According to a YouGov poll carried out for the British Council — a high level think-tank pushing British culture abroad — has found that only 4 in 10 Britons think that Shakespeare’s works are relevant to the modern day or simple enough to grasp or enjoy. This compares with 7 in 10 from 18,000 people in 15 foreign countries. In listing all the countries in terms of positive appreciation of Shakespeare then this country came 11th out of the 15.
It’s the business of the British Council to be worried about the reputation if one of our greatest writers, but can anything be done about it? Or should anything be done about it? The answer to both is probably No. Let him settle back into history. He was a genius but was he such as genius that he should be considered to outshine many other geniuses since Elizabethan times — even a few, if we would allow it, in his own time?