Shakespeare or Mom?

My four-year-old son asked, “Dad, what is history?” Dad said something about things in the past and then he said something about the kinds of books daddy likes to read. In fact, he had a history book close at hand and showed it to him. “This is Shakespeare. He was a writer in the past.” Our son thought about this, and he asked, “Can Shakespeare write as good as Mom?”


Later I said to him, “I heard you and dad talked about Shakespeare.” He nodded. “Is Shakespeare dead?” “Yes.” “Can he write as good as you?” “Better. He’s the best writer in the world,” I replied. And my child asked, “Why? What does he do when he writes?”

Well, can you answer that?

4 thoughts on “Shakespeare or Mom?

  1. If I knew the answer to that question, I might be a better writer! But seriously, Shakespeare wrote timeless tales with memorable characters. People and stories that we can still relate to. I think that’s what makes him so great.

  2. mommazen

    You’d have to back up a step for my answer. “Does he write as good as you?” Not anymore, he’s dead. That settles it. No more competition for the title, if you’ll take it.

  3. Well, I don’t see myself in competition for any title. I’m okay with Shakepeare being better, and while I would agree that he is different (oh so different), I would still say he’s better. But that’s what he gets for being early in the writing game. I might be able to point out what makes a certain play “great” but the question I can’t answer, and I think it may be unknowable, is what went on in his head before he put words on the page. What told him–this works, that doesn’t, this a story that needs telling?As for people who says Shakepeare didn’t write all those plays–I’m not even going to go there.

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