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William Shakespeare Essay

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William Shakespeare not only wrote magnificent plays but captured what it was like in the Elizabethan era and how certain relationships played a huge role in their life. Certain relationships like with God, family, and between lovers are shown throughout Shakespeare’s plays and give people today a history lesson of what it was like back then with regards to types of relationships. The plays that show universal relationships are Hamlet and As You Like It, these bonds are shown in modern day and were present before Shakespeare’s time but he was able to show it most effectively.

During Shakespeare’s era everybody believed and feared God. When people could not explain paranormal activities they would perceive it as a message from God. Hamlet is such a religious person that he does not commit suicide because it is against his religious law. Hamlet shows this by his little speech,“His canon’gainst self-slaughter. O God! God!” (I, II, 132). Hamlet is troubled when deciding to take his own life but will be breaking the sixth commandment and not going to Heaven. People to this day are still afraid of God and fear the exact same consequences as Hamlet, going to Hell. This shows how over four-hundred years the choice of suicide had the same consequences to this day. The result of going to Hell is feared by all humans and has not changed for over four-hundred years and will continue to stay there.

Another character, Audrey wants to be poetical and asks the Gods for help. Audrey speaks as if the gods are listening, “Do you wish then that the gods had made me poetical?” (III, III, 20-21). Audrey is expressing her faith by wanting to be made with a poetic aspect. She believes in gods because she wants to be “made” in Touchstone’s image. In modern day people will usually curse or thank god in which they are “made” for example, someone will thank god because of their height or curse god because of their small feet. People will usually in their life want to either thank god the way they are or dislike god but the expression is the same even if it dates back four-hundred years ago. Mid evil people trusted the church with their lives and would believe almost anything that they would say. “When these mid evil people learned new things about the world and the universe they explained it in biblical terms in order to prove to the people god was behind it.” In this era, science was not a vital to everyday life and priests of the church would rule out it as blasphemy. Many people did not know how to read or write and trusted the church for all their answers. The church would explain to the people how god was in charge of their everyday life and the people had no choice but to believe them.

Family bonds have been around since the beginning of time and are a universal relationship that simply cannot be ignored. Hamlet thinks he knows best for his mother and doesn’t like her decision on marrying Claudius. Hamlet clearly states “You cannot call it love; for at your age The heyday in the blood is tame, and it’s humble, And waits upon the judgement,” (III, IV, 68-70). Hamlet thinks that he has a say in who his mother should marry and Claudius isn’t eligible. He thinks that his mother is in capable of loving a man out of love and should instead marry out of judgement. For over several decades teenagers are notorious for arguing with their parents and believing that they know everything. Shakespeare was so talented in his work that he was able to incorporate this into his plays. Fights between brothers are common and will always be around until the end of time. Oliver stops treating his younger brother like a slave, “for my father’s house and all the revenue that was old Sir Rowland’s will I estate upon you,” (V, II, 10-11). Although Orlando and Oliver get off to a rocky start early in the play they make up near the end because after all their brothers and that’s what brothers do. Brotherly love is one of the most popular relationships out there, this type of relationship can be dated back before Shakespeare’s age and is still present in today’s society. Even though William was a single child he was somehow cable of displaying this type of bond between brothers and did so flawlessly. No matter what role, characters always share a family relationship with member(s) of their family. “Nevertheless, in this and virtually every other play, characters see themselves not as entirely separate individuals but as deeply connected with each other, especially as members of families”. Being part of a family will not always be joyful and the annoying arguments are an inevitable part of being a family. Forgiving is in all humans and there is no exception when it comes to family. In all plays there will always be a special family connection with the character and this type of relationship can be seen in modern society.

Love is a relationship that every person will or has experienced and no one has been able to explain it better than William Shakespeare. Hamlet tries to explain to Ophelia how much he loves her with a poem that goes like “O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers. I have not art to reckon my groans. But that I love thee best,” (II, II, 119-120). To explain to someone you love how you feel about them is extremely difficult because no word in the English dictionary can describe how you feel. The emotion of love has not changed since and will continue to be the exact same wonderful feeling. Shakespeare was able to capture how lovers felt and include it in his play with these famous poems. In modern day this could be considered as a love letter but the meaning has not changed for over four-hundred years. Orlando shows the audience how love at first sight was first seen four-hundred years ago. Orlando embarrasses himself by saying “Can I not say “I thank you”? My better parts Are all thrown down, and that which here stands up Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.” (I, II, 238-240). The very first moment Orlando sees Rosalind he has fallen in love with her instantly.

Shakespeare was able to capture how it was like to love someone but be star struck when faced with them. These same symptoms are shown in modern society and the feeling of love has not and will not change over time. This form of love is showed through many Hollywood movies and the lover has the exact same reaction as Orlando, this shows how a four-hundred year old relationship is still relevant in today’s society. Shakespeare was able to distinguish the different types of love and expressed it though “Sonnets”. “Many of Shakespeare’s sonnets presented emphasized physical appearances, and solely Sonnet 116 illustrated true love stemming only from the inner attraction between the people.” Through Shakespeare‘s sonnets he was able to describe how love felt and not only did he illustrate how one lover felt, but was able to show a variety of lovers. Shakespeare shows how there is superficial love (based on physical appearances) and true love (based on genuine love that comes from the heart), this discrepancy of love is not show through any other play writher in his time. These types of love relationships still exist to this day and mostly the young are wasted upon the superficial love
whereas the older community portray a genuine type of love.

Shakespeare is read and studied for a number of reasons, those reasons being that basic human relationships are dated back over four-hundred years ago. These three simple yet vital relationships are love, family, and with god. Shakespeare shows how love was like back then and will not change because love is human nature and will continue to strive in humans. Divinity is such a big deal in Shakespeare’s time and is still relevant to this day, people still believe in god and will continue to because of how important it was during the Elizabethan era. Family relationships are over four-hundred years old but Shakespeare shows how it is still important to this day because almost nothing has changed between family bonds to this day

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