Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: July ::
Re: Getting Children Interested in Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0659  Thursday, 16 July 1998.

[1]     From:   Billy Houck <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Jul 1998 11:45:09 EDT
        Subj:   Re: Getting Children Interested in Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Henry Griffyy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Jul 1998 14:58:42 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Getting Children Interested in Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Billy Houck <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Jul 1998 11:45:09 EDT
Subject:        Re: Getting Children Interested in Shakespeare

>Kids can read and understand Shakespeare.  We need to direct them to the
>plays and scenes that will be the easiest for them to understand.  Allow
>them to LIVE the characters, and they will be hooked.  Don't expect them
>to be scholars.  It doesn't matter if they only get part of it; the fact
>is that they are reading and enjoying it.

The truth of this is obvious.

It is also true for "adults."

Nobody has bothered to draw a line in the sand declaring when someone is
a "child" and when they become "adult" the age when a person is "ready"
for Shakespeare depends on the person.

Some small children are able to understand and appreciate Shakespeare.
Some old people don't understand Shakespeare at all and never will. What
we are on to here is ageism.

Nobody is willing to post anything on the list claiming ALL
Mexican-Americans, women, low-income people, or Irish Catholics are
unable to appreciate Shakespeare, but we get pleas for the logic of
excluding ALL "children" from Shakespeare.

As an educator, I have produced comedies, tragedies and histories with
teenagers from all social, racial and economic levels. It can be done,
but only if you begin with the attitude that it can be done.  This
negative attitude is what I mean by "the death of art."

Much joy,
Billy Houck

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Henry Griffyy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Jul 1998 14:58:42 -0500
Subject:        Re: Getting Children Interested in Shakespeare

Not having read/enjoyed Shakespeare as a child, nor having any children
of my own, nor having experienced Shakespeare with anybody else's
children (besides noticing their presence in the audience), I am
singularly unqualified to participate in this discussion.

Nevertheless, while reading everyone else's responses, I noticed a
dialectic emerging:  the general consensus seems to be that children
like to play; therefore, those of us who would infect them with our
lifelong obsession should present them with the PLAYS of William
Shakespeare, as opposed to the WORKS of William Shakespeare (these
latter being best left to scholars).

Perhaps this word-pair will help resolve some of the mounting
disagreement over Dr. Bloom's assertions?

Henry Griffy
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.