This paper looks briefly at Shakespeare’s literary achievements and illustrates how they have fared during the centuries since his death.
The following paper explores how Shakespeare was generally thought to have been no more than a rough and untutored genius in the 18th century, while now his works are held up as the height of sophistication and the core of any `great works` selection in English literature.
For many years theories were advanced that his plays had actually been written by someone more educated, more sophisticated and of an altogether better class than Shakespeare perhaps statesman and philosopher Sir Francis Bacon or the Earl of Southampton, who was Shakespeare’s patron (Sobran 29). However, it should be noted that Shakespeare was celebrated in his own time by English writer Ben Jonson and others who saw in him a brilliance that would endure and since the 19th century, Shakespeare’s achievements have consistently praised. He is now in general regarded throughout the Western world as the greatest dramatist ever (Sobran 37).