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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: October ::
Re: Shakespeare in Schools
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1848  Monday, 2 October 2000.

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Friday, 29 Sep 2000 09:35:26 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1830 Re: Shakespeare in Schools

[2]     From:   Melissa Cook <
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        Date:   Sunday, 1 Oct 2000 09:37:54 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1775 Shakespeare in Schools


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Friday, 29 Sep 2000 09:35:26 -0500
Subject: 11.1830 Re: Shakespeare in Schools
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1830 Re: Shakespeare in Schools

Marcus:

I'm certainly glad you cleared all that up.

Dale:

I think your student body is a trifle skewed. In the first place, good
actors tend to be highly intelligent, while the bad ones never last. So
you don't have to face that mass of intellectual mediocrity that so many
of us do whether at the high school or college level. Second, many of
our
students have already been turned off by earlier bad teaching and thus
face the plays with a sullen, you-can't-make-me-like-this attitude. It
is primarily for this group that the language is a particular problem.
Third, your actors are presumably volunteers rather than draftees or
convicts, which is the attitude that a large proportion of students
adopt

Yet even though I don't consider it "tiresome," nor an impediment to
enjoyment (on the contrary, the language is essential to the
Shakespeare-ness of the work, which is hopelessly lost in a
modernization), there's no doubt that a good bit of it requires
explanation to be fully understood -- whether in the form of footnotes,
lecture material or both.

don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa Cook <
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Date:           Sunday, 1 Oct 2000 09:37:54 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 11.1775 Shakespeare in Schools
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1775 Shakespeare in Schools

I have to disagree.  I have loved and understood Shakespeare since the
first grade.  I am now 19, and I would be very hurt if someone told me
to my face that I could not understand his works for another ten years.
Of course, my comprehension thirteen years ago was not near what it is
today, but I dare say that if you put me in a discussion with a first
time Shakespearian twice my age I could hold my own.  I do believe that
teachers often take the wrong approach to Shakespeare when teaching
young students, but I feel it would be a crime to deny anyone the
opportunity to be exposed to such wonderful stories and language also to
deny them the right to choose for themselves what they can or cannot
comprehend.
 

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