Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 899. Sunday, 5 December 1993.
Date: Saturday, 4 Dec 1993 10:18:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Teaching and Reading Shakespeare
I'm going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that Shakespeare
should be seen and not read. More precisely, one should not start off
their reading of Shakespeare until one has seen a few of the plays live
on the stage (hopefully good productions). I continue to press the idea
that the plays of WS are primarily meant to be heard and seen, not read.
Although we have turned him into a literary icon, WS clearly considered
himself a man of the theatre first and foremost, and wrote according to
the demands of that particular medium. I am *not* saying the plays
shouldn't be read under any circumstances; what I a saying is that the
best way to teach and hopefully get people to read the plays is to expose
them first to the works in the medium for which they were written and
under the conditions for which they were intended.
Be still, my actor's heart! :-)