Sunday, April 26, 2015

FINDING THE WILL FOR SHAKESPEARE...


To read Shakespeare, or not to read Shakespeare, that is the question.   This week, we have taken on the challenge and begun our exploration of one of my favorite of his comedies, The Taming of the Shrew.   Overwhelmed yet?  Fear not, my dear scholars.  It’s time to screw your courage to the sticking place, take out your pencil and highlighters, and get ready to read, mark, and perform!

Truth will out, Shakespeare’s titles may be found all over the required reading lists in just about every American high school.   If you major in English, you will also be required to join we few, we happy few, we band of brothers who have taken an entire year long course just focused on studying the great bard and his works.  For those who love his writing and the English language in general, there can never be too much of a good thing when it comes to Shakespeare.

Does untangling his semantical spider web have you up and arms?  When handed one of his plays, do you mourn and lament: “Woe is me?”  Well, my dear scholars, here is the long and short of it:  his entire body of work together is like a precious stone set in the silver sea.  It is the stuff dreams are made of, for the primrose path that winds through and connects all great literature begins with the Bible, and all the works of Shakespeare.  Knowing these works puts you in the happy place of being able to sift through the rich literary allusions that sparkle like little gems of wisdom in classic and modern works, alike.  They are the keys to realizing that though this world of rich rhetoric may be madness, there is a method in it.

Thereby hangs a tale.  Reading Shakespeare, however, is not enough. You must experience it, as the playwright, himself, intended.  Sigh with the star-crossed lovers, feel the love and angst of Romeo and weep with his Lady Juliet; plot with Lady Macbeth to build a kingdom for her husband, stand amidst the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and hair-splicing sharp wit that can be found in Hamlet and The Taming of the Shrew.  When a Shakespearean play is opened, the game is afoot, and the stage must be set properly where it belongs:  ON THE STAGE!

There are, as in everything, the naysayers who believe the world’s obsession with the great bard of Stratford Upon Avon is much ado about nothing, but I say to all of them, the more fool you!  When it comes to Shakespeare, I wear my heart upon my sleeve; his words, his characters, his themes are like good deeds that shine in a naughty world; and, as good luck would have it, I get to read and act out these words along with you over the next five weeks, and with my Will Power Troupe after school, as well. 

If it is true what the bard says that brevity is the soul of wit, well then, I guess that this blog may be a sorry sight.   But when writing anything to honor William Shakespeare, it is important to take great care, and choose the words very carefully, so that age will not wither it, nor custom stale its infinite variety.   Putting it simply, the be all and end all is this: 

All the World’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players:  They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts. 

The play’s the thing…and the thing is life!

Enjoy these two articles about Shakespeare in today’s world.  I have also included two videos that show how Shakespeare continues to inspire children of today.   I look forward to your reflections!
(PS:  Hidden within this blog are twenty eight Shakespearean sayings.  Can you find them all?)

Articles:
Videos: 



37 comments:

  1. A most remarkable accomplishment, Mrs. Caraway! In this informal setting, you have managed to integrate an abundance of Shakespearean phrases into a cohesive argument.

    As to the merits of studying Shakespeare's work, I find it more valuable than terms can give it out. Shakespeare's plays and reshaping of ancient tales for the English peasantry have become so integrated into our Western culture that it is fascinating to discover the sources of so many phrases used everyday, such as "a sorry sight" from Macbeth. Shakespeare's wider vocabulary broadens the vocabulary of scholars and prepares them for advanced educational programs, which have a strong tendency to use archaic terminology. Additionally, many complex situations may be summed up in a short reference to Shakespeare, such as "star crossed lovers" or "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!" which would be lost entirely on those unacquainted with his work.

    As pertaining to the merits of performing Shakespeare, much may be said. Shakespeare's characters range from the noble King to the irreverent jester and everything in between. Many of these characters are the embodiment of traits that scholars and actors can relate to within themselves, which traits may be begging to be expressed but lack the occasion. Acting enables the actor to make strong choices without fear of an equally strong reaction against them. The meek can be bold, the grim can be merry, and the lighthearted can speak with gravity. Actors are given the chance to express traits without defining themselves by those traits, an opportunity all too rare for anyone. Shakespeare's plays have the further benefit of allowing actors to connect with well-known phrases by channeling their emotions into a performance.

    Seeing Shakespeare's plays performed is a priceless opportunity as the plays are designed for the strengths of the stage. Just as movies are designed to make special use of clever effects and angles, and as books make use of deep layers of meaning, stage performances have their own emphasis on conveying the story, one focused on the clever use of inflection. If you only listen to a movie, you don't get the full experience, just as one reading a play does not get the full experience of the play.

    In conclusion, the study of Shakespeare's work is likely to retain a prominent place in our educational cycles as it provides many unique opportunities to explore the roots of our modern culture and the complexities of our human nature.

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    1. A polished argument here, as well as to the merits of studying and embracing Shakespeare. Thank you for articulating it so well!! :) I think I loved Shakespeare from the very first Sonnet I read (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?) and with every play I direct, read, and watch, I love his work even more. :)

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  2. So I'm very intimidated by Duncan's response because mine is not as cool: Side note..

    Shakespeare work, is essential to all areas of literature as well as all years of schooling. He has created words for heaven's sake!! The way that he writes is hard to understand, but to be a successful literature student some type of Shakespearean knowledge is essential.

    As far as his performed works those are also a major part of literature. He created a beat for speaking and monologues that are used even today for auditions, papers, and some quotes even to get into college or to get a job. I assume that everyone will learn something about Shakespeare if they ever go to school and take a required literature class. He's seen around the world all the time even though he is gone.

    Words have power and MANY MANY years later his words still have strong power.

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    1. I think your response is very cool, and very true! Shakespeare has definitely earned the world's respect as a literary genius.

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    2. Eli, you gave an excellent response! I definitely appreciate the examples of applications you gave.
      I don't intend to intimidate anyone with these responses. However, it is my hope that my thoughts might inspire readers to have incredible thoughts of their own. To that end, I am very pleased that you found the response cool. Thank you!

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  3. 1. I love all the heart and soul that is put into learning about shakespeare. While watching the videos and what I have seen of plays, I can see the love that they have for what they do. I love that young childern lives are being influenced by this man. He has so much to offer for the kids to learn about. Also the fact the it helps the teachers help them get to know who the kids are and also help the kids grow.
    2. I would compare the enthusiasm of the kids and teachers to the passion I found with throwing implements. It was someone who believed in me and was there with me every step of the way.
    3. Shakespeare’s words are so powerful that it can impact the lives of many.
    (I apologize for my very choppy answer, my fluid answer got deleted) :(

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    1. Yes! The passion behind the man and those who study him centuries later is astounding and inspirational!

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  4. First I would like to say that it really surprised me how many Shakespeare quotes you were able to incorporate into this blog. Through out reading it I was able to catch very few references, but 28? That’s crazy, I love what you did… now I would like to say, Its really interesting learning about Shakespeare, I mean for someone who has been gone for so long has had such an impact on the whole world. His words have touched so many even when he is no longer around. Witch really connects with the big picture that words have amazing powers to influence and change someone’s views or ways of life, or even how words have the power to uplift or destroy someone; it really just blows my mind. I will admit I’ve never been big on Shakespeare work merely because it is very hard for me to understand… One thing that has really helped me starting off Taming of the Shrew is that we are reading in class, and watching it preformed has made it A LOT easier for me to follow. Now that we are reading it in class and I am able to follow along with the play and our discussions I have really been able to find the crude humor that Shakespeare has incorporated into his plays, which to be honest really makes me laugh even though it was written hundreds of years ago.

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  5. Mrs. Caraway, this post honestly made me chuckle. One of the more interesting ones to read. Anyways, I think it's incredible that, even with such a distinct language barrier, people still not only are able to understand and react to Shakespeare, but actively seek it out. For me, at least, there is something about starting a Shakespearian work that draws you in the way little else can. The thing that I find especially interesting about Shakespeare's work is that it manages to have that nugget of relatable material (as everyone always remembers to mention) while still retaining its sense of majesty and wonder. The world that the Bard's mind inhabited seems like a much more exciting place than where the rest of us live. Perhaps that's why we like them so much; it feels close to home, but so much more engaging and dynamic than what we are used to. For the kids in the video, this seemed to be the case. They really seemed very passionate about what they were doing (plus some of them were adorable when they were performing). I truly think that Shakespeare has universal value, and I'm glad people agree and continue to perform his works.

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  6. Haha, when I first read this, I honestly had to stop and recite "You Are Quoting Shakespeare". I am very impressed (though not at all surprised) that you managed to sneak in so many Shakespearean phrases. Anyways, I very much agree that actually performing Shakespeare's works will alter your perception of whatever you're performing. It helps you get into the swing of the language, as well as fully understand motives, and what the characters are doing. For me, I can honestly say I absolutely hated Romeo & Juliet until I was in it. I wasn't a very big fan of Shakespeare's work in general, really. Why? Because I didn't understand it. Before, it was just a play about two stupid teenagers that I had to read in ninth grade. I didn't want to look deeper. But, then came the day when I actually had to. I delved deeper. I saw that the characters were rich with emotion and flaws, and I grew to realize that all of his shows were like that. They were relatable, and a lot of elements of Shakespeare’s works pertain to things happening today, and probably things that will happen in the future. It’s not surprising to me that a man who created half of the words in the dictionary is still pertinent today. He may have been gone for 400 years, but his influential works are still shaping the way we speak today.

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    1. You were most excellent in Romeo and Juliet. I know Tybalt is near and dear to your heart now, and you are quite a Shakespearean actress. :) I am so glad you have learned to love it and let those themes into your heart!

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  7. I think it isn't the same just reading the script of the plays. I love acting them out in class though and watching everyone (including myself) attempt to recite the old english of the Renaissance times. It feels like an entirely knew piece of literature when you can actually see others act it out. I do really enjoy the stories that Shakespeare writes about. They all are extremely interesting and I feel like they all tie into some form of literature that exists today. They all have deep human values that all of us, no matter what age or race we are or what time in history it is, are able to relate to and find a piece of what he writes about within us. That is the thing that truly fascinates me about Shakespeare's plays and I hope that mankind will always hold his works close and study them.

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  8. First, I must point out that I tried to count all 28 quotes and I sadly could not to complete the task. (But I am highly curious which ones I missed):

    I like to say my favorite books are "Easy Reads". You know, the kind of books where you can finish the whole series in two days without your brain hurting or being bored by the story line. William Shakespeare is the complete opposite. His works are complex pieces of art that is a mandatory for reading in the classroom. His plays always have strong characters and strong messages that you can connect to no matter what time in your life. My favorite thing about his plays is each time you read them, you feel like you're reading a different play. I always find something different that I like about the play even if I've read it a dozen times. I'm never bored by his work because there's always something to focus on and a character to pick apart. His characters are also great representations of actual people. I often will meet people and think to myself "They are just like (insert character here)!".
    His plays also provide an excellent opportunity to work on your speech in the classroom. If one can tackle a monologue from William Shakespeare then the four bullet points on your slideshow seem like nothing!
    William Shakespeare was such a powerful man with his words that even though he wrote them generation beyond generation before us, we still find so much meaning in them.

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  9. Shakespeare is a work of art on his own. He has been able to create works that make people laugh, cry, angry, and excited and he isn't even alive. I commend you for being able to sneak in so many quotes. I will admit that to read Shakespeare I don't get too excited but to see it in action and here and learn the story lines it is exciting. It it so interesting and different from what we are used to today. It is kind of refreshing and entertaining.
    It was also amazing the kids that are doing Shakespeare and how it is changing their lives. It makes me happy that kids at our school have that opportunity every year to perform it and experience it.

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  10. It's amazing how one human being can still have an effect on society. After four hundred years, American society, as well as other societies, require to study Shakespeare at least once throughout their high school studies. Why? Because his words have meaning to us and still effect people the way it did when he wrote them. In fact, many phrases from Shakespeare are used today. Such as 'Good riddance' and 'All of a sudden'. Even words he has made up are used in todays society. For example, assassination was a word Shakespeare coined and now that word is even used in video games, such as Halo. Shakespeare not only added to languages, but he also changed people's lives. Because of him, people have overcome their fears and became more confident. Not many people have that much persuasion and impact on people's lives four hundred years after they died. And that’s pretty awesome.

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  11. Kids and adults alike who love to act always amaze me. They are probably some of the most impressive people to me, especially when they have the ability to take a work of literature and turn it into such a moving display of emotions and actions. I wish sometimes I could act as well as some of our theater kids at school. Just the fact they can live more then one life makes me jealous. :P I chuckled a few times as i noticed the references through out the blog, I don't think i found all of them, but I found the obvious ones at least, which is a feat in itself for me since i don't read Shakespeare ever. It's also impressive Shakespeare was able to create such works that are still treasured today, you don't see many people in history who made that big of a change in society. It reminds me of my goal of trying to make some group of peoples lives more meaningful and to be useful and leave my mark somewhere, especially since just living and then not ever doing anything with your life would be boring and a waste.. :)

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  12. Shakespeare's writing on it's own is so intriguing. You read a bit and become enveloped in the story (once you finally get used to the lost words). It's amazing that these children aren't just there to be there, they're there because they love Shakespeare. They seek it out, it's not only a hobby, it's a passion and you can tell that it is by the way they talk about it. I think a huge reason Shakespeare's writing is still so popular is that it's quite mysterious on how he came up with all of these ideas and ways of writing in a rhythm. His characters aren't just ordinary, they have their own thoughts and each and every one of them have their own personality different from all the others. It's truly magical.

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  13. Great job with the Shakespeare terms! I don’t think I found all 28, but I could pick out a few. They were so cleverly hidden ;)

    It is really is a peculiar thing that Shakespeare continues to be so iconic 400 years after his death. He’s like the Jesus of literature. As the first article mentioned, a lot of this has to do with the fact that everyone knows his name and his works. His plays have been preformed around the world for centuries, so as his works continue to be analyzed, his legacy lives on. In addition, with all the words and terms Shakespeare came up with, how can we not be reminded when we use his own phrases in everyday life.

    The Shakespeare School Festival video really confirms the fact that art brings people together. Whether it be plays (like Shakespeare’s) music, dancing or paintings, art has a way of penetrating humans' logical shield, if you will. What I’m trying to say is that when you sit down in a theater to watch a production or listen to an orchestra or go to an art museum, there is something that sparks and we are able to relate. I believe humans were made to have creative inputs and outputs on a daily basis. We were made to be unique, contributing our own individual talents to society. That is how inventions are made, masterpieces completed, and Shakespeare is remembered.

    Thank you for sharing!

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  14. It really does warm my heart and restore faith in the world of literature when I see that there are still programs that encourage children to step out of their comfort zones and perform Shakespeare in front of a live audience. Perosnally I feel that Shakespeare and studying it helps enrich the mind and makes one more articulate. His work, while some may say it's dusty and old, really are timeless classics. It's been adapted again and again and again. The same story lines have been produced, written, and re-made into modern tales. He helped make up more than half of our working vocabulary and idioms!

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  15. I would like to start off by saying that I do enjoy shakespeare and the more I read his work the more it comes naturally. I love watching people perform it and I think it is a great tool to get people to join together in union with each other and provide a common ground for every individual. I think it would be so much fun to perform shakespeare the only thing that gets be in pronouncing the words and being confident in what I am saying. Also on another note, it is quite incredible how Shakespeare's works have travelled from generation to generation, like all of a sudden, when we use that phrase as common lingo without any thought. On that note, it is quite incredible how in schools EVERYONE reads Shakespeare and even to the extent of acting it out full on in order to learn from his great techniques and his formal english. I think it is great that his pieces have lived throughout the years and that everyone stills cries, laughs over and enjoy his play: what an amazing man that Shakespeare.

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  16. I honestly do not like reading Shakespeare. I do like watching his plays being performed by professionals who know what they are doing. I also liked the plays that were performed at school because I felt they had a good understanding of the play. But when we have to read and perform Shakespeare in class, I do not get a lot out of it. I do not understand much of what is going on unless I really read it deeply and take a lot of time. It's exhausting to do so, and so I don't like doing it.

    Shakespeare was a cool-ish dude because he made up words and managed to rise in the world. He was just a normal peasant until he started writing dirty little plays with crude jokes. He rose to great heights and got to perform for royalty. I like that we still use his words though. But I still think he was a douche for the way he treated his wife.

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  17. I agree with Amy, I do not like reading Shakespeare. I understand that it takes time to get used to his writing techniques and style, but honestly I would prefer not to. I live in the 21st century, and although my brain may not be fast paced I sure am used to it. I do however appreciate his plots. Yes, he came up with a plethora of new words, but in my opinion it his themes that are timeless. Personally, I do not have a great life changing connection with his works or with theater in general but I appreciate the people that do. Not everyone can agree upon everything, but I believe that's what makes life special. We all have unique tastes and talents, for some Shakespeare's work is a perfect place to do that. And I think we can all do that.

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  18. Honestly Ive never realized how much of an impact Shakespeare made and how much he still impacts people today. Personally I do not like reading shakespeare just because its hard for me to comprehend and understand whats going on all the time.In one of the articles it talked about how he created more sayings and or phrases than anyone in the world and his phrases and sayings are still used today. I had no idea and im kind of amazed like I said before I really didn't know he still has such a huge impact even in modern day on our words. Although I do understand that he is pretty important because of his unique style of writing, I do think he is a little overrated. Maybe its just me, I dont know, I just dont really enjoy reading shakespeare.

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  19. I like how in The Shakespeare School Festival videos, the kids are performing Shakespeare and are all, as they mentioned a team working and helping each other out, so that they can become better. They are starting to preform at a young age. I definitely think performing will bring up confidence within yourself. I do have a lot of respect for people who are able to just get up and perform in front of others, because for me, that is very challenging. The fact that Shakespeare is still well known today is incredible. I think it is admirable how he created words and phrases that we use in our everyday conversations. I am not a big fan of reading Shakespeare's plays. I do however enjoy watching people perform his plays. I can get a better feel for how the plays were meant to be.

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  20. As difficult as it is for anyone in the 20th century to read Shakespearian, reading Shakespeare's art has never failed to amaze me. To see his work kept alive even after 400+ years goes to say just how truly impactful and inspiring his work of art is. I think what keeps his works so alive is that even after hundreds of years, the topics remain relatable. Love at first sight, conquering a difficult girl, setting your mind to horrific revenge and vengeance, they are all human emotions that will forever remain relevant.
    It pays great respect and tradition to see children and adults continuing to keep his plays alive, and after being part of a cast, I can truly say Shakespeare has contributed to a beautiful art of bringing people together.

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  21. This was beautifully written. Personally, I love Shakespeare. It absolutely amazes me that after all of these years, his work is still alive. I grew up enthralled with the arts. I wrote, sang, danced, painted, and even acted. Maybe that is why I am so fascinated by Shakespeare. I may not find some of his plays as tragic as some, but I still love them, none the less. There's a certain feeling you get when you're watching one of his plays. It's that wonderful happiness you get when you're watching something come to life right before your eyes. His plays are loved and performed even today, and I think he would be happy about that. They are definitely relatable, so maybe that's why we like them. Or it could be that sense of awe you get when you learn about a famous person in history. Whichever it is, we're glad to perform his works over and over again.

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  22. Good ol' Shakespeare. Or, I mean, that's what we are told Shakespeare is. Good. Needed. Changing. While, I do not inherently disagree with those qualities to describe this word-smith, should they be the only words first attached to his name when we hear it ring out in our English classes?

    Let me truly begin by saying a few things; I have never been a fan of reading Shakespeare. Much like Amy, I am however, perfectly enthusiastic to see it performed by others who know what they are doing. I do respect him though, it the sense that he did come from nothing, and he created thousands of words we still use. That is some serious interesting influence he possessed.

    Going from that, I just want to ask some hypothetically rhetorical questions, and pose some food for thought.

    Should every student there has ever been, and ever will be, be required to read Shakespeare? Requiring students for years to read certain plays/books from a specific author, solely based on popular opinion, seems a little biased, and kind of prejudice. In school, it seems we miss a lot of other, more-relevant-to-us authors to study, and discuss. Another teacher I have, has made a point to point something interesting out, that I fully agree with. "If a kid is only taught how to ready Shakespeare, he will only know Shakespeare. If a kid only reads classics he will only know classics. If a kid only reads fantasy, he will only know fantasy." If us kids are only taught to read a certain kind of book, does that not perpetuate a line of biased reading, and create a disruption of well roundedness in a scholars (or student's) mind?

    Moving along, many more students do not understand the way Shakespeare wrote. While a lot of us read it, we are not fully grasping what is going on. And it is not just a case of adjusting to the writing style. It is not a style to most. It is another language. If what you said about Shakespeare's vocab being close to 15,000 while ours stops around 3,000 that is the equivalent of expecting a 4 year old to speak the same way as a 37 year old college graduate, and understand everything. This is unrealistic. Just like in the example, students end up feeling more illiterate, than completely enlightened. If you give someone a book, half in Spanish, and half in English, but the person only speaks English, you should not expect them to really read it. Isn't this the equivalent? Isn't there a language barrier that is not at all easy or common to break through?

    Lastly, as in has been taught time and time again in English this year; "You have to know the rules of writing, to be able to break them." I am left here wondering, did Shakespeare actually know the rules? He was a peasant, that then started writing. Was his education on playwrights substantial, before he created his very vast collection of his own? Or did the mighty Shakespeare go along, and as he went, broke rules he wasn't even aware he was breaking, and create words, because he felt like it, without even batting an eyelash about how people may react to his non-traditional plays, with no writing experience to back them up? Was it allowed simply because he was popular, or because he in fact was educated about playwrights and every rule put into them?
    And if Shakespeare could do exactly that, break the rules without ever knowing all of them, why in the hell, can't I?

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  23. I know they are rhetorical, but I have many years of Shakespeare/school research and experience under my belt now, so I will answer...Yes, we should expect all scholars to study Shakespeare because he is, as I said above, so culturally relevant. Shakespeare forms an important foundation for so many other literary works, old and new. Never did I say his work is the ONLY work we should study as indicated in your post. I merely said that he is important, and because of this, his name is one among others that features prominently on high school reading lists.
    As for the vocabulary, are you saying that expanding our vocabulary is NOT a good idea then? Should we shrug, throw up our hands and say, "well, it's too hard to expand our vocabulary, so we will just stick with our 3,000 words?" It's a challenge, to be sure, but a worthy one. The more weapons in the arsenal (words) the more prepared the warrior (writer). Not to mention, many of our more antiquated words are again, foundational for our newer words and expressions.

    Finally, Shakespeare wrote for the common man and peasant, but he wasn't a peasant. He was an extremely well educated man from a notable family in Stratford Upon Avon (his father was mayor). He definitely knew the rules, and what's more, he knew them in English, French, Latin and Greek! ;)

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    1. I never said YOU said we should read only Shakespeare. I am saying in general many schools only encourage the reading of classics, which includes Shakespeare heavily. Never was I talking about you personally, in that instance. I am also not saying that we should not read Shakespeare. I just do not necessarily think he should be as prominent as he is in the classroom. Especially when many of us do not fully grasp what he is saying for more than half of the play.
      For the vocabulary, I am saying that you cant expect someone who doesn't know half of the words in a book to fully understand it then. Yes, they can pick up some, but to pick up thousands of words just by reading them? I do not believe that happens unless you study them exceptionally well, and on your own time. The biggest part of that was to point out that there is a language barrier, and that schools are expecting high school students to completely breakthrough, reflect on, and love within an hour each day and every day.
      As for the last part, you got me there. I was unaware of his notable family, but I still do not believe he knew every rule there was to know.

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  24. It is simply amazing how someone who lived a hundred years ago can still impact many lives to this day.
    Shakespeare is indeed a brilliant man, not only can his work be translated into different languages but it can expand someones knowledge just by being able to comprehend the text.
    He has the power to impact many lives. Especially when he wrote his plays so long ago and somehow for every century he still impacts everyone or at least relates to them somehow. His plays consists of tragedies, humor, history, and romance. This is one of the reasons we can relate to the plays and enjoy watching them because most people like romantic comedies and tragedies. They are very enjoyable; just like the first blog was talking about how it is a requirement for teens to read at least a Shakespearean novel (in some High Schools) and some students do enjoy it. I am certainly guilty as charge. I really enjoy his novels although I find them challenging to comprehend.
    I love how they are festivals solely focused on Shakespeare and his novels. It does truly impact the lives of the kids who are working with his techniques and language. It is amazing how there knowledge and understanding has increased at school due to them participating in his plays. It is hard to be able to comprehend the Shakespearean language & it’s impressive how kids at such a young age can have a passionate interests about his work.

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  25. Let me just say, "I LOVE READING SHAKESPEARE!"
    I understand why everyone has a hard time understanding the words but a tip from me is to read it once to yourself, once out loud, and then once to yourself again. I'm not saying it's going to help you understand everything but sometimes saying it out loud helps...

    Anyways, I believe we don't have a wide range of vocabulary nowadays because we have simply found new ways of saying or abbreviating words. Not sure if I should call it lazy or genius. I believe that if we all had a vocabulary of 54,000 words we would sound super cool and really smart. Not saying we sound dumb now, but some people really need to use some synonyms to spice up their conversations instead of repeating the same words over and over again.
    I enjoy reading and acting out Shakespeare's plays, he's so weird but a good weird. It seems like he knew so much about everything and everyone but rarely went out because he was busy writing. I'm excited to continue reading Shakespeare's brilliant works and The Taming of the Shrew is becoming very dear to my heart (:

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    1. I agree, and it would appear we are kindred spirits! I have always been the strange child who loved Shakespeare specifically for the words and way he wrote, but then again, I was sort of brought up to also love opera, the symphony and plays of all the ages. To my ears and heart, his words and the way he combines them it like a work of timeless art.

      You have a great look for the stage, and if you love Shakespeare, I can totally see you up there performing it if you are interested! Would love to see you try it sometime, and would love to work with you!!

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  26. It's crazy how much Shakespeare is still apart of our culture. I think there is not one person who doesn't know a phrase from shakespeare. It's always strange how language evolves. Back in the day it was used to show class, intelligence, and just to make it sound prettier. Today our language is short, effective, and to the point. So which is better? Personally, I think it would be awesome if we were only allowed to speak "shakespeare style" for a week.
    Going through the list of Shakespeare phrases it amazed me how many I say! What i've been thinking about is times have changed right? So why do all these plays still apply? Maybe our speech has changed, maybe the way we live, but has how we interact socially changed all the much? I would love to say that we have, but you know what they say; love is blind.

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  27. Shakespeare has huge impact on literature and english today. I am familiar with some of his work, but not all. Although, it is hard for me understand what he is saying most of the time. This shows how one person can impact other people for several centuries and genrations.

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  28. Studying Shakespeare is definitely a challenge for the average person in the 21st century. While it is beneficial, it's not totally necessary. Someone could get a good college degree and a high paying job without having ever even touched Shakespeare. However, it does help with understanding of other texts and media. Shakespeare is so greatly integrated in our society it's difficult to watch movies or TV shows without coming across at least one that's adopted from one of his plays. It also helps comprehend other texts- if you can work your way through Shakespeare, other things will seem like a breeze. Plus knowing the origins of common phrases is always useful.

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  29. Shakespeare's language is a language of itself. It is very surprising that throughout all this time his plays are still used in today's culture without changing the dialogue at all. What is also surprising is that most people can recognize one of his plays as being his own. There aren't many people who lived more than one hundred years ago still influences people today. I personally like reading Shakespeare, but I find it hard to understand at times, and that's when I start to not enjoy reading it. I fell his plays were meant to me acted out on stage rather than read in a book. When I see or act in one of the plays I get a different level of understanding than when I just read the book. Shakespeare will continue to influence people's lives with his writing even when we are long gone.

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