The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0795  Monday, 9 April 2001

From:           Marcus Dahl <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 5 Apr 2001 08:26:04 EDT
Subject: 12.0764 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0764 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

Just a few questions:

Isn't Terence Hawkes confusing two things: 'the bard' (cultural icon etc
etc associated rightly or wrongly with political or mercantile ends) and
'the bard' (William Shakespeare who wrote some plays and poetry which
one may read or not)?  Moreover is he not doing some convenient date
merging i.e.  Macualay's speech 1833, the 1855 East India Company policy
/ advice to its members, and the development of modern day
institutionalised English studies (namely the "English Dept." by J.C
Collins in the 1890's)? And is he not also forgetting that that same man
J.C. Collins who is largely responsible for the beginnings of the modern
day culturally based (as opposed to philologically based) language
department was inspired to create such a thing (or at least the
extension lectures which brought it about) in order to propagate in a
more or less straight forward way the advancement and learning of the
working classes in the U.K. - a sentiment not unlike that of Lord
Macaulay's view regarding the teaching of 'literature' in India? And
most importantly, is not Prof. Hawkes also forgetting that if it had
been left to the university authorities of J.C. Collins' day, there
would be no Shakespeare taught in university or anywhere else on any
curriculum of so-called higher learning and indeed that his very
position in university (and mine) is part of the 100 year advancement of
non-academic subjects in the universities which some have called
'dumbing down'.  Lastly, I would dearly like to see the official English
government documents which indicate that the teaching of Shakespeare in
Schools anywhere/time before the twentieth century was stipulated,
specified or mandatory. Does Prof. Hawkes have such a document?


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