Shakespeare's Relevance in the 21st Century Analytical Essay by Metro

Shakespeare's Relevance in the 21st Century
A look at why Shakespeare's plays are still relevant today.
# 151974 | 1,034 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2012 | NZ

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This paper analyzes two of Shakespeare's plays and further shows how they are relevant to modern society. First, the paper gives an overview of Shakespeare's approach and style. Then, it describes the plot of "Richard the III" and the character of Richard himself. In particular, the paper notes how the audience must decide for themselves if they find Richard to be a sympathetic character. Next, the paper discusses "Romeo and Juliet" and why it is considered so entertaining. The paper concludes by stating that despite the analysis Shakespeare's plays often require, they still offer us entertainment, through dramatic series of events and ironic situations, as well as the knowledge of how something is going to end, but still making an audience spend the entire play hoping that it will not occur. This is what Shakespeare has to offer us as a modern 21st Century society, and this is what he remains one of the greatest literary minds to date.

From the Paper:

"As a modern audience, "Richard III" challenges us as it makes us question who we should be sympathetic towards. Richard does bad things, there is no denying that, however the positive qualities that Shakespeare has supplied him with (fantastic speaker, comedic at times), mixed with the sympathy generally given to someone disfigured, makes us think about whether or not the positive aspects about his character, out weigh the negative ones. He is bad, but at the same time he is an attractive character. Shakespeare does not tell us whether or not we should empathise with him, he makes us make our own mind. This is often one of the things that challenge us as a 21st Century audience; Shakespeare's plays regularly leave us with more questions than answers at the end of a play. Like "Richard III", he has not made him completely evil, or completely un-charismatic, therefore because audiences are not told, they are left to make their own decisions, which are often challenging.
"Though Shakespeare's plays can be challenging, to a modern audience they still have plenty to offer in terms of entertainment, despite their age. One of the best ways they accomplish this is through the often dramatic and over the top events, which would seem unimaginable, and arguably at times, ironic, to a modern audience."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "Richard the III" William Shakespeare.
  • "Romeo and Juliet" William Shakespeare.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Shakespeare's Relevance in the 21st Century (2012, November 04) Retrieved April 18, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Shakespeare's Relevance in the 21st Century" 04 November 2012. Web. 18 April. 2024. <>