The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0441 Thursday, 24 July 2008
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
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.
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