Shakespeare has had
significant influence from the time of his death until today, in contemporary movies, plays, and poems. Many authors have
been influenced and inspired by his works, and the phrases and words he has contributed to the English language.
The reason Shakespeare
has survived the test of time is due to what he writes and how he writes it. No one is better at summing up human emotions
in simple, yet eloquent phrases. Shakespeare’s stories surpass time and culture, which is why many authors continue
to adapt them. Shakespeare’s characters are like no other, particularly his tragic heroes. All of his characters are
complex, Macbeth’s good nature turns into greed and ambition because of his wife who convinces him to kill the King.
Many writers have admired
and thus been influenced and inspired by Shakespeare. He has influenced many English poets, particularly Romantic poets such
as Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In the late 17th century, English poet John Milton wrote a well-known epitaph on Shakespeare called
"An Epitaph on the admirable Dramatic Poet, W. Shakespeare". This work appears in the Second Folio, the 1632 edition of William
Shakespeare’s works. In this work, Milton talks about Shakespeare’s influence on him and his immortality, Thou
in our wonder and astonishment, Hast built thyself a live-long monument.
In the 18th century,
there was Alexander Pope, one of the greatest poets of the Enlightenment. Pope wrote an edition of Shakespeare on 1725, with
significant commentary. Pope also makes many references to Shakespeare in his many works.
In the 19th century
John Keats, one of the principle poets of the English Romantic Movement, was so greatly influenced by Shakespeare that every
time Keats would write, he would keep Shakespeare’s works next to him for inspiration and guidance. In Keats’s
poems Shakespeare’s style is replicated and plenty of his imagery is found. Keats never failed to mention his greatest
role-model in personnel letters to friends.
Shakespeare has also
influenced major novelists such as Herman Melville, Charles Dickens, Thomas Dickens and William Faulkner. Dickens uses many
quotations throughout his works. Dickens has also derived at least twenty-five of his titles from Shakespeare. Melville was
even more influenced by Shakespeare. He not only used devices such as formal stage directions and extended soliloquies in
Moby-Dick. Melville used the classic Shakespearean tragic figure, as his novel’s main antagonist, Captain Ahab;a great
man brought down by his faults.
was loved by even those who mocked him. World renowned author, George Bernard Shaw ridiculed those who worshipped Shakespeare,
inventing the term bardolatry, to denote the study of Shakespeare. He secretly greatly admired Shakespeare.