Sunday, 27 September 2009

Shakespeare Sat - er - Sunday: Chick Lit

I started typing this post yesterday, but I got distracted and didn't finish. That probably is an indication that forgetting about using a timer is a Bad Thing. However, I'll write that today, and see if I can get what I should write about today to autopost while we're away!

The more I read Shakespeare, the more I think that it's really very accessible. The language is a barrier, but the content is not intrinsically advanced - rich, certainly, but not difficult to grasp. For instance, the King of France's declaration of love for Cordelia , in the first scene of King Lear, is about as soppy as a romance can get. I didn't expect that.

I forget that King Lear wasn't written to be taught in English Classrooms. I don't suppose Pythagoras developed his theorem of right-angled triangles to torture Grade Eights, either. Or that Cramer's Rule was developed because it makes a good multiple choice question.

I think that we sometimes get so caught up in the rush of education - maybe even of learning itself - that we forget the original purpose of things. Reading Shakespeare in order to study great literature is putting the cart before the horse - I read Shakespeare because he tells good stories. Remembering the proper order of things can be applied all over my life. It's a little indirect, but maybe Shakespeare will even help me to finish that nightmarish Calculus assignment!

1 comment:

  1. That's a really good point you made, Charli, that the content of the play is accessible. . . so many people get "put off" by the language, because it can be hard to understand at first--I remember borrowing audiotapes from the library to help me when I started studying Shakespeare in 9th grade!--but truly the stories really speak to us in the human experience.