Napolean Hill, famous American author once said, “Your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” With the invention of the printing press in 1450, an author’s words and ideas were able to spread throughout all of Europe and beyond. This gave writers the power to shape the principles and ideals of the future. Perhaps the most famous and well known poet of all time had this power. His name is William Shakespeare. His writing was so brilliant that over 400 years later everyone still knows his name, his legacy. The contribution his works had to modern society are monumental. Through his poems and stories Shakespeare was able to change the way we communicate through writing and speech.
Perhaps the greatest reason for Shakespeare’s enduring popularity was his ability to illuminate the human experience. Shakespeare was able to summarize the range of human emotions in simple yet profound verses. A fantastic example of this comes from Twelfth Night, “If music be the food of love, play on;/Give me excess of it,” (Shakespeare 1.1.1). Here Shakespeare is saying that music is to love what food is to the body. Food is the fuel of the body, it keeps us going, strengthens us. Shakespeare compares this to the way music can strengthen and fuel love. Another example of Shakespeare’s great ability to embody human emotion through his writing is taken from As You Like It, “If thou remember’st not the slightest folly/That ever love did make thee run into,/Thou hast not loved,” (Shakespeare 2.4.36). To put it simply, Shakespeare is expressing to the reader that someone in love may do things that, in retrospect, appear foolish. And that if one has not experienced such occurrences; they do not know what love is. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you cannot find words to express how you feel, Shakespeare can speak for you. His short phrases such as the two examples provided were so profound that some of them are still spoken commonly today. Shakespeare was able to put into writing the experiences we have every day as humans. This meant that people were better able to express themselves through writing and speaking. As time passed, Shakespeare’s words were inherited and improved and that leads us to the English language we have today, with thousands of words and phrases to express how we feel.
Shakespeare was, in essence, the King of expression. No author preceding him had a way of illuminating the human experience as greatly as he could. Through the writing of Shakespeare, people were better able to explain what they felt and experienced in their life. It led to a world where people are able to better understand each other through writing and speech. It is for this reason that the name William Shakespeare will live on as the name of the greatest poet of all time, for ever and a day.
“For Ever and a Day.” For Ever and a Day. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2014..
“Shakespeare’s Impact: Lasting Forever.” Teen Ink. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. .