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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: December ::
Re: Teaching, Reading, Seeing, Hearing Shakespeare
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 922.  Friday, 10 December 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Laurie White <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 Dec 1993 09:03:43 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: Teaching, Reading, Seeing, and Hearing Shakespeare
 
(2)     From:   William Kemp <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 Dec 93 22:14:22 EST
        Subj:   teaching reading Shakespeare
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Laurie White <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Dec 1993 09:03:43 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Re: Teaching, Reading, Seeing, and Hearing Shakespeare
 
I am a great proponent of imitation as a way to get inside a difficult
text.  And with Shakespeare, students are learning to think like him (well
sort of) when they imitate--grammatically--ten or fifteen lines of the play,
just as he learned to think like the Ancients in his grammar school by
imitation and double translation.
 
                     --Laurie White, 
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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Kemp <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Dec 93 22:14:22 EST
Subject:        teaching reading Shakespeare
 
To help students read Shakespeare (in addition to most of the tactics others
have mentioned) I'm adapting the exercises in Randal Robinson's UNLOCKING
SHAKESPEARE'S LANGUAGE, an ERIC document published in 1989 (NCTE stock number
55685). Robinson carries students through a few fundamental peculiarities of
Shakespeare's syntax by first offering modern examples, then presenting a small
selection of the real stuff for them to analyze.
 
The analysis he calls for isn't very sophisticated -- and that's the point. He
asks students to identify main sentence parts (subject, verb, predicate, though
he avoids grammatical labels), figure out which main parts the other sentence
elements go with, then put the whole thing into 'normal' word order.
 
I tested Robinson's original with a couple of students who were having a lot of
trouble reading, and they reported that many of the exercises were very
helpful. As soon as I finish condensing and adapting, I'll offer them to every
student.
 
Robinson recently released a Mac-based computer version, but I haven't seen it
yet and can't find the flyer right now. As I recall, one can get it from
Michigan State University, where Robinson teaches.
 
Bill Kemp
Mary Washington College
Fredericksburg, Va.

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