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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: July ::
Scrapping Final Shakespeare Examination?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0441  Thursday, 24 July 2008

From:       Donald Bloom <
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Date:       Tuesday, 22 Jul 2008 16:00:42 -0500
Subject: 19.0423 Scrapping Final Shakespeare Examination?
Comment:    RE: SHK 19.0423 Scrapping Final Shakespeare Examination?

I remain baffled by John Zuill's vituperations.

Speaking anthropologically, it is impossible to be a human being without being 
educated. You have to learn a language and the rules and customs of your family 
and nation. You can't learn them on your own. You are taught them.

You also have to learn certain survival skills. In one society you may have to 
become an expert tracker and bowshot. In another, be able to create violent 
computer games. Even if you want to be a beggar or a goldbrick you have to learn 
the skills for those occupations. Or you starve.

In the matter of enjoying, studying and offering opinions on Shakespeare, you 
must in addition learn to read. I don't believe you can figure that process out 
for yourself, either. Then, having learned (presumably) modern English, you have 
to attain some skill in Elizabethan English, or else be constantly misreading 
and making mistakes. The way most of us get these skills is by a combination of 
formal course work and reading the comments and glosses offered by experts. 
These areas commonly overlap.

I remain uncertain how this information can be obtained in other ways. How are 
you going to have an opinion on the sullied / solid question without quite a lot 
of education?

As I mentioned before, a particular system of education can certainly be 
criticized -- and should be. But education itself is a given. You cannot 
criticize the system unless you already have a good deal education.

don

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