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Chris Woodrich

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Why Read Shakespeare?

Ten Good Reasons to Read Shakespeare

1. It is excellent literature. Reading is good for the mind, especially when it is tried-and-tested literature which has been enjoyed by millions over the centuries.

2. The plays are short compared to most classical literature, such as Dickens, Tolkien, Austen, Chesterton. This makes them easier to read because you can read a play in a few days.

3. If you’re ever looking for a really good quote, being familiar with Shakespeare’s plays can help. The plays are filled with great quotes, and many frequently-used quotes come from them.

4. Shakespeare’s plays are great for acting out. If you enjoy acting, you can get together with friends and act out a play, or a scene from a play. The plays are also full of soliloquies that are great for reciting and acting out.

5. If you are ever fortunate enough to watch a Shakespeare play, you will probably enjoy it more if you have read it beforehand, as you will have a better understanding of what’s happening onstage.

6. A lot of plays deal with important concepts such as race, class, true love, debt, betrayal, and friendship. These concepts come up often in normal life, and Shakespeare’s plays can give a better understanding of them.

7. Shakespeare contributed to the English language. A lot of the words, phrases, and quotes we use today actually come from his plays. Reading his plays can help us to have a better understanding of our own language.

8. Shakespeare can also help to give a good understanding of history, especially English history. He wrote many historical plays. Of course, not every single word that was said in the historical plays was also said in real life, but Shakespeare gives a very fascinating portrayal of historical characters and events.

9. Shakespeare’s plays can give a good understanding of people, and of what makes someone a good person or a bad person. Many of his plays, especially his tragedies, show good people who through a fault or failing become utterly destroyed.

10. Shakespeare’s plays, poems, and sonnets are extremely entertaining, and great pleasure can be derived from reading them. The comedies, especially, are very funny, but even the tragedies are very interesting.

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