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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: July ::
As You Like It in the Classroom
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1371  Thursday, 1 July 2004

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jun 2004 08:58:06 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1366 As You Like It in the Classroom

[2]     From:   Jack Hettinger <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jun 2004 13:31:30 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1366 As You Like It in the Classroom


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jun 2004 08:58:06 -0400
Subject: 15.1366 As You Like It in the Classroom
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1366 As You Like It in the Classroom

 >My theory is that the play is too optimistic and sunny

But with very bitter leavening.  It has occurred to me that this play
contrasts unreasonable pessimism (Jaques) with equally ridiculous
optimism (sweet uses of adversity).

Perhaps, if there is a golden thread that runs through the canon, it is
"all things in moderation," including moderation (Hamlet).

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Hettinger <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jun 2004 13:31:30 -0400
Subject: 15.1366 As You Like It in the Classroom
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1366 As You Like It in the Classroom

Ed Taft says, "I teach AYLI often, and I've encountered the same problem
as Jack Heller.... In recent years, the play that grabs their attention
is M for M. It's more 'realistic' and 'earthy.'" M for M greatly
interests my students too, for the same reasons Ed mentions. One topic
that seems to seize the whole class is if Isabella should indeed comply
with Angelo so Claudio can live. Claudio's speech to the  disguised Duke
makes them sweat profusely (me too); male and female see Claudio's logic
as invincible, never mind that Angelo is dishonorable. Many allege
Isabella's voluptuous declaration about martyrdom is masochism; surely
no normal person would embrace death as a lover for the sake of an
abstraction. And most classes over the years have interpreted Isabella's
"silence" at the end as acceptance rather than rejection of the Duke's
proposal.

What do others' students say?

Jack Hettinger

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