“To be or not to be” has always been the question. From before Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, people have been wondering whether or to do or not to do. Now I have a question before me which High School teachers have been wondering since they began teaching; “Should Shakespeare stay in the curriculum?” To say that Shakespeare is irrelevant to today’s literary structure is complete hogwash. But to say that Shakespeare is what each and every story is at least loosely based on is equally ridiculous.
Curriculum advisors often lean towards the latter, but the fact is, Shakespeare needs to be lightened in today’s school system. Everyone can think back to 8th Grade to their most likely first contact with Shakespearian literature. It was a good bit of fun to go over a couple of his better known comedies and to learn about his background, including what makes Shakespeare so relevant today. It was even interesting to act out a couple of his tragic plays and histories during freshman year. The simple fact is that even though those two occasions were genial, the fact is that Shakespeare distracts from a variety of other subjects that English could cover in the meantime. But all of the “overuse” of his work is ignoring the fact that his plays don’t have near as much affect on modern movies, shows, and books as what teachers claim.
For instance, Stephen King, George Lucas, J. K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, are all extremely well known and successful writers that have seemingly no influence from Shakespeare. Shakespeare was an innovator in many literary categories.
His plays which are most known have been major influences on many romantic comedies. Though things like iambic pentameter and soliloquy aren’t often used in today’s culture, many other aspects of his work are included. However, having William Shakespeare appear in three different years of a student’s career is embellishing the value of what can be learned from him.