The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #86624   Message #1612299
Posted By: JennyDeckner
23-Nov-05 - 04:56 PM
Thread Name: shakespeare
Subject: RE: shakespeare
"Here's an idea: keep the great texts, ditch the bad teachers."

Amen, Sian!

I think it's vital that young people are encouraged to learn Shakespeare not only because his plays are beautiful, classic literature but because his stories are still such a huge part of cultural venacular. Shakespeare's tales are like bible stories; knowledge of these text is vital to appreciation of so many other works. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, Shakespeare is rarely taught well on the high school level. In fact, little is taught well on the high school level in my community. When Shakespeare is being taught by passionless teachers who are barely familiar with the text themselves and teach it only out of obligation, can the students be expected to find any enjoyment or beauty in them? When certain nuances are beaten like a dead horse and others completely ignored? I was taught Macbeth when I was a junior in high school. Toward the end of the unit, after I failed the exam, I discovered that my teacher hadn't actually read the damn thing in thirty years and had based her curriculum solely around Roman Polanski's film adaptation.

Wendy, please ask your daughter what other authors she's been taught in school. Hopefully, she'll provide you with a nutritious balance of authors from all eras and corners of the world.