Essay on Printing Press Made Life Better For People

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The printing press made life better for people in many ways. It made it easier to publish written material and led to an expanding market of people learning and desiring to read. As Baugh and Cable indicate, by Shakespeare’s time “…it is probable that not less than a third and probably as many as half of the people could at least read.” (199). Baugh and Cable give another interesting statistic as consequence of the printing press, “The number of books printed before the year 1500 reaches the surprising figure of 35,000. The majority of these, it is true, were in Latin… But in England, over 20,000 titles in English had appeared by 1640” (199). The numbers of this fact are staggering, in 100 years almost as many books were printed as in the 1500 years before. While some didn’t agree with printing in English, the printers found it a profitable market. This is detailed in A History of The English Language, citing that books printed in English were simply more marketable than those printed in Latin as far more people spoke that language. Likewise, printers found a growing market in publishing English translations of Latin books (203). Supply and demand alone helped establish English as a true, scholarly language. This time period, which grew the English language, also empowered the people who spoke it. Shakespeare is credited with supplying English with many new or foreign words. Often, people think the reason Shakespeare is so important in modern times is because he invented…

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