Both William Shakespeare and the invention of the printing press had a major impact on storytelling across the world. This is when stories for entertainment alone became popular – and accessible – for the masses. Books were no longer for the elite and plays were written for the common man as well as royalty. This was also brought in a time where common folk could be writers. Education was becoming more widespread and access to printing was much easier.
After the printing press and especially after the Protestant Reformation, he most popular stories to be told and shared no longer held a moral lesson – or at least, it was not the sole point of the story. At the same time, literature started to explore deeper themes that did not tie to religion, using more metaphors and satire.
Shakespeare helped bring in stories meant for the “everyman” – tales that would appeal to the rich as well as the poor. He was well-known for puns, wit, and even making up words to help tell his tales. His impact on history is incalculable, and his works are still studied in-depth today.
Learn more about this time in the history of storytelling in this episode.
First aired September 16, 2021.
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