English literature’s relevance exemplified through Shakespeare

Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary prescribes concrete definitions to the English words in order to annul any attachments that may eliminate their actually meanings.  At the time Johnson took serious measures to improve the English language and the veneration associated with literacy.  Even after his nine years of compilations of definitions, he still improved upon his work, and newer editions were published later in his lifetime.   In comparison the French Dictionnarre made use of forty scholars in the span of fifty-five years to publish their own edition.
Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary served to educate people on the English language as a means to avoid the “pedantry” of older tradition learning, in order to evoke a flexibility with English terminology rather than an authoritative way of thinking.  Much of the dictionaries beforehand not only lacked organization, but also were not thoroughly researched for the difficult words they had written about.  Not only were his definitions less authoritative, they were witty, especially when he uses the term “oats” to define a grain given to horses, and in Scotland means to “support the people.”
The status of English transitioned in India, especially with the appropriation of English literature.  Macaulay argues in the Minute English language encourages an academia and intellectual thinking that creates “a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinion, in morals, and in intellect.”  Even Roy was convinced English education aided in independence and a separation of their servile reputation due to colonialism.  The status of English language was accounted for as a serious education, like the era before Samuel’s dictionary, but the incorporation of literature such as
Shakespeare, who indeed writes eloquently, but also includes puns that make fun of the english language as well and manipulates it in a way to serve his jokes.  Like Macaulay and Ray claim, English literature, exemplified through Shakespeare, reveals how his literature and his interpretation of the English language has such a cultural relevance, contains a universal appeal and can be applicable to any ethnic individual.  Shakespeare’s universality, in this case pertaining to Indian culture, can be effective in infusing their values and relating the text to the conditions of India and the Indian people.  As I have learned from taking my Shakespeare course, I agree with Macaulay that learning English literature, i.e. Shakespeare in this sense, is best suited in learning it from the English language, since Shakespeare’s terminology can not be applicable the same way in any other language besides English.  Like Johnson, Shakespeare made fun of the English language and developed his own names and words in order to make sense with his rhyme scheme, etc.  Although Roy and Macaulay take western curriculum seriously, the English language still proves beneficial in their culture, since  they aim to represent academia in their culture and stress the impact it has made in the advancements of their education.
-Jessica Mijares


One thought on “English literature’s relevance exemplified through Shakespeare

  1. I am unsure what the main idea is due to the fact that you talk about multiple different ideas equally. Perhaps being more clear on the topic of the essay could improve it.

    Extra Credit 18/25/3


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