Shakespeare is considered the best English writer of all times and is known as England’s national writer. William Shakespeare has had more theatrical works performed other than dramatist. Till present time, endless theater celebrations around the globe respect his work, children remember his smooth and meaningful poems and researchers reinterpret the million expressions of the content he created. They likewise chase for hints about the life of the man who moves such “bardolatry” (as George Bernard Shaw derisively called it), quite a bit of which remains covered in secret. Born in a family of modest means in Elizabethan England, the “Bard of Avon” composed no less than 37 plays and sonnets, built up the incredible Globe theater and changed the English language completely.
Interestingly, sources from William Shakespeare’s lifetime spell his last name in more than 80 different ways, extending from “Shappere” to “Shaxberd.” In the modest bunch of marks that have survived, he himself never spelled his name “William Shakespeare,” instead used varieties of names, for example, “Willm Shakspere” and “William Shakspeare.”
Shakespeare’s work is immortal. It’s a gift to mankind that has thankfully been preserved in its true and original state. The world has been flowered with numerous gifted playwrights and poets but none of them understood human behavior like William Shakespeare. He had an unbelievably profound insight into the human psyche and that is why his dramas are capable of seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others. All his plays and poems have family relationship and human emotions, he never exaggerated fascination and fiction.
Shakespeare changed the language game completely. The problems were most obvious in single words. In the 21st century, presently, does not mean “immediately,” as it did for Shakespeare. In his language will meant “lust,” rage meant “folly,” silly denoted “innocence” and “purity.” During his time, words sounded different as well. He made ably rhyme with eye and tomb with dumb. Syntax was often different, and, far more difficult to define, so was response to metre and phrase. What sounds formal and stiff to a modern hearer might have sounded fresh and gay to an Elizabethan.
He wrote many famous plays and poems like Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, Kind Lear and so on.
The Tragedy of Hamlet is one of the most powerful tragedies in English Literature. It is a testament of Shakespeare’s genius because even after four centuries, it still ranks amongst his most performed works and is still being performed and adapted all over the world!
So what makes his work so special? What makes Hamlet special?
A good story? Strong characterization? Well, yes but then a lot of plays already have that. Why Shakespeare?
Shakespeare’s work, Hamlet epically, has the potency to change your outlook towards life. When you are finally able to comprehend his work, you are struck with volleying questions unleashed by your mind that makes you question the very purpose of life itself.
Hamlet’s soliloquy, “To be or not to be- that is the question”, captures the essence of his journey from his initial confrontation with the dead man’s ghost to the final bloodbath. The point of this line begins that if we all have to die eventually then does it matter who kills us and when? Essentially Hamlet is asking if people should exist or not. This is just a tiny part of this play. There is a lot more to Hamlet than this famous soliloquy.
Since time, immemorial Shakespeare has been the flavor of the season for scriptwriters. In the Indian Film Industry, he has inspired the whole generation of artists, most notably – acclaimed director Vishal Bharadwaj. His most famous tragedies Macbeth and Othello have been successfully adapted into Hindi movies Maqbool and Omkara respectively. With Hamlet being adapted to a brilliant movie, Haider set against the backdrop of the Kashmir of today.
The brilliance of Shakespeare’s insight and perception of human misery was truly remarkable. His sagacity descended from the sagacity of the Gods themselves and therefore, his work will continue to inspire the generations to come.
Shakespeare has rightly said, “Love me or hate me, both are in my favor. If you love me, I’ll always be in your heart… If you hate me, I’ll always be in your mind.”