Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Importance of Shakespeare

In my opinion Shakespeare should be taught in high school English classes because I strongly believe that by reading Shakespeare our English skills are improving. The reason I think this is because Shakespeare`s writing force students to reread, analyze and decipher the text in order to understand the events that are taking place. By getting in the habit of looking for the deeper meaning, analyzing characters or determining how the plot is advancing, it forces us to read between the lines rather than see the text as simply words on a page that tell a story. (For example: The Book Theif- we can read this book without having to analyze every line – the words simply tell a story as opposed to Shakespeare where the words force you to think and analyze). Therefore Shakespeare`s writing teaches students how to analyze text and look for the deeper meaning in situations which are important skills that can be transferred into other aspects of life (not just English class).

What is your opinion about learning Shakespeare?



  1. I do agree with your point that "Shakespeare's writing forces students to re-read, analyze and decipher the text in order to understand the events that are taking place." Before I read your post I believed that Shakespeare should not be taught in schools because we do not actually speak in that way and because I do not enjoy it very much. But now I believe that it should be taught because of how it improves ones English skills and ones ability to find deeper meaning in things, as you have proved.

  2. Madison; I like the reasons that you give for studying Shakespeare. I agree that looking for the deeper meaning is a habit that can be developed. I think it is an important habit for critical thinkers to get into. I'd like to add another reason tied to that idea of deeper meaning and to the idea of transfer that you refer to in your last sentence.
    Lots of really smart, creative people have read Shakespeare and refer to his lessons, characters, themes in other media texts in pop culture. I think if you have studied the plays you will get those references on a much deeper level, and appreciate them more than if you haven't. At this point in time people "get" a reference to Romeo and Juliet and what that means - but if we stopped studying Shakespeare how long would it be until that reference went over most people's heads? The "To be or not to be" from Hamlet is another example, as is "out, out damned spot" from Macbeth.
    I think when you get those references and layers of meaning they hold you also feel smart, and isn't that a good feeling - when you really get something? Like an inside joke for academics.