Who was William Shakespeare?
In this the 400th year since William Shakespeare’s death, there is still reluctance among many secondary school students to accept Shakespeare as an author who speaks to them and their dilemmas. In part this derives from the misguided notion that Shakespeare’s language is historically remote, too difficult, even inaccessible. Thus the rich market of Shakespeare translations from his English to contemporary English, with No Fear Shakespeare leading the way. But Shakespeare is not difficult if we understand his work as he intended it, as theatre not narrative. If we listen to Shakespeare rather than reading him, if we attend to the human scenarios he presents rather the hunting for meaning, theses, and essay topics, if we recognize the everydayness rather than pursuing the remote, then Shakespeare is as contemporary in 2016 as he was in 1616.