Relevance of Classics in Today’s Age with Special Reference to Shakespeare Essay

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The face of the field of literature has undergone a lot of change, since the time it first got recognition as a field of academic studies. In the Greek and Roman times, the study of literature was the principal study in humanities. Even in the early phase of development of literature as an academic field in Europe, only the famous Greek and Latin works were studied. These were considered as the real classics and works in the vernacular languages were thought to be lowly. The word classics, connotes superiority, authority and perfection. However today, they enjoy a good status and are looked at in an unprejudiced manner It is a difficult task to define what a classic is. Charles Augustine Saint-Beuve, in 1850, described a classic as, “The idea of a classic implies something, that has continuance and consistence, and which produces unity and tradition, fashions and transmits itself and endures.” This definition encompasses many facets of the characteristics of a classic, but still, the concept changes on a personal basis. For me, a classic is something that I can relate to, in the 21st century, though it tells about happenings of the past, without making them seem improbable. It also reads like a new text every time I read it, enriching the sense of meanings that it contains and conveys. William Shakespeare is beyond doubt one of the greatest dramatists the world has known so far. Almost all his works have acquired the status of being classics. There is something very universal about the themes of his works. Though they are set in some fixed geographical location and locked in some age, they transcend place and time. This is evident when one looks at number of productions, based on the works of Shakespeare, that have come up. Be it the present day New York City, where one of the many ‘Romeo and Juliet’s was based, or a huge Danish corporation which gave a

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