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William Shakespeare 

 

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       I have read all the reviews now, and i have mixed feelings about people's opinions. I can understand where everyone is coming from with what they are saying, but a some I just absolutely disagree with.

       So, first: Shakespeare is NOT an author! He is a playwriter and poet, and I do not think he should be on any author or novel list! Yes, he is a great writer, I myself enjoy Richard III and Macbeth, however, great talent I feel is not enough to break the rules where types of art are concerned. George Orwell's 1984 is a great novel (phenomenal in fact) but that does not mean he is going to come 1st or 2nd on a list of greatest plays of all time!!

       Another thing: when people say he is a great man (or group of writers, depending on your point of view) because he put life and soul into his work, giving his characters depth and complexity, I completely agree! That is the difference between his works (along with other older works, plays and novels alike) and the modern rubbish (ie. Twilight, HP, and medieval fantasy spinoffs of LOTR). But, I might also add, there is also one other reason for Shakespeare's timeless success: he has covered every single human emotion. Maybe not in a single play, but over all his works, the complexity of his characters convey the complexities of the human mind. And that is something you do not see nowadays, in any work (although some people may argue Ulysses by James Joyce, but I've yet to look into that).

       Overall: yes, Shakespeare is a great writer(s). Yes, he has changed the face of literature. Yes, he has made his creations come to life by putting in his own. Yes, he has stolen his ideas off more people than we can be bothered to count. But for God's sake, GET HIM OFF THAT BLASTED TOP AUTHORS LIST, HE DOES NOT BELONG THERE.

Review posted by: Hades

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       In English literature, in the gargantuan canon of texts, Shakespeare still stands pre-eminently over the generation of writers. He is so important that we learn his plays in school.

       Eevn before Charles Dickens, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle and many other luminaries came, Shakespeare has climbed up the arduoud mountain track to the peak of literary genius.
Horror, love and history are all told in a play on a stage. You don't need movies. You don't need to feel daunted by his words and sentences. Once you grow old, you will understand that Shakespeare's works are so valuable that you have to read them before you rest your bones on the grave
.

Review posted by: Frainlight

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       It's a given. Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers of all time. Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, just to name a few, are fixed into our school curriculum and our entertainment industry.

       However, Shakespeare is not an author, he never wrote books. He was a writer, and he wrote plays. Not novels, plays. So as much as i LOVE Shakespeare, he should not be on the list.

       Top 100 writers, defintely #1 of all time. Author, he was not a writer.

Review posted by: Skyler

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       There is no doubt that Shakespear is the greatest author of all time.Chekhov is great but shakespear is the greatest he exactly knows how big is the universe and put the whole colors of it into a small stage.Its kind of sad that 14 year old teanegers are comparing shakespearian plays with harry potter.When you get out from your teenage dreams and realise what is art,then you will understand the genius of shakespear.

Review posted by: lootin

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       @ Malone: I agree with the first statement. And the second sadly, is almost true today. What I don't understand is the end statement? Our dead people will answer that question?

Review posted by: Mike

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       To speak ill upon the name of a poet is to speak ill upon poetry, the syntax of our times denounces shake spheres English and voids all recollection of what was meant by his words. To speak in puns is a game for us; in the days of his it was an art form. There is nothing left over from that time but our vague changing idea of the history that was written and rewritten by most popular versions. For all I know there never was a man by the name, but if he was never would that make it any less valuable?

       If you ever could comprehend the depth of his characters you would understand why they die. If you could ever dare to understand the profound meaning in writing in pentameter as opposed to endless sentences you would understand the sublime difficulty in constructing one of his plays. Finally you could understand why he is the number one in the list.

       For there is no best of all time, merely the best of the time. In 100 years when we are dead and gone books will be rubbish and games will become reality, why read when you can live. The question will in itself be answered by our decedents.

Review posted by: Malone

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       What I find most astonishing when scrolling through these forums is that the vast majority of people who post on them are unable to write. Either that or you're just too lazy to try. You're critiquing someone like Shakespeare but mispell about 50% of your words, hardly punctuate and display the grammar of a 6-year-old.  This is no slight against those of you for whom English is a second language.

Review posted by: anon

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       Well i am in 9th grade i have read some shakspeare and i like it does he deserve number 1 no.  but who doesnt deserve at all to be on this list is J.K. rowling harrypotter is absolute garbage and no i would not rather talk about it than any Shakespeare.

Review posted by: Justin

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       Shakespeare is not an Author, he is a playwright. This isn't entirely true because he did write poetry. But that would make him as far as I can tell the only writer on this list who is not a novellist. I don't like Shakespeare at all, I think Marlowe was a better playwright, I think his poetry is well childish at best, compared to Baudelaire his peotry is very poor. I believe Shakespeare is overrated badly. He did some good stuff Julius Ceaser is very good, as is the merchant of venice or midsummers night dream, but he wrote some godawful things like romeo and juliet or Hamlet, and honestly Hamlet is terrible, the only good thing about Hamlet is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, because of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Yes Shakespeare has had a vast influence on the English language not because he is an amazing writer but because he has been the focus of so much propaganda telling us that we must like him and that he is amazing, if you repeat things over and over again then in that person's head it becomes true.

       Here is what I think about this list, Does Shakespeare deserve to be number one? Maybe he certainly did some very good plays, some very bad poetry, he is ok. It does not matter though because he will always be number one because we have always been told he is number one.

       My number one would be Chekov, Hunter S. Thompson, Henry Miller or Joris Karl Huysmans. I don't know which, but I think all four are better writers than Shakespeare.

Review posted by: Junkie

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       He is by far the most overrated author of all time. Not only do I believe that he is one of laziest of all the authors (because everytime he doesn't know how to end a play he lets all the characters die), but also he stole most of his work from other people. I mean, come on.

Review posted by: Stephan

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       I have to disagree with Anton. Although there may be many who are more willing to take "the easy way" than read the Bard, he is generalizing all teenagers to be that way. I am in high school and personally love Shakespeare as he is.

       However, I cannot possibly comprehend why Neil Gaiman is not here. He is currently one of the greatest writers of all time, even way back since he published Sandman in the '90s. This is blasphemy.

Review posted by: Patricia

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       William Shakespeare isn't even an author, he's a playwriter, in my onpinion he shouldnt even be on the list. I think Dostoevsky, Dickens or Tolstoy deserves more to be be number 1.

Review posted by: Angelo

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       Anton, you are a complete idiot, don't realise people love J.K.Rowlings because she is a fantastic author, and writes amazing novels which is the REAL reson she is on the list and your probbaly one of the only people who think she's rubish. Yes, Shakespeare is a BRILLIAT author and by far my favorite but J.K.Rowlings is also great and you have NO idea what your talking about. Secondly kids are IN NO WAY to immature for Shakespeare, i'm 14 and i LOVE shakepeare and so do heaps of my friends, its what makes english class great, teachers make us study not because they are stupied but because as you said he is the best author of all time.

Review posted by: Elizabeth

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       I absolutely disagree with BOTH Zeus and Anton. I love the Harry Potter series, and J. K. Rowling is a fantastic writer (now if zeus had said Twilight, I would have been with Anton in biting his head off), but she in no way can top Shakespeare.

       I also have to disagree with Anton in the fact that 10 to 15 year olds are too immature to care for Shakespeare. That is bull and you need to get that out of your head right now. Kids in school don't like it because it's treated like another assignment. Teachers analyze the shit out of it and it loses its worth to the students. I am 15 and ADORE Shakespeare, and I can give you two situations off the top of my head where 10-15 year olds liked/loved/adored Shakespeare as much as I do.

1) I was in 9th grade last year. In my Honors English class, my teacher had us read R&J. She decided no, sitting there and having them read is boring. Having them only analyze words on a page is even more boring. So she decided, the class was going to act each scene out in class every single day! So she got styrofoam (sp?) swords, assigned characters for each scene, set the desks in a circle, and we were off. After each scene we acted out, we sat for a little and analyzed it, and how it felt, how it sounded to read it out loud. Why might've shakespeare used this comparison? Why in this way? When we went home, we thought about it. Everyone in the class aced the final unit test and understood it much better. Why? because we had fun doing the unit.

2) I am a part of the Young Shakespeare Players, owned by Richard DiPrima, the greatest Shakespeare analyst in the U.S. today. The theater is unique, and nationally acclaimed, because it allows kids 7-18 to read Shakespeare with depth, understanding, and emotion greater than even literature students in college today. I know a 12 year old who is a fantastic actor, and is in no way "too immature" to handle it. Everyone there WANTS to be there, and wholeheartedly throws themselves into each scene as eagerly as a kid today would into sports. To us doing Shakespeare is a past-time that we love tremendously, and we understand Shakespeare more than, like I said before, students in college studying it now. I know 7 year olds who are more into this that older kids involved.

       The way it works is Richard records Tapes (it's been going thirty years, all recordings are on tapes) of him explaining your part thoroughly. Each line, how the line is spoken (pronouciations and such), what the line means, why you are saying it, how you would probably be feeling when you said it, etc., so that we fully understand our part. Then he has a tape of him reading all of your characters lines, so that you get a general idea of how to say it. Then it's up to you to bring the character to life. Read ysp.org for more explanations, if you want proof. YSP gets about 50-80 people per production, so there's always more than one cast (between 2-8).

       What I'm saying with all of this rambling is that just because a writer doesn't measure up to the Bards greatness, doesn't mean that he/she is a bad writer. On the flip side, just because Shakespeare is so great and mature doesn't mean kids can't enjoy it. I have been with YSP one year, and I've played Lady Macduff, Angus, Donalbain, Soldier/Messenger, and 1st Apparition in Macbeth (in my cast), and Hermia in Midsummer Night's Dream (and am doing Othello in the fall, hoping for Desdemona!!), and they have been the most rewarding times of my life. Also, my favorite family/ friend trips are, rather than to movies or the mall, to the American Players Theater to see works of the Bard in the forest.

       Also, my favorite books are Measure for Measure, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, the Comedy of Errors, and Macbeth. I also adore Emma, and Jane Austen in general, but enjoy reading the works of J. K. Rowling on occasion (I also love Orwell's 1984, William Goldman's The Princess Bride, and Shaw's Pygmalion). And I'm only just turned 15. Immature, wouldn't you say (not)?

Review posted by: Emmaline

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       Are there words to describe Shakespeare??

       However, one still wants to talk and talk about his life(of which very little is known and there are a lot many assumptions about it) and his plays and sonnets.

       English Literature would not have been what it is without Shakespeare. His influence is seen on everything. From his famous quotes like 'the milk of human kindness','cowards die many times before their deaths' and so on to the characters like Lady Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, Rosalinde, Brutus, Caesar, Antony, Romeo and Juliet and so on make us wonder about the man with such art of creation. No wonder that scholars speculate about the authorship of his works.

       Shakespeare wrote almost upon every genre and seems to have mastered it. From Histories like Henry VIII and Richard II to comedies like Comedy of Errors, Taming of The Shrew to his great Tragedies like Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear, Shakespeare has made a mark in every genre. He would have been a man of passion and full of human emotions to have portrayed all the characters of diverse kinds in their profoundness. Marcus Brutus' stocism, Cleopatra's charm, Lady Macbeth's evil side of human nature, Romeo's passionate love for Juliet, King Lear's madness, Othello's jealousy. Everything is so well portrayed in its diversity that one is awestruck about the talent of the man.

       The supernatural elements like the witches in Macbeth, ghosts in Julius Caesar, Hamlet and Macbeth also appeal to us a great deal although we might never have believed in them.His portrayal of everything is just exquisite and in its profoundness!!

       One can go on singing his praises without ceasing!

Review posted by: Akshay Gururani

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       Above me is perhaps the most idiotic comment ever made. Harry Potter is garbage compared (if comparison is even possible) to the Bard. Shakespeare is the greatest writer ever. Why? Because his talents were recognized by people who actually knew great writing when they saw it. Studying Shakespeare in school is criminal. Kids are stupid: they want to take the easy way out and read the crap that passes for literature these days, and teachers are too senile to understand that kids aren't mature enough for Shakespeare. Feeble-minded, talentless writers like Rowling will only gain a place on this list through popularity: not literary value. Popularity does not denote greatness. Hitler was popular once. Face it: Shakespeare is studied because he's great, because he is Universal. Rowling around in the mud of the hack literary efforts of today's writers is a no-no.

Review posted by: Anton

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       Shakespeare was one of the greatest writers of all time. It is not a question of wether his books are  classy or not, its the fact that a man could put so much of his soul and so much depth and emotion into his books that truly makes a writer a great one. His works have inspired so many other books. Take Romeo and Juliette as an example, many other love stories have the same theme around them. You want something you cant have, you want it so much that it takes your life. Shakespeare in that sense was by no means smart, he was a genius.  And so he deserves to have the number 1 spot for the best author of all time.

Review posted by: Julia

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       I know I know... Shakespeare.  I just don't get it though.  I understand that everyone's 7th grade English teacher forces them to read this crap and then later in life you talk about it at a classy cocktail party for work so that you will also seem classy.  What noone wants to admit, is that the person that you're trying to impress would also much rather be talking about Harry Potter or something of the sort.  Perhaps I'm wrong.

Review posted by: Zeus

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