Guest  blog post: Frank Richardson is a passionate writer and blogger who is tries to spend his time as creativly as possible. He enjoys learning foreign languages and deliving into English literature. He spends his free time traveling all over the world and gaining experience from these adventures.

It has been more than 400 years since William Shakespeare’s first work. However, his literature has managed to remain relevant up until today. It is common to walk into a class and find a Shakespearian drama being taught. Unfortunately, the engaging plot lines, the structure and form of the Shakespeare language is not always straightforward to everyone. So how do you go about reading Shakespeare’s work?

5 Ideas To Improve Your Understanding Of Shakespeare's Works 1


Today, literary works are explaining William Shakespeare’s literature to students. You can always use the online sources to broaden your understanding of a given Shakespearian. Sometimes, it might be challenging to conceptualize a given scene. Therefore, free online sources come in handy for students. However, the availability of elaborations on Shakespearians on the internet should not tempt you to plagiarize. Although you might employ ideas from other scholars, you should consider using a free plagiarism checker by AResearchguide to ensure that your work remains unique. There are numerous websites, which are dedicated to modern English to Shakespeare and vice versa. Thus, you can pick any literature by Shakespeare and get a side-by-side translation.

Below are some tips on how to read Shakespeare for a better understanding of his work.

1.      Read It Out Loud

Although you may spend a lot of time in your classroom reading Shakespeare’s literature, these works were written to be performed on stage. Therefore, you should consider reading them out loud for better context placement and understanding. While reading out loud, it is essential to consider all punctuations to get the right rhythm and intonation. The Shakespearian verse has a unique rhythm. When you read out loud, you can familiarize yourself with the language and hence make understanding simpler.

2.      Reword Inverted Sentences

Shakespeare’s works are written in Elizabethan English, which is often confusing for most of you. Hence, whenever possible, try to covert Old English into Modern English. The first trick to convert Shakespearian language to modern English is to reword the inverted sentences. Unlike in modern English, where most sentences start with a noun or a pronoun, it is common to find sentences with their subjects, verbs, and objects in an unusual order in Shakespeare’s literature. Therefore, you can change the inverted sentence so that you can conceptualize it easily. In addition to checking the arrangement of the subject, verb, and object in a sentence, you also need to keep track of the preferences to ensure that you know what Shakespeare is referring to in the text.

3.      Watch A Shakespeare Performance

Stage performance or a film version of the play will help in your understanding of Shakespeare’s works. The primary benefit of watching a play is that it will help with your visualization of the setting and the character. There are numerous films, both short and extensive, on YouTube that you can watch. You do not have to spend a single dime on a movie! Once you have watched the plays, maybe once or more, your understanding of the various scenes while you are reading will be easier.

4.      Look Up Difficult Words

Although you can easily understand some of the words based on the context they are used, some words may be difficult and complicated to understand firsthand. Shakespeare’s language is known to employ words from Elizabethan English, which are no longer in common use or have changed in meaning. Therefore, to simplify your understanding, you can always look up these words in the dictionary to find their meaning. Some of the common Shakespeare words translated to modern English are listed below.

Shakespeare word Modern English
Abhor To Reject
Balk To dispute or hesitate
Expedience Quickness
Gast Scared
Pall To Wrap up
Ravin Hunger or likely to destroy
Quaint Beautiful
Shrift Admit
Emboss Trac with an intention to kill
Egal Equal


5.      Keep An Eye Out For Metaphors & Allusions

William Shakespeare uses metaphors and allusions in almost all of his works. Thus, while you are reading, it is sometimes imperative to explore the deeper meaning of a given statement. Metaphors are used to illustrate an idea or a concept in a unique way. Usually, two dissimilar objects are compared. It is, therefore, your task to explore the deeper meaning of these phrases. Allusions, on the other hand, involve works that are not directly explained by the authors. Your understanding of the context depends on your familiarity with whatever is being referred to. If you can’t crack the meaning of metaphors and allusions, you should not beat yourself up because there are sources online to help you with that!


Shakespearian literature can be simple – it all depends on your attitude! William Shakespeare did not compose all these plays and poems to torture you. He was determined to create humor. Therefore, if you take your time to understand the Shakespeare language, with the correct rhythm and intonation, you will find these works to be hilarious. Once you start having fun instead of being earnest with Shakespearian, you will find it to be straightforward. Eventually, you will start earning the high grades that you desire.



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