Should Shakespeare Still Hold His Literary Throne?
There has been a recent surge of disagreement over the teachings of Shakespeare, begging the question of whether he is too out of date? Is his work even relevant to the world today? Or should be we choosing more recent literary greats to teach the youth about the power of the written word?
Ultimately, it’s a difficult decision. Some people adore the man, but others? Not so much. Even as a Shakespeare fan, I understand the lack of attraction. You have the excessive, aged language and the story lines which, on face value, have little to do with modern life. Let’s take, for example, Romeo & Juliet. The story line revolves around a forbidden love and features lines like “Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin purged” and “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast“. Fast forward to the 21st Century and it has little to do with our modernisation.
But does it?
Delve into his wizard lyrics and you’ll find a tale of how love fails to be perfect and lessons like “What’s in a name?”, things that should really be on today’s agenda whilst we face battles of stereotypes and gruelling prejudice.
Shakespeare could easily contribute to a student’s moral compass and open their eyes to the real world of false expectations, failure and misfortune. Whilst I believe that his work should have some place in the English syllabus because of the beauty of his language, the obscurity of tales and the pure genius he inserts into each play, sonnet and poem, others don’t. But, perhaps we can tackle this; find a compromise, if you will.
Shakespeare and other dated authors are heavily fed upon within the schooling system. Yet a main part of the stance against Shakespeare is the fact that there are other flamboyant authors who could successfully deliver such eloquent ideas. So, why not divvy up the syllabus? If anything, students will reap a whole lot more from it and Shakespeare will become less of a chore and more of an experience.
Not teaching Shakespeare is like having an apple without its core. However, a lack of modern authors would loose you it’s skin. A compromise is necessary.
What do you think about studying Shakespeare at school? Let us know in the comments below!