Surely not of the Queen's English.
I think anyone learning Shakespeare should first get their head round the storyline by watching films and reading a modern translation. Then, you can delve into the detail, secure that you know the context. It's the same with foreign languages - coursebooks introduce context first before wading into language.
If there is a lack of interest in teaching Shakespeare from English teachers, then that's the problem. If they can't make it interesting for students of average aptitude, then it's not the material which is at fault, but the teaching methods and course design.
A Canadian conservative is one who believes in limited government and that the government should stay out of our wallets and out of our bedrooms.
Shakespeare certainly has its place in a high school English classroom.
However, I do think that there's a trend in many English classes to focus too heavily on "the classics". There's a world of excellent modern literature out there that it seems like many English teachers completely ignore..
If you build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
If you set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
I agree with the writer that it is ridiculous to boil everything down to an insulting level of direct relevance. However, it should be considered. Furthermore, it's not nihilism, but rather an exaggerated leftist utilitarianism or sheer leftist anti-Westernism.
While I wouldn't advocate killing the dead white man in order to replace him with a living woman of color (if opposites were applied), I find oral traditions utterly fascinating. It brings up a much needed dialogue about the relationship between speaker and audience and associated acts between writer and the reader, and most importantly, authority. Likewise, if you apply that to historical memory, you get to take eager young minds deep into the rabbit hole. Alessandro Portelli showed us how it works.
As for history majors and date memorizing, I'm afraid that the writer in question doesn't seem so acquainted with the field of history. The 1960s and 1970s were about the rising tide of social history and cultural study courses as opposed to the established political histories or even the Marxists and their fascination with economics. Even in the midst of the academic culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s, there wasn't much pining from historians that students aren't memorizing dates. Rather, the arguments dealt with perspective (social history vs political history, largely) the ability to declare something or another a "fact," or whether we had become too bogged down in linguistic fetishism upheld by the post-structuralists. Date memorization wasn't a focus because it's not a focus and arguably hasn't been since Herodotus. I haven't really read a single historical classic that stressed dates or even a worthwhile commentary from historians that were bemoaning the loss of date memorization. It was always our methods, our perspectives, and political identity.
Last edited by Fiddytree; 06-21-15 at 05:46 PM.
"We all of us know down here that politics is a tough game. And I don't think there's any point in being Irish if you don't know that the world is going to break your heart eventually."-Daniel Patrick Moynihan, December 5, 1963
The usual, ‘ . . . that better speaks to the needs of my very ethnically diverse and wonderfully curious modern-day students," she argued.’
Shakespeare and Dickens, or the giants of American literature such as Twain, Steinbeck and Hemmingway . . . Swop those for how to text speak and how to communicate in ebonics? No contest! Part of the continuing dumbing down, it always starts with the children.
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
"Sovereignty is not given, it is taken." ATATÜRK