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Literary Importance of Shakespeare

Literary Importance of Shakespeare, Its Comparison to the Contemporary Literature, and Its Relation to the Family and Identity Values

This paper explores the importance of literature in the real world. It highlights why Shakespeare has been renowned for his works, by embracing his play “Twelfth Night”. This paper tries to compare his works with contemporary literature, and depicts how his play can be related to modern trends. Furthermore, this paper analyzes the importance of “Family and Identity”, and highlights how Shakespeare’s work can be related to the values of a family.
Literature has always been a means to form a relation between one’s vision, perception, and imagination. A literature search in essence comprises the querying of scholarly databases using keywords and backward or forward searches on the basis of relevant articles (Webster & Watson, 2002). Great writers like William Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy, Ernst Hemingway, Charles Dickens, and so on have paved their way to success through various written works, clever backward and forward research, and their skillful use of words. These writers have been successful in instating literary importance, and hence, remain at the top of their field.

Literary Importance of Shakespeare in His Novel “Twelfth Night”

Twelfth Night by Shakespeare has always been one of my favorite tales that depicts wide drama, a comic setting, and dense plot full of memorable characters. Literature can be marked by careful use of language, including features such as creative metaphors, and well-turned phrases (Meyer, 1997). Similarly, in this literature, Shakespeare describes his story in such a way that it portrays a new dimension of love. The story at every instance changes its direction of love, involving many characters in various love situations. Through this literature, Shakespeare has highlighted the importance of his story by portraying a world that is turned upside down, filled with confusion, affection, and attraction. The characters in this story are claimed to be passionate, self-absorbed, foolish, and/or misguided.
Through this story, Shakespeare describes the values of literature in such a way that it pertains to the importance of love, mistaken gender identity, the power of attraction, and the dangers of love. His story describes how a carefully written literature can inject a powerful message to its readers, even if the story is complex, dense, and jumbled with variety of characters. Furthermore, Shakespeare strengthens his work with the use of different plot scenarios. Shakespeare carefully divides his story into two parts. One includes the main plot of his story, involving characters like Viola (Cesario), Olivia, and Orsino. On the other hand, his literature also includes a sub-plot involving less valuable, but refreshing characters like Malvolio, Sir Toby, and Sir Andrew. This is the reason which makes Shakespeare’s stories more engaging, dense, and rejuvenating to its readers. Due to these various reasons, his stories present as an imperative example of literature, and therefore, we cherish him as one of the pinnacle writer in English literature.

Relating Shakespeare Literature to Contemporary Literature

Over the past few decades, there has been increased interest in the field of literature based on ideas of reflective practice and critical reflection. Most contemporary literature refers to as being formative in their development of the idea of reflective practice, particularly for its application in professional practice learning (Fook, White, & Gardner, 2006). This kind of literature encompass and reflects a society’s social and/or political viewpoints, shown through realistic characters, connection to present events, and various socio-economic messages.
A literature review seeks to uncover the sources relevant to a topic under study and, thus, makes a vital contribution to the relevance and rigor (Vom Brocke, et al., 2009). On the one hand, relevance is improved by avoiding the reinvestigation of what is already known (Baker, 2000). On the other hand, rigor is derived from an effective use of the existing knowledge base (Hevner, March, Park, & Ram, 2004). I found ‘Twelfth Night’ as one of the most relatable works of Shakespeare that can be related to the contemporary world. In this story, Shakespeare writes about the inversion of characters, gender ambiguity, and portrays complicated sexuality.
Twelfth Night also involved character cross-dressing, where a girl tries to hide her identity so that she can survive in a male dominated world. Through this literary innuendo, Shakespeare successfully depicts how women wearing men’s clothing can be related to this contemporary or modern generation. Similarly, this play consists of various complicated issues of gender, class, and same sex attraction, and that makes it more relevant to our current cultural generation. Although the story ends in relatable heterosexual coupling, the play also examines some overt same-sex desires. With Viola (Cesario) attaining attraction from Olivia, and Antonio being attracted to Sebastian, this story involves the contemporary trend of homosexuality. Today, this play has been outlined as one of the most modern tales of Shakespeare, and therefore, has inspired different re-imaginations that describe its relevance to contemporary life.

Analyzing the Theme of “Family and Identity” in Shakespeare’s Work

Family is a word that comprises of love, trust, honor, and togetherness. It highlights the values and the traditional belief system of an individual which determines his/her identity. Shakespeare has the tendency to easily manipulate this concept of bonding in his plays with great vigor and unparalleled imagination. With the help of a dense plot, real-time scenarios, and a variety of characters, he instilled his passion towards English literature. He had the capability to generate a sense of togetherness, belief, and bonding towards his characters, by skillfully selecting the theme of his stories. One such example is highlighted in his story “Twelfth Night”.
Twelfth Night is one of the greats of Shakespeare, where he portrays how love, and attraction can lead to strong affection, and bonding. In this story, he describes how twins (Viola and Sebastian) have strong family affection towards each other. He depicts how they rejoice being together, and highlights their bonding through all twists and turns of events. He portrays their struggles, and their desire to be together even when they are separated due to their accident in the sea. This embraces the real value of a family, and its importance to all individuals. During this story, Viola, in order to survive, changes her identity to become a shadow of her brother. She understands the vitality of family, and she decides to fight against the norms of reality by changing her identity to another gender. Family disruption in childhood weakens the association between origins and destinations (Bilblarz & Raftery, 1993) because reconstituted families are at considerable risk of disruptions and strains in intergenerational bonds (Aldous, 1987). Similarly, Shakespeare also portrays the importance of a family through his character Olivia. Olivia is a rich countess, who is described to be in constant remorse due to the demise of her own brother. Through her character, she depicts how losing her brother had compelled her to become depressed, and less affectionate, even to that most powers of love. Through this play, Shakespeare highlights the importance of love, family affection, and the value of marriage. This relates to the family’s structure, roles, the hierarchical importance of beliefs, and ideals.


In order to gain complete knowledge of the values of literature, I restudied one of my childhood classic “Twelfth Night”, and described how I experienced the story’s significance. This paper fosters the understanding of creative literature, and helped me rekindle the importance of literature through a different prospective. Through the creative questions asked, I could understand how Shakespeare’s work was related to contemporary literature, despite being an old play. Finally, this paper covers the theme of “Family and Identity” in the play “Twelfth Night”. It describes how the roles played by the characters in the play are in relation to the traditional family values, ideals, beliefs.


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Bilblarz, T. J., & Raftery, A. E. (1993). The Effects of Family Disruption on Social Mobility. American Sociological Review, 58: 97-109.
Fook, J., White, S., & Gardner, F. (2006). Critical reflection: a review of contemporary literature and understandings. Critical reflection in health and social care, 3, 20.
Hevner, A. R., March, S. T., Park, J., & Ram, S. (2004). Design Science in Information Systems Research. MIS Quartely, 28(1), 75-105.
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Vom Brocke, Simons, J., Niehaves, A., Riemer, K., Plattfaut, R., & Cleven, A. (2009). Reconstructing the gaint: On the importance of rigour in documenting the literature search process. In ECIS, Vol. 9, pp. 2206-2217.
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