Shakespeare's Legacy Essay

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Shakespeare has had quite a large impact on modern society through the way he wrote. Firstly, he had a large impact on the modern English language we use today. Before Shakespeare's time, the English language as a whole was not standardised. Once his plays became popular in the late 17th century, as he had a large audience, they would often begin to use his phrases and sayings which therefore contributed significantly to the standardisation of grammar, spelling and vocabulary. Eventually, his works became quoted, which became sayings (such as 'a foregone conclusion') which are commonly used today, on top of the 3,000 words he introduced to the English language. Shakespeare's ability to capture human emotion in a simple yet elegant verse and put it into spoken word is the greatest reason for his undying popularity which therefore allowed him to impact modern language and culture. Even Shakespeare's name has been transformed into an adjective signifying his best style of writing, the word Shakespearean means tragic or resonant and can be applied to events people and emotions, whether or not they have any relevance to Shakespeare. Shakespeare's characters like Romeo, Hamlet or Lady Mac Beth have become cultural icons and symbols which signify certain personalities or qualities in relation to the person mentioned. For example, a 'Lady Mac Beth' is an ambitious female who will stop at nothing to get her way. Shakespeare had an extreme impact on poetry and literature. He perfected blank verse and heavily influenced other great writers such as Charles Dickens for example. Because of the many ways he impacted our language and culture, studying Shakespeare is a critical part of understanding the modern English language due to the fact that many themes and language we use originated from
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