Essay Sample on Shakespeare's Influence on Theatre

Published: 2023-03-23
Essay Sample on Shakespeare's Influence on Theatre
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Culture Theatre Shakespeare World literature
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 440 words
4 min read

William Shakespeare was an English playwright. His plays covered tragedies, comedies, romances, tragicomedies, and historical plays. His plays were acted on different types of venues and places with various types of audiences. In some instances, his plays would address different types of audiences at the same time. Shakespeare's stories relied on colorful descriptions to set the scenes instead of lavish stages and props. Shakespeare is regularly accredited with having a great impact on theatre, literature language and other cultural elements. Thus, this paper will explore Shakespeare's influence on the theatre.

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Since Shakespeare's first play performance, the theatre has undergone dramatic changes due to his influence. For instance, contemporary playwriting has been impacted by the manner in which Shakespeare's plots are developed. Likewise, Shakespeare's round and highly developed characterizations have led to a new method of storytelling whereby choices made by the characters move the plots forward (Perry & Watkins, 2009). As such, Shakespeare plots are dynamic and characters in his stories undergo significant changes. Furthermore, Shakespeare has been credited for inventing genres that mix comedy and tragedy. In essence, this modification in previous genres by Shakespeare promoted new experiences of both theater and storytelling.

According to some contemporary musical theater historians, adaptations of Shakespeare's plays in the 20th-century creation has influenced the function and form of musicals (Perry & Watkins, 2009). Previously, musicals were understood to put musical performances and numbers amidst theatrical scenes which acted as pauses from the core action. But with the adaptation of Shakespeare's work in present playwriting has made musical performances integral to the dramatic story. As such, some modern plays creatively use songs to drive the plot. In addition, songs are used as instant reactions to beats inside the play.

Shakespeare's plays in foreign stages were acted by people with bilingual abilities for translation (Cheng & Winston, 2011). As such, actors in Shakespeare casts would frequently attempt to safeguard the integrity of the plays by multitasking to ensure fidelity of original play. Actors would double as directors and producers. Therefore, this developed hyphenate artists in the theater.

In conclusion, Shakespeare has greatly impacted modern playwriting and theater. He has influenced plot development through character choices, the manner songs are used in the play and the creation of new genres that are a mixture of different genres. Therefore, it is true to say that modern storytelling characteristics are derived from Shakespeare's work.


Cheng, A. Y. M., & Winston, J. (2011). Shakespeare as a second language: playfulness, power, and pedagogy in the ESL classroom. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 16(4), 541-556.

Perry, C., & Watkins, J. (2009). Shakespeare and the Middle Ages. Oxford University Press.

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