The Instigator
Philosophy123
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
masterdrave
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Shakespeare is the greatest writer of all-time

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after 1 vote the winner is...
Philosophy123
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/7/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 455 times Debate No: 71286
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (1)

 

Philosophy123

Con

This will be an argument regarding the battle between William Shakespeare and the other great writers, I will be arguing that of the great writers(specifically the great writers of the 20th century) at least one of them is superior to William Shakespeare. Note: This means that all forms of writing are allowed. Poets, novelists, etc. are all given a shot at beating Shakespeare. Please leave the first agrument box empty(except for your confirmation of acceptance). Remember this is a debate and not an argument and win or lose this should be an exchange of ideas and not anger. Thank you.
masterdrave

Pro

It is simple. If you do not believe Shakespeare to be the greatest writer of all time, then who is?
Debate Round No. 1
Philosophy123

Con

In response to Pro's statement, I believe that several of the novelists of the past two-hundred years have been superior to Shakespeare. I am not focusing on one in particular but at several(Tolstoy, Joyce, Proust, and Faulkner all will likely receive cases). I am going to start by stating that James Joyce is the superior writer to William Shakespeare. I will back this statement up with several more statements:

Statement one: James Joyce was more experimental than Shakespeare.
Statement two: James Joyce had a greater mastery over the English language than Shakespeare.
Statement three: James Joyce is more influential than Shakespeare.
Statement four: James Joyce dives philosophically deeper than Shakespeare.

Defense of one:
This will be the easiest statement to defend and a statement which, even if you dislike Joyce you must agree with. Shakespeare started writing in the 16th century when experimental writing was not exactly common but he did not exactly do much to advance that. Shakespeare stuck to the two basic forms of the day, sonnets and plays. He did not truly experiment with length(Hamlet is rather long but not long enough to be considered experimental). To those of you who aren't familiar with Joyce you need not look further than Ulysses, his 1918 Magnum Opus. A parody of the Oddyssey(which in itself is experimental), Joyce wrote this book(which is roughly 900 pages long) in 18 different writing styles varying from stream of consciousness to the form of a play to typical third person. Joyce was very clever as well, he based an entire book Finnegan's Wake upon puns and jokes, without an obvious plot. To prove my point here is an excerpt from Finnegan's Wake, the first paragraph actually.

riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. ir Tristram, violer d'amores, fr'over the short sea, had passencore rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war: nor had topsawyer's rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse to Laurens County's gorgios while they went doublin their mumper all the time: nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to tauftauf thuartpeatrick: not yet, though venissoon after, had a kidscad buttended a bland old isaac: not yet, though all's fair in vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe. Rot a peck of pa's malt had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight and rory end to the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface.

Defense of Two:
You've all probably heard Shakespeare and in all honesty he was rather brilliant especially when it came to stringing a line together but I think he may have met his match in Joyce. Joyce wrote extremely brilliantly, not just at creating a picture in your mind but as a man whose words sound very good too, he was a poet before he was a novelist. If we tried to back up statement two with statistics we could say the following: Shakespeare wrote a total of 43 plays, in those plays he used 29,168 words. In Joyce's 1918 novel Ulysses, he used 30,030 words, the man had an enormous vocabulary, very erudite. Here is perhaps his most famous paragraph:

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

And then this is also a brilliant piece of his writing, simple but beautiful:

Heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit.

Shakespeare was brilliant, very brilliant, certainly more prolific but at his brutal best I believe that James Joyce was better.

Defense of Three:
This bit may comes as a surprise. Shakespeare was influential very much so, he inspired much of our modern dialect and inspired many young writers but when it comes to pure influence upon form and the writing techniques of the present, James Joyce proves more influential. He experimented with form more than any other writer, he showed that it does not necessarily matter what you say but how you say it. His belief in that very principle made him the head of the Modernist movement in Literature. He inspired so many writers after him to experiment and change their ways of speaking. His style is uncontested. The flow and dance of the hours in The Portrait, the stylistic range he showed in Ulysses and the new way of looking at the world he created in Finnegan's Wake.

Defense of Four:
Shakespeare's philosophy always seems a bit boring. It is often repetitive, although Shakespeare is an undoubted delight to read, his philosophy more often than not involves a bloodthirsty killer, much death, and an extremely tough decision. It is brilliant, the way he uses those ideas to explore such complex things as love and hate, death and life but it can get a bit boring after a while. Joyce was always looking for a new way of exploring life through words and that was his philosophy more than anything else. He used not bloodthirsty kings for his characters but simple characters, everyday characters, people he had meet, people he wished to meet, and even himself. Joyce wanted to explain life with words, he was a literary pirate, he always loved poking people in the back rather than following old customs.
masterdrave

Pro

masterdrave forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Philosophy123

Con

Philosophy123 forfeited this round.
masterdrave

Pro

masterdrave forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Philosophy123

Con

Philosophy123 forfeited this round.
masterdrave

Pro

masterdrave forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Philosophy123

Con

Philosophy123 forfeited this round.
masterdrave

Pro

masterdrave forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by That1User 2 years ago
That1User
Philosophy123masterdraveTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.