Edit: I wish this message board would let me edit the title, but it won't. I should have titled this "Shakespeare and the other famous writers hundreds of years ago- overrated?" I should not have called them great writers in the title because my thesis is that they weren't so great. I have always thought that the most famous writers before the 18th century were overrated. The following is a list of some of the writers that I think are overrated: Shakespeare, John Milton, Virgil, and Dante. The first reason that I think that the stated writers before the 18th century were overrated is that I have read parts of some of their works, and they are not entertaining to me. Secondly, I think that there was far less competition before the 18th century than there is now. For one thing, only a tiny percentage of the population was literate back then. There were no major publishing markets. Shakespeare owned the globe theater, and that is why his work was so widely distributed. There was little competition in the 16th and 17th centuries. There were few if any bookstores in those days. Virgil wrote the Aenid, but how many epic poems were made in antiquity? I think very little. I believe that whoever wrote a long poem that was at least a little bit entertaining and could afford to widely disseminate it would be famous. I think that people just like to say that Shakespeare, Milton, Virgil, and Dante were great writers to sound like they are well-educated and smart.