why do we study shakespeare in school
An April 2015 report entitled The Unkindest Cut by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni states,
ÁA mere 4 of. 52 colleges and universities require English majors to take a course focused on Shakespeare. Those institutions are Harvard, University of California-Berkeley, U. S. Naval Academy, and Wellesley College. Á Later in the article, ACTA writes, ÁIt used to be that we could count on our colleges and universities to introduce studentsÁin Matthew ArnoldÁs wordsÁto the best that has been thought and said. This is no longer the case. Á According to Ryan L. Cole of the National Review, Á Part of the motivation is economic, as departments pander to their customers with courses on childrenÁs literature, cinema, television, Harry Potter, and vampires. Another part is political, involving academiaÁs devaluing of Western classics. Á Fortunately, most high schools have not followed the examples of our institutions of higher learning. IÁm with them! I believe we should regularly be exposing all age students to Shakespeare. #5 Brain work. If students can successfully read and understand Shakespeare, they can handle almost anything else. Why should we dumb down our high school students with childrenÁs literatureÁno matter how well written? LetÁs sharpen their brains with literature that will challenge them.
ÁI have good reason to be content, for thank God I can read and perhaps understand Shakespeare to his depths. Á ~John Keats~ #4 Word, words, words. Scholars estimate that Shakespeare invented 1700 of our common words. He changed nouns into verbs, changed verbs into adjectives, connected words never before used together, added prefixes and suffixes, and devised completely new words. He also coined expressions that have been used so much they are now considered clichös. ÁHe was the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul. Á ~John Dryden~ #3 Complex characters. Shakespeare showed a thorough understanding of human nature with the characters he created. His heroes express the fears and desires of every thoughtful man. His bold heroines give the likes of Katniss Everdeen a run for her money. We learn more about ourselves from the personalities that people his plays. ÁWith this same key Shakespeare unlocked his heart once more! Á ~Robert Browning~ #2 Rich dense language. Few other writers match the beauty of ShakespeareÁs language or the depth of the truths he expressed. His soliloquies and monologues, even the speeches crafted for comic relief, are some of the most eloquent every written. His command of language provokes our imaginations and inspires our own written expressions.
ÁThe souls most fed with Shakespeare s flame still sat unconquered in a ring, remembering him like anything. Á ~G. K. Chesterton~ #1 Universal appeal. ShakespeareÁs themes still resonate today. His plays delve into the issues of love, loss, treachery, honor, tenderness, anger, despair, jealousy, contempt, fear, courage, and wonder. They raise questions of morality, politics, war, wealth, and death. By exploring whatÁs dearest to our hearts and most important to our souls, Shakespeare helps us better appreciate life. ÁThere Shakespeare, on whose forehead climb the crowns oÁ the world; oh, eyes sublime with tears and laughter for all time! Á ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning~ Sources: Cole, Ryan L. English Majors sans Shakespeare. National Review (n. d. ): n. pag. Web. Apr. 2015. The Unkindest Cut: Shakespeare in Exile 2015. American Council of Trustees and Alumni, Apr. 2015. Web. Renee Ann Smith teaches literature in a Christian high school by day and writes stories by night. She reviews books and shares inspirational posts on her blog Doorkeeper at http://reneeannsmith. com/. You can also find her on Twitter at https://twitter. com/ReneeAnnSmith. A reason why Shakespeare is still studied in schools today is because he is realistic about the things, problems, experiences he has incorporated in his plays. á In a video named ÁDavid Tennant explains why Shakespeare still mattersÁ explains how Shakespeare had a way of saying things, and said things that werenÁt complex, but straight to the core meaning.
Another reason why Shakespeare is studied in schools today is because students gets a chance to reflect on contemporary issues we have now, to the issues back then. For example, in the video ÁWhy study Shakespeare today? Á says that ShakespeareÁs time was a great time to think about peopleÁs religion, race, nation, sex, etc. and connect it to our society as a whole today. á I also think that Shakespeare is studied in schools today because it makes people open their eyes, makes them realize things that they werenÁt aware of. á In the video ÁTo Lead or not to lead: changing the world with Shakespeare-Guy RobertsÁ says that Shakespeare made him (Guy Roberts) notice things, comprehend life, and simply understand himself in a deep way. Once he began to understand himself, he soon began to understand the world. I think itÁs amazing to find yourself, getting to know yourself more and further on learning to understand others because itÁs like connecting the dots. You get to one point and soon get to another point, and as a result you have a picture which can represent how a lot of things, the dots, connect to each other and how they create this big representation.
I am currently studying ShakespeareÁs very own, Othello. My strategies for understanding this play were to read by sections, and carefully choose words I didnÁt understand and look them up on Etymology. I then paraphrased the meaning of the words I didnÁt understand, and as a result I knew what I was reading. After knowing what I was reading, I identified themes that show up during the different acts of the play. I would then connect charactersÁ dialogues and reflect them with the different types of themes the play had. For example a big theme in Othello was Apperance vs Reality. I would connect this theme with Iago, the antagonist of the play because he is that character in the play that represents what it is to be two-faced. At this moment, I am done reading Othello. I will say that I had came a long way from reading the beginning of the play because I was very confused and would get easily frustrated by reading Shakespearean text at first. But now that I am done reading, I have noticed that I greatly improved my reading skills due to intense annotating and thinking. I feel very confident about reading Shakespeare because aside from knowing how to read it, I can understand it and connect it to real life. Why do we study Shakespeare today? by is licensed under a.
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