It is almost impossible to explain the importance of the plays of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare plays are some of the most significant works of literature written in any language at any time. To this very day, Shakespeare remains the most important writer in the English language, and his plays are credited with practically beginning modern English. If you have only read Shakespeare’s plays, you have had but a taste taste of the full glory of it. To really understand what Shakespeare accomplished, you need to see his plays performed live. There’s simply no other way to do it. They were meant to be performed, and although you can get a lot out of them by reading them, only in the hands of a truly confident theatrical team do they come alive.
The first time I ever saw a Shakespeare play performed live was at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario. Although it is a small town in Canada, Stratford has become one of the centers of Shakespearean theater in the whole world. There is no other place like it. Every year, they put on dozens of Shakespeare plays. People flock there from all over the world just to see their productions, and the fans of theater are rarely disappointed.
My dream has always been to see the Globe Theatre in England. The Globe Theatre is the home of Shakespeare plays. It is supposed to be very impressive, and to me I think it would be a bit of a pilgrimage to go there. Nonetheless, nowadays the Shakespeare plays don’t need a home. They are at home all over the world. They have been performed in practically every country on earth, and many of them are still read generation after generation. People begin to learn them in high school, but the interest and fascination they evoke continues past graduation into full adulthood.
Of course, Shakespeare plays are not only important for their language. They have also inspired countless other works of art. One of the most enduring is the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. It is a modern revisiting of Hamlet, focused around the prince’s two false friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Through their dubious adventure and a tragic fate, the absurdity of man’s existence is explored in a way that was not possible in Shakespeare’s time. This is one of the most enduring characteristics of the Works of William Shakespeare: their ability to inspire new artistic exploration.