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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
Shakespeare for Kids
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0038  Wednesday, 7 January 2004

[1]     From:   Alan J. Sanders <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 6 Jan 2004 14:01:23 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0027 Shakespeare for Kids

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 6 Jan 2004 11:02:15 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0027 Shakespeare for Kids

[3]     From:   Susan St. John <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 06 Jan 2004 19:24:40 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0027 Shakespeare for Kids


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alan J. Sanders <
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Date:           Tuesday, 6 Jan 2004 14:01:23 -0500
Subject: 15.0027 Shakespeare for Kids
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0027 Shakespeare for Kids

For those who have acted in his plays, they are A LOT of fun!  I also
believe that 'fun' might mean "enjoyable" in this particular context.
Many times, the utterance of Shakespeare's name is akin to that of
rudimentary calculus, diagramming sentences, or algorithmic compression
technology for data-streaming!  IF you already 'love' these subjects,
then there is hardly anything difficult or depressing about them.  But,
if you have some preconceived notion that 'you can never understand it'
then it becomes a self-defeating attitude that will lead to the
self-fulfilling prophecy.  Making it enjoyable -- fun -- will set a
foundation in the young that will hopefully foster more mature growth in
the future.

Shakespeare fun?  Abso-fricken-loutely!

Alan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Tuesday, 6 Jan 2004 11:02:15 -0800
Subject: 15.0027 Shakespeare for Kids
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0027 Shakespeare for Kids

Terence Hawkes wonders,

 >Fun? How can Macbeth or Hamlet, plays concerned with murder, tyranny,
 >guilt and madness, be reasonably presented as 'fun'?

I wonder at his incredulity.  The same elements are found in a great
deal of children's literature and, indeed, nursery rhymes.

Yrs,
Sean.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan St. John <
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Date:           Tuesday, 06 Jan 2004 19:24:40 -0700
Subject: 15.0027 Shakespeare for Kids
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0027 Shakespeare for Kids

If Terence Hawkes cannot see how the study of Shakespeare can be
fun...why does he study Shakespeare??  The advent of fun need not be
predicated by a pleasant subject matter.  Swordplay is great fun for
children (and actors), although it was very serious business for the
Scotsmen who actually fought in battles.  If witches and the occult were
not fun, then the whole American celebration of Halloween would never
have come into being as the children's holiday it now is.

I believe it is implied that it is the *learning* that is fun, not the
subject matter, in the series titled "Shakespeare can be Fun". Exploring
Shakespeare's language IS fun: discovering the hidden meanings, and
putting together the textual clues to discover the characters' secrets,
this is all fun.  I find it fun.  I try to make it a fun process when I
present it to my high school students.
I don't believe that the general populace is afraid of the "murder,
tyranny, guilt and madness" in WS's stories - but they DO fear the
archaic verbs and pronouns, the complex plots and the poetic language.
Showing children that these things are nothing to be afraid of is a good
thing.

Susan.

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