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Has Shakespeare Shaped Contemporary Language? If So, How?

Shakespeare created so many words still used in English and he used language to build meanings behind words and sentences in a way that was revolutionary at its time. How did his manipulation of the English language shape modern speech, vocabulary or language norms? The focus would not be on the content of his plays, but how he used language within the plays.

  • Shakespeare has had a greater impact on the English language than most people are aware of. First of all, many of our modern idioms are derivative from Shakespeare's plays. For example, if you ever said there's a method to your madness, you were in fact quoting Hamlet,or if you've ever referred to jealousy as a "green-eyed monster" than you have quoted Othello, or perhaps your name is Jessica, your nomenclature is one of Shakespearian creation! Other sayings include, "in a pickle", "the mind's eye, "rhyme or reason", "woe is me" and many more. In addition to his common phrases that have withstood the sands of time, Shakespeare's heavy use of literary devices such as metaphor, alliteration, simile and personification have been incredibly influential to writers for the past 450 years. Shakespeare is the most iconic writer of all time and he is in no way overrated, he may even be underrated. Shakespeare is a catalyst for much of American language and culture and without him our language would perhaps be more dull not to mention The Lion King would never have been created, thus my childhood would have be deprived. – sastephens 5 years ago
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  • Shakespeare has had a greater impact on the English language than most people are aware of. First of all, many of our modern idioms are derivative from Shakespeare's plays. For example, if you ever said there's a method to your madness, you were in fact quoting Hamlet,or if you've ever referred to jealousy as a "green-eyed monster" than you have quoted Othello, or perhaps your name is Jessica, your nomenclature is one of Shakespearian creation! Other sayings include, "in a pickle", "the mind's eye, "rhyme or reason", "woe is me" and many more. In addition to his common phrases that have withstood the sands of time, Shakespeare's heavy use of literary devices such as metaphor, alliteration, simile and personification have been incredibly influential to writers for the past 450 years. Shakespeare is the most iconic writer of all time and he is in no way overrated, he may even be underrated. Shakespeare is a catalyst for much of American language and culture and without him our language would perhaps be more dull not to mention The Lion King would never have been created, thus my childhood would have be deprived. – sastephens 5 years ago
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