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Who are the Modern Shakespeares?

We don’t have to mention his full name – you know who we’re talking about. Some writers are just that famous and they’re famous for very good reasons; people know their work well, they’re taught it in school and the words have made their mark. They’ve touched souls across continents, they have fans and they have haters, but everyone still knows their name.

But times have changed since Shakespeare graced the world with his iconic plays and well-rehearsed sonnets. People don’t solely rely on watching plays for entertainment anymore, and it really makes us wonder. How would Shakespeare survive in the modern world? Which writers from our time will future English students be reading about? There are some modern Shakespeares hanging about, but how do we differentiate between good writers and universe-changing writers? Let’s get into it.

Who are the modern Shakespeares?

So, we all know that writers aren’t exactly the wealthiest people around; we’ve mentioned the whole starving artist thing before in our Ten Borrowed Words in the English Language blog. But have you ever considered that if Shakespeare were alive today in the modern world, he wouldn’t be a writer? In fact, our beloved friend William would most likely be a real estate agent! In Shakespeare’s day, he did not make enough money from his writing to live a luxurious – or even decent – life, thus most of his money came from his shares in The Globe Theatre. Being a theatre landlord had its perks, and we’re sure that if he lived in our society and saw the opportunity real estate offers, he’d dive right into the suburbs. But we have a feeling his romantic soul would still call out to the moon every night in the form of Instagram poetry and, well, an online blog! Perhaps Romeo and Juliet would take place through twitter wars between two star-crossed lovers from families that own competing laundromats! But the real question still stands: Who are the modern Shakespeares?

They’re certainly not easy shoes to fill – there’s a particular criterion that needs to be met when considering who has what it takes to be that writer. First, they need to be well-known globally and have several works published, which are easily accessible. Their stories need to be able to resound in the reader’s mind for years to come, with memorable plots and one-liners that make people stop and really think. Then we have to consider if their works have been made into plays (or in the modern society, movies!). So, who does that leave us with? We’ve got John Green, for starters! He’s a household name, a brilliant writer, his words touch us and he has multiple novels which are already movies (you’re lying if you say you didn’t shed a tear watching The Fault in our Stars!) And what about J.K. Rowling? The Harry Potter books kept us all up at night, with eager eyes and a flashlight, and it’s already beginning to be taught in English classes. Then you have to add Stephen King to the list; The Shining was iconic and his terrifying novels definitely left its mark on us!

We can rattle on and on about the fabulous writers around today, but honestly that isn’t really the most important question. It isn’t quite about who the modern Shakespeares are, but how they make their mark. No one can ever replace the difference Shakespeare made to the world around him, just like nobody can ever replace the difference you make to the people around you. But we’ll admit that it does take a certain quality, a certain sparkle, a certain writer’s pen to make that difference in the way that Shakespeare did (or something close to it!). But hey, if you don’t want to wield that pen yourself, Room206 is always here to help!

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