Should Shakespeare Be Taught in High School

download print

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 732 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Sep 5, 2023

Words: 732|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Sep 5, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Educational Value and Literary Legacy
  2. Cultural Significance and Historical Context
  3. Practical Considerations and Relevance
  4. Conclusion: Balancing Tradition and Innovation

The inclusion of William Shakespeare's works in high school curricula has been a longstanding tradition. However, as education evolves to meet the needs of a changing world, the question of whether Shakespeare should continue to be taught in high schools is a subject of ongoing debate. In this essay, we explore both sides of the argument, considering the educational value, cultural significance, and practical implications of teaching Shakespeare in high school.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Educational Value and Literary Legacy

William Shakespeare is undeniably one of the most influential playwrights and poets in the English language. His works, such as "Romeo and Juliet," "Macbeth," and "Hamlet," are considered literary masterpieces that have contributed to the development of storytelling, language, and human exploration. Teaching Shakespeare introduces students to complex themes, rich language, and intricate characters, fostering critical thinking, analytical skills, and an appreciation for literature.

Studying Shakespeare's texts provides students with the opportunity to explore universal themes that are still relevant today, such as love, power, ambition, and human nature. Engaging with these timeless topics allows students to connect with literature on a deeper level and encourages discussions about the human experience across cultures and generations. Additionally, Shakespeare's plays offer an insight into historical context and societal norms of the Elizabethan era, broadening students' understanding of history and cultural evolution.

Moreover, exposure to Shakespeare's intricate language structure and wordplay enhances students' language skills and vocabulary. Analyzing the nuances of his writing encourages students to decipher complex syntax and interpret figurative language, skills that can be applied to other areas of learning and communication.

Cultural Significance and Historical Context

Shakespeare's works are not only valuable for their literary merit but also for their cultural significance and historical context. They provide insights into the society, values, and beliefs of the Elizabethan era, allowing students to explore the past through a literary lens. Understanding the historical context in which these plays were written enhances students' understanding of the evolution of language, social norms, and artistic expression.

Moreover, Shakespeare's influence extends beyond literature to other forms of art, including theater, film, and music. Familiarity with Shakespearean references enriches cultural literacy and enables students to appreciate allusions in various forms of media. Teaching Shakespeare can thus contribute to a well-rounded education that connects literature to broader cultural conversations.

By examining Shakespeare's works through a critical and historical lens, students gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural tapestry that has shaped language, literature, and artistic expression throughout history.

Practical Considerations and Relevance

While there are strong arguments in favor of teaching Shakespeare, some critics question the practicality and relevance of his works in modern high school curricula. They argue that the language and cultural references can be challenging for students to grasp, potentially leading to disengagement and frustration. Furthermore, the time spent studying Shakespeare might detract from exploring more contemporary and diverse voices in literature that better reflect the experiences of today's students.

Advocates for diversifying the curriculum emphasize the importance of exposing students to a range of voices and perspectives that align with their own experiences. They suggest that while Shakespeare remains influential, other authors and texts can offer students a more relatable and inclusive literary experience.

It's crucial to recognize that curriculum decisions must strike a balance between honoring literary classics and adapting to the evolving needs of students. By introducing a variety of authors, styles, and perspectives, educators can foster a love for literature that resonates with the diverse identities and backgrounds of today's students.

Conclusion: Balancing Tradition and Innovation

In conclusion, the debate over whether Shakespeare should be taught in high school is a reflection of the tension between tradition and innovation in education. While Shakespeare's works hold significant educational value and cultural importance, practical considerations about student engagement and relevance must also be taken into account.

Striking a balance between teaching Shakespeare and incorporating diverse voices can offer students a holistic literary education that respects both the past and the present. By fostering an appreciation for classical literature alongside contemporary texts, educators can empower students to explore a range of perspectives and engage in meaningful conversations about the complexities of the human experience.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.

Ultimately, the decision to teach Shakespeare in high school should be guided by a commitment to providing students with a comprehensive education that prepares them to navigate a diverse and ever-changing world. By fostering critical thinking, cultural awareness, and a lifelong love for learning, educators can ensure that the study of literature remains a vibrant and valuable part of students' education.

Image of Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Should Shakespeare Be Taught In High School. (2023, September 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 1, 2023, from
“Should Shakespeare Be Taught In High School.” GradesFixer, 05 Sept. 2023,
Should Shakespeare Be Taught In High School. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 1 Dec. 2023].
Should Shakespeare Be Taught In High School [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Sept 05 [cited 2023 Dec 1]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now