William Shakespeare is, no doubt, the greatest poet that ever lived. While it’s true that 23rd April marks over 400 years since his death, his works remain a life-long reference point for love. He was a bard (poet) who made a living writing and telling stories. Also, he had more influence than anyone else in shaping the English Language. He influenced over 2000 new words and phrases. They include words like football, schoolboy, mimic, upstairs, downstairs, shooting star and partner.
It’s amazing how appealing his works were to both kings and peasants. Over 400 years after his death, his works are still appealing. One can trace the dateless lessons learned to his works, including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Pride and Prejudice, and many others. From his works of fiction, you can learn a countless number of lessons. We have five reflective life lessons and five love lessons. Granted, you’re learning from the best. He’s the greatest bard ever!
Life lessons you can learn from William Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s plays “illustrate principles we could use to navigate our daily lives today.”
— Michael Witmore, Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library
Take a look at some life lessons you can learn from William Shakespeare’s works.
1. “Go wisely and go slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.” — Romeo and Juliet
Don’t rush, or else you will stumble. Easy does it sometimes, so if what you’re doing isn’t working, try taking a breather. Stay calm and then take it easy.
2. “There is no darkness but ignorance.” — Twelfth Night
Being ignorant is you living in darkness. No one likes darkness. Surviving there for too long isn’t easy. Someday you will crave for the light, so why not now. Seek the light (knowledge) and shut out every darkness. Feed your mind with knowledge.
3. “Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.” — Hamlet
This is one life lesson that many hear but few fail to adhere to. You should learn to listen. Listen to what people have to say, learn their principles, thoughts and opinions. But always think twice before you speak because, once you’ve spoken, you can’t take your words back.
4. “Reputation is a bubble that is easily popped.” — Othello
Just when you think you’ve gotten yourself on a high horse, you could fall flat on your face. Indeed, it’s great to seek a high reputation and respect. But the smallest mistake can ruin all that. When and if it does happen, know that that’s life for you.
5. “Nothing will come of nothing.” — King Lear
If you decide to sit back and watch things unfold while you do nothing, you will sit for a while. If you want something to be done, sometimes you just have to up and do it. Nothing comes out of doing nothing.
Love lessons you can learn from William Shakespeare
Take a look at some love lessons you can learn from William Shakespeare’s works.
1. “Self-love is not so vile a sin as self-neglect.” — Henry V
You need not to neglect yourself; that’s the worst sin you can ever commit to yourself. Love yourself above anyone else. Anyone who says you don’t deserve a little tender loving care doesn’t deserve you.
2. “Family approval shouldn’t always matter.” — Romeo and Juliet
It can be hard to date someone you love when your family doesn’t approve. There’s so much pressure to break up that it can be emotionally unhealthy for you. It becomes toxic. Sometimes, your family could be the reason you can’t be with the one you love. This reason is as profound as the tribe or financial status. You can help your family understand why you feel the way you do. Their antagonism for your relationship could also have a deeper reason than you can see. Therefore, also seek to discover their reason for disapproving.
3. “Jealousy should be frowned upon.” — Othello
From Othello, you get to see jealousy and its impact amplified. He believed so strongly that his wife was having an affair. This spiralled out of control and he ended up destroying both their lives. Jealousy should have no place in love as there should always be trust.
4. “Bad boys can’t be changed.” — Hamlet
Just when you think you’re having a hot and steaming romance, he goes cold on you. Dating a bad boy can give you high blood pressure from thinking too much. For example, in Hamlet, his hot-and-cold behaviour drove his girlfriend, Ophelia, insane. She even drowned herself in the river. That might seem a bit too much, but being in love with the wrong person can do just that to you: drive you insane. Therefore, don’t waste your love on someone who doesn’t value it.
5. “Accept the one you love for who they are.” — Lady Macbeth
They might not seem perfect, but if you claim to love them then you must love their flaws. Accept the one you love, and don’t try to change that person.