Shakespeare Learned by Doing.

Shakespeare Learned by Doing.

Shakespeare Learned by Doing.  You can, too.

William Shakespeare had a basic public school education.  He studied grammar and Latin classics.  It was common for playwrights during Shakespeare’s time to have a Bachelor of Arts and even a Master of Arts degree from Cambridge.

Here are examples of the education of some of Shakespeare’s contemporaries.

Christopher Marlowe

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge, 1584
  • Master of Arts, University of Cambridge, 1587

Robert Greene

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge, 1580
  • Master of Arts, University of Cambridge, 1583

Thomas Nashe

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge, 1586

William Shakespeare wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and other poems.  Additionally, he wrote plays in collaboration with other writers.  He was a leading playwright of his time.  His name had marketing value on the billing of his plays.  His popularity has grown through the centuries.  His writing has influenced playwrights, novelists, movie screenwriters, and even daily language in the English-speaking world.  Today, he is widely considered the greatest writer of the English language ever.  There are still productions of his plays, and translations of his plays exist in nearly every major language.

Here are some of Shakespeare’s quotes that have become part of popular language and literature in English today.

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” Romeo and Juliet
“In my mind’s eye.”  Hamlet
“Off with his head!”  King Richard III
“This is the short and the long of it” The Merry Wives of Windsor
“He will give the devil his due.”  King Henry IV, Part I
“He hath eaten me out of house and home.”  King Henry IV, Part II
“I ‘ll not budge an inch.”  Taming of the Shrew 
“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”  Julius Caesar
“Out, damned spot! Out, I say!”  Macbeth

The way that Shakespeare became a better writer is that he wrote.  He wrote alone and at times in collaboration with other writers.  As he wrote, his writing became more exact to the characters and richer in content.  The personalities and actions of his characters became more distinct to their roles.  The depth and meaning of his plays attained a universal quality that connected audiences of his time and that connect audiences of today to the events and characters in his plays.

Shakespeare leaned by doing.  As part of my own skills development, I can develop new skills and increase the effectiveness of my current skills through practice, repetition, and effort.  I can learn by doing.

Sources: Wikipedia.orgAbsolute Shakespeare
Image: Sofi/Flickr, Sir John Gilbert (1817-1897), “The Plays of William Shakespeare”

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