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  1. Lauralee Moss says

    I stand firmly on the teach Shakespeare side. 1. He is too important of a figure in literature for students not to have some experience reading him. His influence reaches authors that students will study. 2. He is still part of our culture today, often with verbal expressions. 3. It is good for students to read material they may not understand but are able to figure out. Shakespeare wrote in a language students may struggle to read, but when they overcome that hurdle, they will be better readers and be better at analyzing literature. I'd argue that the bible serves that purpose too and I find that students who can read the bible can understand Shakespeare better. I wonder if there is a component of confidence in that – that students know they will eventually understand the difficult readings and all their effort will be worth it.

  2. Ms. Fuller says

    Absolutely but perhaps we should be putting more effort into including contemporary drama As well. If I still taught lit I could see doing 2 plays and 2 novels with one classic and one contemporary of each.

  3. Theresa says

    "It's all in the delivery". Isn't that WHY students love or hate ANYTHING we teach? My enthusiasm is infectious, but so is my disdain for a particular work (insert mythology here). Shakespeare and his works are too important to our entire English 'body of work' to overlook him.

  4. Ashley Langford says

    I went to a high school and only learned about two of Shakespeare's plays and a few of his other works… I wish I had learned more. I feel inadequate because I wasn't immersed in more. I believe it should be taught- but here's my caveat- you don't have to teach the ENTIRE play to make it relevant and meaningful. Teach enough for students to dig deeper into it and the students who are interested will read more on their own.

  5. The Daring English Teacher says

    I have to side with Shakespeare. Despite the difficult language and how old his plays are, the lessons and values we can learn from his plays are still relevant today. I love teaching Romeo and Juliet, and I get my students to love it too. They line up before class to sign up for in-class reading parts 🙂

  6. Anonymous says

    I think students should continue learning Shakespeare. There are many important lessons that they need to learn, and these classics will do a much better job than anything in present day can offer.

  7. Anonymous says

    Shakespeare will always be relevant, it's not how old the plays are, it's what they're about. The morals, the story line. the dialogue.
    If your students are rolling their eyes when you bring up teaching them Shakespeare, as a teacher isn't it your job to teach the younger generation in a way that will interest them. not so they'll forget everything they learned by summer.
    As well as that. He IS history, IF we stop teaching parts of our history, but a part of it that isn't war and countries being over thrown. that's so important.
    Also respecting and appreciating our worlds history because it's a part of what brought us to the place we are today. THAT is something that people are loosing touch with. The importance of ALL of our history. Not just the parts they want to focus on.
    Shakespeare shows that there is more to any story then just one side, then what one person thinks. Take Romeo and Juliet for example. She took the poison to appear dead, her side. Everyone thought she was dead, each reacted differently, They each had a side. Romeo killed himself. a dramatic reaction to a situation. Irreversible. Juliet came "back to life". Had he known that he would have never done what he did. Cause and effect. to every action there is a reaction. Shakespeare taught that better then anyone now a days could even hope to. Such important lessons throughout his writing. Maybe kids issues isn't learning Shakespeare. It's HOW they learn Shakespeare. I'm pushing this because when I was taught it was a lot of "I'm going to read this random part from this random play, now write about what you think it means.
    Improve the method, improve the lesson.

  8. Unknown says

    If you believe Shakespeare is irrelevant, you haven't asked my students. I teach in a high-needs inner city Title One school. My students are among the most reluctant I've encountered – most of them don't want to read anything but text messages. "Othello" is rocking their world. The suspense, Iago's machinations, the intrigue, the foreshadowing, Othello's noble and trusting nature… it's all VERY relatable for these students. I am NOT using the "NoFear Shakespeare" text – they're getting pure old-school Shakespeak, First Folio style. They're reading it aloud, taking it apart and they RECOGNIZE these characters. The discussions about jealousy, suspicion, manipulation, trust, relationships, unmanageable anger – "relevant" hardly does it justice. Don't toss out the Bard with the bathwater. If it's irrelevant, you're not doing it right.

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