2002

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2171  Thursday, 31 October 2002

From:           Michael B. Luskin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 30 Oct 2002 11:16:55 EST
Subject:        Re: Attempt at Motivating Semi-literate Students to
"Experience" Shakespeare

Re: Taming of the Shrew Film...

I think John V. Knapp <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> raises good points
about the dangers of exposing children (by the way, why semi-literate?),
to film before reading the text.

He also points out that seeing the play live is better than seeing the
film, though still not as good as wrestling with the language.  Well,
maybe.

I submit that most wrestlers say the hell with it, why bother, it is
dumb. We lose them in the early modern English.  The film or the play is
more understandable, and helps motivate interest.  Seeing sumptuous
films, like the Zefferelli RJ, or the Olivier RIII, will make kids want
to read the play.


In my experience, reading the plays for most is akin to punishment,
something to be endured.  By seeing wonderful performances, on film or
live, there is a chance that the child will WANT to read the play.  I
think that Polanski did more for Macbeth's popularity than Shakespeare
did.

By the same token, as a member of a family with three generations of
professional musicians, I can tell you that EVERY ten year old knows
that opera is loooong, loud, boring, and stupid.  I can also tell you
that every ten year old who has been to an appropriate opera,
Cavalleria, Fledermaus, Pagliacci, Traviata, Rheingold, thinks it is
terrific.

Michael B. Luskin

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