3 little secrets of Shakespeare’s huge success


William Shakespeare is one of the most famous British  poets and writers. He had quite turbulent and dynamic professional life and all those conditions did influence the quality and trajectory of his work. He was probably already  working as an actor and writer in London when in 1593 theaters become closed due to severe outbreak of the plague.

We can note that as a turning point in his work when he diverts from the business of scriptwriting to the pursuit of art and patronage. Aware that at the moment he can’t pursue his career in theatrical marketplace, he devotes his writings to the eighteen-year-old Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton. Venus and Adonis, and later published Lucrece opens the door for him to position himself as a professional author and to reap wider attention of aristocracy.

These facts reveal Shakespeare’s ability to seize the opportunity and employ his talents and skills in such way that he didn’t let his current conditions limit him in his work – so that’s the first secret of his success: we should always seek and explore different ways to express ourselves – which can ultimately take us to something even greater.

Documents also witness that William Shakespear was in partnership in an acting company in London, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which after the crowning of King James I, in 1603, changes its name to the King’s Men. Shakespear was aware that ‘two heads are smarter than one’ and joint force can lead to much bigger success. From all accounts, the King’s Men company was very popular and the second secret to Shakespear success was his appreciation and awareness of the power of co-creation: that we shouldn’t try always to do everything on our own but rather strive to make meaningful connections and partnerships – which is beneficial for each side involved.

William Shakespeare’s early plays were written in the traditional style for that time – nevertheless he is also very well known for the innovative moments in his writings. Sometimes he would adapt the traditional style to his own needs, using metaphors and rhetorical phrases that didn’t always naturally follow the story plot. He didn’t fear using new words in front of the audience like ‘captious’, ‘intenible’, ‘multitudinous’ and ‘incarnadine’ which quickly found their place in the English vocabulary. This explains his third little secret: he didn’t stride from experimentation and innovation. In order to survive in the business world we need to be brave, try new things and take risks.

Surely, even nowadays we can learn a lot from Shakespeare’s entrepreneurial approach to doing business – being that art, management or writing.

(Biography resources: Poetry Foundation and biography.com)


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