Does writing reflect how we use language today?
Sometimes. There are different schools of thought concerning writing in relation to language. Some people conform to the idea that writing and language should be prescriptive. In other words, writing and language should follow a certain, pre-determined set of grammatical rules which everyone must follow. This forces people to write and use language in a certain way. However, others believe that writing and language as a whole should be descriptive, or that is should be analyzing through the lens of use. Basically, however people use language is correct. So, sometimes writing can reflect how we generally use language, but in most formal settings it must be adapted to the rules.
Is Shakespeare still relevant in today's world?
Yes. Shakespeare was an innovator with language. Many of the phrases he coined are still used today. However, his greatest contributions to society come in the form of his themes and characters. Shakespeare managed to capture the universal themes of love and what it means to be human better than most writers could imagine. We still relate to Romeo and Juliet's willingness to defy their families in the name of love, and we still understand the depths of Othello's jealousy. He captured what it means to feel and to be imperfectly human. Furthermore, he created characters that we can see in ourselves, leading us to want to journey across the centuries with these characters.
What makes literature a worthwhile endeavor?
Literature is better examined as a snapshot of a particular time and culture. It is a vehicle for us to examine what people thought and felt during the time it was written. Literature does not exist in a vacuum; it is constantly adapting to its environment, changing as culture changes. Thus, literature combines different areas of study, such as history and psychology, which other areas lack. Literature has the ability to change how people think and to capture how people feel. Furthermore, literature possesses the ability to challenge people to see more than what is on the surface.