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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: August ::
Re: Shakespeare 101: A Student Guide
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0722  Monday, 3 August 1998.

[1]     From:   Roger Schmeeckle <
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        Date:   Saturday, 1 Aug 1998 15:10:45 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0715  Shakespeare 101: A Student Guide

[2]     From:   Steven Sim <
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        Date:   Monday, 3 Aug 1998 18:35:56 +0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 9.0715  Shakespeare 101: A Student Guide


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger Schmeeckle <
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Date:           Saturday, 1 Aug 1998 15:10:45 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 9.0715  Shakespeare 101: A Student Guide
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0715  Shakespeare 101: A Student Guide

> 1)  Secondary Teachers:  what do you hope your students will know about
> Shakespeare and the plays when they leave your class?  Which plays do
> you teach?  How much background info about Shakespeare's life and times
> do you teach?  Do you utilize the Internet during your Shakespeare
> studies?

I am retired, but I pass on a few comments for what they are worth. I
tried first to break down resistance by showing a jazzed up farcical
treatment of TAMING OF THE SHREW, produced for TV years ago by the San
Francisco Repertory Theatre.  Without my belaboring the point, they
learned that Shakespeare could be fun.

I did MACBETH with college prep and general students.  Then I did KING
LEAR with the college preps.  I earlier had tried to do HAMLET, but
switched to LEAR because: 1) Hamlet seems much more problematical in its
interpretation, at least for me, and that becomes a problem in trying to
teach it; 2) I think I more or less understand LEAR; and 3) LEAR,
because it deals more directly with the generation gap between parents
and children, seems to be more accessible than HAMLET.

My main goal was to instil a life-long love of Shakespeare.  Did I
succeed?  Who knows?

      Roger Schmeeckle

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steven Sim <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Date:           Monday, 3 Aug 1998 18:35:56 +0800
Subject: 9.0715  Shakespeare 101: A Student Guide
Comment:        RE: SHK 9.0715  Shakespeare 101: A Student Guide

I teach The Tempest and Hamlet to 17 and 18 year old students in
Singapore to prepare them for the Cambridge "A"-level exams.

I find that I need to touch on the following background topics in order
for my students to appreciate Shakespeare (almost all of them come to
the subject with no prior experience).

-the Renaissance
-origins of Western drama -- Greek drama (specifically, the three
Unities, Oedipus Rex)
-basic Bible stories (most students come from non-Christian backgrounds,
with no ability to distinguish between Adam and Noah)

In terms of skills, I usually need to teach them how to write essays.
Perhaps you could include a section on good writing techniques.

I hope that my students will

-pass their exams (Did you know that the passing rate for English
literature for the A-levels in Singapore (1997) was 100% ?)

-realise that human life, with all its highs and lows, existed long
before their creation (these cretins are sooo self-centred, they get
shocked when they discover that vulgarities, swear words, love, life's
Problems etc. existed long before they did)

-have the opportunity to read what is probably the only Shakespeare
they'll ever experience for the rest of their lives

Regards,
Steven Sim
 

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