The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1875 Wednesday, 4 October 2000.
Date: Tuesday, 03 Oct 2000 19:48:26 +0100
Subject: 11.1862 Re: Shakespeare in Schools
Comment: Re: SHK 11.1862 Re: Shakespeare in Schools
I thank the several people on this list for the support of my
proposition that people should wait till 30 to enter into Shakespeare's
language domain. I think my objection is, and always will be, the
enforced "Christisation" of our favourite poet. Other people on the
list seemed to have indoctrinated their children from an early age with
the notion that Shakespeare is the greatest and wisest man that ever
lived, 'nuff said. I knew some Christian Fellowship people many years
ago and once visited the home of one family. They had no TV, talked
non-stop about Jesus, prayed several times during my stay, giggled about
my agnosticism and had an open Bible on the toilet cistern. I hope
there are no such Shakespeare types in this list.
Shakespeare is not a divinity and we ardent fans must accept that there
are some liberal, intelligent, enlightened souls out there who simply
don't like him. And those of you who have laboured with teenagers may I
suggest that they more likely responded to you and your valiant efforts
rather than the Bard's sometime opaque text. Hamlet's obsessive musings
on Death are those of a much older human type, and not those who "are
yet strangers in the world".
Rowan Akinson has a new history spoof show just out here in England
called "Black Adder". One of the TV trails has him meeting the Bard in
a corridor. "Are you William Shakespeare?" says Rowan. "Yes, I am,"
smiles Will. Rowan strikes Will in the face. Will crashes to the
floor. Says Rowan, "That's for every schoolboy and schoolgirl for the
next 400 years!"
But for those of us who vaguely think as I do, we have the last laugh.
It was said by an Oxford Shakespearian editor that Hamlet changed
western thinking. So in a sense, whether we like him or loathe him we
are all in a Hamletian future.