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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: October ::
Re: Classroom Strategies
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1027.  Monday, 13 October 1997.

[1]     From:   Karen Krebser <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 Oct 1997 09:35:18 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1024 Re: Classroom Strategies

[2]     From:   Brad Morris <
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        Date:   Saturday, 11 Oct 1997 14:22:20 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1017  Re: Classroom Strategies


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Krebser <
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Date:           Friday, 10 Oct 1997 09:35:18 -0700
Subject: 8.1024 Re: Classroom Strategies
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1024 Re: Classroom Strategies

> But wasn't the poetry written for actors to play rather than for readers
> to read?
>
> Clark Bowlen

All,

Perhaps we're just splitting hairs here. Yes, indeed, the words were
written for actors to play, rather than for readers to read.

But tell me, then, why Shakespeare's plays (and those of Jonson and
Marlowe and Fletcher and Middleton and Fielding and Shaw and O'Neill and
Williams and Durang and Stoppard and many, many others) are standard
fare for high school and college English Literature courses? These plays
are mostly read, and studied on the page, rather than on the stage.
Surely visits to the theater, or in-class productions, enhance a
student's experience of any of these playwrights' plays, but the larger
part of initial (and for some students, sole ) exposure to them (for the
long-dead writers especially) is on the page, not on the stage. Given
that, to downplay the importance of the language and the poetry of
Shakespeare's plays (and how they can forward a student's understanding
of the play in question) is perhaps to miss important educational tools.

Of course, this is just one person's opinion and experience, but I still
cling, barnacle-like, to my original position: read first, (and read
deeply and extensively ["read well, and understand"], if the play is
complicated), then see the play.

Regards,
Karen Krebser

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brad Morris <
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Date:           Saturday, 11 Oct 1997 14:22:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.1017  Re: Classroom Strategies
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1017  Re: Classroom Strategies

> PS. Surely you're not comparing *any*thing Shakespeare wrote to
> "Baywatch"? "The X Files," maybe... but in any event, it's apples and
> oranges, from my view.

No, it's NOT apples and oranges. This is the best analogy I've heard in
a long while-"The X-Files" is a TV show, sure, but it's still
drama-there are scripts, plots, characterizations, themes, actors, sets,
etc. Sure, Agent Mulder is no Touchstone, and Chris Carter is NOT
Shakespeare, but the similarities are there to warrant the original
comparison.

I will always be of the opinion that the plays are to be seen. Who
writes a play (especially with the mercenary intentions of Shakespeare)
hoping it will be read rather than seen?

Brad
 

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