This Writer Gal

Kakul Ehsan Butt

Is Shakespeare good for teaching moral values?

Is Shakespeare useful today?

There have been debates online and offline about the relevance of teaching Shakespeare in schools. Some argue that Shakespeare has no importance in today’s time as there is no benefit to be gained from it; not in working world at least. While others claim that Shakespeare is useful in making links to the old English Literature of the past. However, there are many like me who feel Shakespeare is good for teaching moral values. Almost all his plays teach us about injustice, which comes in all forms.

He may be relevant….

Despite the surreal-ness of some of Shakespeare’s plays, or the language being poetic and stylised; they teach us about values that still transcend from Shakespeare’s time to today. These are the moral values that we can relate to. So rather than looking at the complexities of how useful is Shakespeare’s plays in the current make up of today’s world; we should see Shakespeare’s plays as something that is unchangeable over the times. The plays may have been written in the past, in different settings, in different times; but the message is still relevant today.

Relevance in his popular plays

In Macbeth, we are taught that greed and power leads to downfall. In Romeo and Juliet, we are taught when people fight, people get hurt. In The Tempest, we are taught forgiveness is a virtue. In both A Midsummer Night’s dream and As You Like It, we are taught about struggling with disguises and coming to terms with our own identities. I could go on but these are a few examples of his plays that displayed moral messages.

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