameter writing along with natural poetry formation.
This was groundbreaking for a writer to do. The reason is because this combination gave Shakespeare the ability to write just about any form of narrative so that it could be performed to music in front of crowds.
The music itself was both a cue and part of the script. This was game changing for a writer to do in England during the 16th century.
Remember the literacy rates across the English population were very low during this time. Shakespeare knew that he had to create a writing style that could be performed in front of an audience so that it captured their attention.
The English common man was accustomed to hearing stories performed to music but never had they seen actual story driven narrative with characters and plot performed in such a manner.
The iambic pentameter allowed for declamation before large crowds due to the inflection needed to convey the poetry itself. As a writer Shakespeare knew the limits of just using iambic pentameter to convey a story. Often the audience would lose the narrative due to the constant flow of poetry.
That’s why Shakespeare introduced the concept of the natural blank verse natural poetry. A blank verse follows no rhythm and would naturally explain the narrative to the audience.
Going from flowing poetry to conversation solved the issue of the audience getting lost. Several times throughout Shakespeare’s writings there are points where the narrative stops to explain the events leading up to the in text situation.
Because of this invention Shakespeare is remembered today as a good writer.
There you have it; an entire article explaining the 3 things why Shakespeare today is remembered as a good writer.
Shakespeare’s writings were groundbreaking for the time. Before Shakespeare written work was designed for the literate of society to enjoy. Shakespeare however envisioned a world where everyone could enjoy his written stories.
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