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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: April ::
High Scores without Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0360  Thursday, 27 April 2006

[1] 	From: 	Joseph Egert <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 26 Apr 2006 13:16:33 +0000
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0340 High Scores without Shakespeare

[2] 	From: 	Kent Richmond <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 25 Apr 2006 22:25:17 -0700
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0351 High Scores without Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Egert <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 26 Apr 2006 13:16:33 +0000
Subject: 17.0340 High Scores without Shakespeare
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0340 High Scores without Shakespeare

Al Magary quotes:

 >Dismal [Shakespeare] scores
 >were endemic even though pupils are told a year in advance exactly
 >which scene they will be questioned on...

For a Shakespeare Renaissance among the youth, the Bard should be banned 
entirely and placed on an Index with criminal penalties attached. No 
halfway measures. Make him subversive and his works forbidden. How the 
young will then ravin down his lines in the dark of night, their 
flashlights beaming, their minds illumined!

Joe Egert

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Kent Richmond <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 25 Apr 2006 22:25:17 -0700
Subject: 17.0351 High Scores without Shakespeare
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0351 High Scores without Shakespeare

Devoted teachers of Shakespeare's works have all sorts of success 
stories to tell. They describe stellar lessons that bring Shakespeare to 
life and show us why they certainly deserved their teacher of the year 
awards.

But in California, we face a problem. We have countless students who do 
not speak English entering at every grade level. Rather than marginalize 
these students, we work to prepare as many as we can to attend our 
three-tiered system of public colleges and universities.

Shakespeare is prominently included in our curriculum standards, but 
many ask how much time a language arts program can devote to plays 
written in difficult, 400-year old language? To get a feel for the 
language used in our colleges, students need exposure to texts written 
in the academic language of today, a language which developed after 
Shakespeare. Does Shakespeare provide that exposure? Or would we serve 
students better by providing them texts closer to the difficult modern 
language they will encounter in college?

So before we dismiss translations of Shakespeare as illegitimate, we 
need to consider those we serve and what they most need. Shakespeare 
will certainly remain at the center of the canon whether our public 
schools read the original, an adaptation, or a translation. Sophocles 
grows in popularity even though few read him in Greek.

I figure we can compromise, so I am writing verse translations of 
Shakespeare's major plays. Several high schools are experimenting with 
my translations. Last fall, a school in Ohio performed my translation of 
Romeo and Juliet-the entire play.

Kent Richmond
California State University, Long Beach

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