Week 3 Class 2: Shakespeare – The Literary Canon


Discuss why Shakespeare has become the literary canon.

The great Shakespeare is still the symbol and the standard of English Literature.

The reasons why he has become the literary canon are listed below.

Firstly, he was able to change the theatre world by writing historical plays. Before him, there were seldom playscripts founded to be related to kingship but mostly scripts were related to religion. It was probably becuase at that time people who try to make critics related to the politics could be sentenced to death. Shakespeare took the lead in terms of defending freedom of speech. Also, the historical plays are good educational materials for students to understand history.

Secondly, his works are in great variety. He wrote comedies (such as Taming of the Shrew), tragedies (Hamlet), as well as historical work (Henry VI) which can attract different readers and persuade them that he is a versatile writer. He also invented many words to help himself to express himself, which is also a great contribution to the English speaking societies.

Thirdly, Shakespeare uses a lot of poetic devices and literary devices in his works and also strictly follows rules of poem writing. His writing sets the standard for later writers and became the most widely used works in teaching English Literature and educators passed them on and on.

(212 words)


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