Should shakespeare be Compulsory/included in the high School Curriculum?
Is shakespeare still relevent to teens today?
Should high school kids be made to study shakespeare or should it be optional? Should they study mordern texts instead?
GIVE YOU OPINION! please :)
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I think Shakespeare is still relevant today even if his plays are only seen as Classic literature they are still being put on around the world and new film versions of his plays are still being made. I think it is a good idea to read the original texts otherwise you are not reading Shakespeare but someone else's interpretation and a lot of things can get lost in translation but I am aware that Olde English can be a struggle so maybe studying the original text's alongside modern versions would help
Ah! One of my other passions apart fro- debate and philosophy would be literature! My reason for advocating Shakespearean literature to be taught in schools is simple - it is beautiful.
It is beautiful because the depth and sophistication of Shakespeare's work inspired many modern tales and developments in the English language. Words such as "assassin" (and "assassination") and phrases like "cool as a cucumber" were invented by Shakespeare. Much more lessons in etymology could be learnt by studying Shakespeare's work. This will definitely allow students to better develop their reading and writing skills.
It is irrelevant to modern writing. If you wrote like Shakespeare nowadays nobody would understand you. Good literature is something that generally every reader can understand upon reading it. It shouldn't need to be analyzed 50 times over for a metaphor that might be there. I find it annoying
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Sorry I haven't replied you for so long, I'm happy to engage in discussion if you're still interested.
It is irrelevant to modern writing. If you wrote like Shakespeare nowadays nobody would understand you. Good literature is something that generally every reader can understand upon reading it.
I disagree with you on a few levels.
First, you said, "Good literature is something that generally every reader can understand upon reading it." This is definitely not true. There are so many sophisticated writers today such as Salman Rushie and perhaps Anne Rice who write incredible works of literature without every reader understanding all of what they are writing just the first time. Good literature should not be judged by how easy it is to understand alone, but how sophisticated it is and how relatable it is to the readers.
And you said that, "It is irrelevant to modern writing. If you wrote like Shakespeare nowadays nobody would understand you."
Why is it irrelevant to modern writing? Shakespeare invented words like "assassin" (and thus, "assassinate" and "assassination") and phrases like "as cool as a cucumber". It would be great for students to know the etymology of these English words and phrases. If anything, it makes the English curriculum much more interesting and fruitful.
It shouldn't need to be analyzed 50 times over for a metaphor that might be there. I find it annoying
First, just because you find such in depth analysis annoying does not mean that Shakespeare should not be in the high school curriculum. That is just falsely appealing to emotion.
Second, such analysis is required to put words in in context, of how the words are used in a sentence, monologue or soliloquy and of the societal context of Shakespeare's time and/or the historical, societal context of the time period Shakespeare is writing about (with reference to the famous tetralogy).
I don't see why a Shakespeare unit wouldn't be required? He influenced writing immensely, and his plays are of very good quality.
Also, like Jungelson said, he does have historical value, which is why i believe the unit should include discussing the history of Shakespeare's life, rather than simply reading and discussing his works.
Yes, however I believe some schools spend to much time on him, for instance: during freshman year we spent 2 weeks on "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck and 2 weeks on "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller and then the rest of the year on "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare is a good writer, but it seems (at my high school at least) like he is being looked at as "the best writer ever" while other good works and authors are being ignored or not given enough credit.
Something as old as Shakespeare should be optional, not compulsory. The point is moving on, not obsessing with the past.
I read almost nothing compulsory when I was in high school (mostly only short reviews to pass the tests, and even they sucked). I tried reading some few books (didn't get far), they were all extremely boring and downright pointless. The little I read gave nothing to me. Old is old for a reason. Old can still be used but it is not wise and it gives students nearly nothing (I know, I was a student myself and not that long ago) while newer and much more interesting works are readily available. Students themselves must be interested, if they are not there is no point for any of it, especially for something as old as Shakespeare. The fact that something is compulsory is already a turnoff, the disinterest begins growing before you even know what it exactly is. Truth is, the whole system is old and outdated...
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When I was in high school I was really sick of discussions that went like:
My professor and several students:
"Oh, that character is holding a torch, the torch must symbolize their love burning in the darkness, surrounded by adversity."
"No, surely the torch is a metaphor for the sun that kills the envious moon!"
"But clearly the fire represents the burning radiance of her beauty!"
"Or maybe he's holding a torch because it's fucking nighttime and the character in question is walking in the dark and needs some way to see where he's going."
"But I can't use that to teach you about metaphors, similes, and symbolism, so it's better for your education if we just make shit up and read way too far into this story."
"I wish we didn't have to read these stupid plays."
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