400 Years After William Shakespeare, Poetry is Bigger Than Ever

This Saturday marks 400 years since the death of the great literary force, William Shakespeare. Though much has changed since the time of the great playwright, Wattpad data shows that one thing has remained the same: People love poetry.

On Wattpad, people spent over two million minutes reading poetry in the last 30 days. The global community has also shared more than two million story uploads in the Poetry category on Wattpad. Globally, the majority of poems are shared in English, Spanish, Turkish, French, and Portuguese.

The Evolution of the Poem

The New York Times shared this article related to internet culture’s effect on modern poetry. The piece looks at the shifts in how we share and display our poetic verse. It seems today’s poets experiment with visual imagery to make their words more expressive and engaging.

In today’s society, social networks and multimedia affect how we share our stories. If Shakespeare were to share his sonnets on the Internet today, would he add visual elements? Would he encourage annotations and comments from readers?

On Wattpad, inline multimedia facilitates new ways to tell stories. We can pair words with images and directly interact with millions of people around the world. If your words have changed a life or shifted someone’s perspective, that person can now comment inline on the specific prose they love. This level of connectivity, paired with visual artistry, shifts the way we share poems but expands the reach of the poetry we share.

Four hundred years after the life of Shakespeare, we can reflect on how his works, characters, and techniques changed storytelling. Though poetry may be changing with the times, the classic works of William Shakespeare will always remind us that humanity is at the heart of the stories we share. After all, all the world’s a stage, and all men and women merely players.

If you’d like to enjoy some of the great works of William Shakespeare, you can access his public domain works on Wattpad, here.

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