How Shakespearean Language Has Influenced English Literature

How Shakespearean Language Has Influenced English Literature

William Shakespeare is undoubtedly one of the greatest playwrights and poets in the history of English literature. He wrote his plays and sonnets in the late 16th and early 17th centuries and his influence on the English language has endured to this day. Shakespeare’s plays are renowned for their poetic language, and his use of rhetorical devices has had a significant impact on the way we speak and write English today.

Shakespeare’s language is characterized by its poetic meter, use of figurative language and extensive vocabulary. His plays are filled with metaphors, similes, personification, alliteration and other forms of figurative language that bring his characters and stories to life. Many of the expressions he created have become part of our everyday language as well. For instance, the expression “all that glitters is not gold” is used to warn people against the deceptive nature of appearances. Similarly, the phrase “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is used to emphasize that the name of a thing does not matter, only its inherent qualities.

Shakespeare’s contribution to the English language cannot be overstated. It is believed that he coined over 1700 words, including “dwindle”, “swagger”, “rant”, “jaded”, and “eyeball”. He also gave new meanings to existing words and phrases. For example, when Shakespeare used the word “zany” in his plays, it originally meant a clown or fool. Today, it means someone who is silly or eccentric.

Shakespeare’s influence on English literature can be seen in many ways. His plays were the first to be printed in English and were widely read and performed during his lifetime. They were also translated into other languages and performed all over Europe. Shakespeare was a master of human psychology, and his characters, such as Macbeth, King Lear, and Romeo and Juliet, are still studied and performed today.

Shakespeare’s language has also influenced subsequent English writers. Many writers, including Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Ernest Hemingway, have used Shakespearean language in their own work. They have borrowed his expressions, characters, and plot devices. They have also been influenced by his use of language to create powerful images and evoke strong emotions in readers.

Shakespeare’s influence on English literature can be seen in the development of the English language itself. The language he used in his plays helped standardize the language and create a more uniform way of speaking and writing English. The English language, as we know it today, owes much to William Shakespeare.

In conclusion, Shakespeare’s language has had a profound impact on English literature and the English language itself. His use of poetic language, intricate metaphors, and characterizations has influenced writers for centuries. His contribution to the English language, through his coining of new words and giving new meanings to existing ones, cannot be overstated. The Bard of Avon’s legacy will continue to be felt for many years to come.