Shakespeare is/was the...

subhajit123

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Hi there, please correct my writing.

  1. Shakespeare is/was the greatest playwright. He wrote Hamlet, Macbeth, etc.

My question is should I use "is" or "was". I think "was" is correct but consider the fact that when someone asks you "who is the best playright according to you?" you may reply "Shakespeare is the best playright". So in the latter context "is" is possible. So can I use "is" instead of "was" in my writing?
 

GoesStation

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Only was is natural unless context justifies the present simple. For example, you could write Out of Shakespeare, Jonson, and Molière, Shakespeare is the best playwright.
 

jutfrank

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Only was is natural unless context justifies the present simple. For example, you could write Out of Shakespeare, Jonson, and Molière, Shakespeare is the best playwright.

The context certainly does justify the present simple if the context is Who is the greatest playwright in history?

Subhajit123, you should use is here, not was.

Shakespeare was, is, and always will be the greatest dramatist of all.
 
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