“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” What clicks in your mind when listening to this phrase? All of you will immediately answer “William Shakespeare”. In the school halls of every land and in the every theatre where the curtain rises and falls, Shakespeare characters have surely spoken to all of you at least once in a lifetime. His poetic verses can cast a magic spell on the readers within no time.
William had a good family background, and far better schooling than the anti-Shakespearean usually admit. As a young boy, he was admitted to Stratford King’s School, the best school of the times where the study hours were from 7am to 5pm.
In his twenties he left for London and there he joined an acting company. As a play-writer his success is itself a proof.
Shakespeare’s writings are evergreen. These are for every person and for every age group. He is the poet of food, drinks, friendship, music and long conversations. He celebrates love and being loved by someone. His writings are for common people having uncommon wisdom.
His work has been translated into almost all living languages and it will remain alive till the last moment. He has written 38 plays which include romantic comedies, tragedies, and historical plays. He wrote 154 sonnets which are basically depicting “nature of human love”.
The style of his ‘romanticism’ is unmatchable. While reading, one can feel the fragrance of love spread in the air. One can feel, smell, drink, taste and inhale love while reading his romantic poetry.
Nobody can deny his biggest role in shaping the modern English language. Three thousand new words and phrases first appeared through his plays. Many of those phrases which we use today are born by the pen of William. “Breathed his last”, “for goodness sake (which is now for God sake)”, “love is blind”, “to be or not to be”, “much ado about nothing”, all were coined by him.
It’s an evergreen story of Romeo and Juliet, Othello and Desdemona, Antony and Cleopatra, Hamlet and Ophelia. Some are tragic and others are romantic. Shakespeare is still surviving and will always do because the next to the last word can be said about him, but not the last. And as I write this, the following lines are echoing through my mind:
O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! Your true-love’s coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journey’s end in lover’s meeting
Every wise man’s son doth know