When you hear the word Shakespeare what is the first thing that comes to your mind? A poet, a playwright, a legend, a revolutionary. The first thing that strikes us is the titles of some of his world famous plays. Most of us are aware of these terms as we might have come across them in our English literature textbooks or some avid fans must have surely read these novels: Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and many more. Some of these have also been adapted as movies in Hollywood and Bollywood certainly hasn’t stayed behind in taking inspiration from the mighty artist.
However, Shakespeare has just become an author to these plays and a mere preacher of the concept of Romeo and Juliet. The true essence of his art has been lost. His writings were not just a piece of literature that we learn in order to get top scores in our SATs or develop our command over the language for writing a noticeable SOP. His writings our way beyond that. His writings are a reflection of the culture that existed then in the medieval era. His writings are a prophecy to the foundation of love and hope. His writings are a motivation to the youth then and now. His writings are disciples of fate and destiny. Most of us have surpassed this vision of his writings in our sedentary lifestyles. We have indeed lost the love we had for Shakespeare.
Verona is a place in Northern Italy where this love is still alive in the hearts of women young and old relying on the faith of writing letters to Juliet to find their true love. A simple lucid play created such a huge impact on people that today there is an entire wall dedicated to letters addressed to an imaginary drafted character. To people like these, Juliet isn’t a mere character out of the play, she is the sole representation of love and trust void of worldly desires, Shakespeare being her Creator. . How one Shakespeare play could have an impact on the way people perceive love! How after generations have passed, the seed of love he planted in the niche of every human still prevails amongst the shades of grief and despair. How his writings still bring a smile to the face of those who lost their loved ones, how it teaches them to look beyond the love that is lost and to venture out in search for the love that is waiting! How it reaches out to us and helps us overcome our trivial fears. Ever get the chance to notice the passion with which these girls write these letters, with the essence of bewilderment and at the same time aspiration of the one who’ll love you. I am bound to realize that Shakespeare’s scripts were not only a piece of literature or an archaeological finding of the medieval period but a legend that is engraved in the hearts of every person in whom humanity exists. Shakespeare was responsible for transforming the way people think; rather the way people develop an attitude towards life. In times of grave circumstances where the world was bound by shackles of war, it was his writings that brought a smile to the faces of many. That instilled light at the times of darkness.
His plays narrated stories that people could relate to, his poems on the other hand were embellished with soft rhythm and purity in language. There was yet another genre of his writings which many are still not aware of. They are called sonnets. They are small scripts of writing surrounding a particular concept, emotion or thought of being. There are 154 such sonnets written by Shakespeare each having a silver lining, each written with the ambition to inculcate the seeds of civilization and kindness in this mortal world. The themes of these sonnets revolve around passion, depiction of human love some in which he openly talks of sexuality and most importantly an ode to the youth. Why are sonnets not included in our literary notes? Why is learning so calculative rather than complete? A few people say they follow the teachings of Shakespeare. I have a few friends who use the term “fan” associated with this honorary writer. But how many of them have read even 5 of his sonnets? How many are aware that he wasn’t just a poet and a playwright but also the writer to a non-dramatic piece of art like the sonnets?
When Shakespeare began to write, he wrote with the intention to engineer change. He envisioned a society surviving on the basis of his principles. He wanted to create a revolution in the stagnant mindset of people. Induce them with pragmatism at the same time complimenting it with hope. He was a pioneer to encompassing culture with progress. It is time that we remember him and combat the vices existing in the world. We the youth are the future builders of the society. Shakespeare believed in us. It is time that we believe in ourselves.