My Homies Shakespeare and Tupac

Taylor’s right. Shakespeare kicks serious ass. I would say he kicks more ass than Tupac, but he didn’t continue to publish works after his death, so I can’t go that far. But she has an interesting point–lots of kids aren’t into Shakespeare mostly because they aren’t into their teachers.

So, if you’re a high schooler trying to avoid reading Shakespeare because your teacher is telling you to do it, hear this: They’re right about him. But contrary to what your goofy-assed English teacher says as she swoons over some lines you barely understand, you don’t have to like him right now. The important thing is to NOT LET THE ENGLISH TEACHER KILL IT FOR YOU.

In my case, the school system in general screwed it up by introducing us to Romeo and Juliet first. I guess because it’s “easiest” to get? Dunno.

Anyway, when I read Hamlet, I couldn’t believe how great Shakespeare was. I was kicking myself that I’d not gotten everything from Julius Caesar I should have the previous year.

I attempted to make up for my iambic pentameteric deficiencies in college, but ended up studying just enough Shakespeare (one semester) to know how much more there is out there and that I’d barely even scratched the surface. Although, I’d make the argument that one of the side effects of really learning is that you find out how much you don’t know.

So here’s the advice that I’m almost 100% sure no one will take–kids, read all the Shakespeare you can while you have the time and someone willing to fill in all the stuff you don’t catch on your own and answer your questions.

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Comments

And, I would also add this: If you need help getting the holes “filled in” there are tons of teacher bloggers (myself included) who would fall all over themselves to help you!

My Junior year English teacher made me love “MacBeth”, and from then on, I read Shakespeare plays on my own during study hall. I’m a speed reader, so I could make quick work of a play. I was lucky to go to a good high school where the teachers didn’t turn me off of most things, except history. I love history, but I’ve never had a history course I didn’t hate.

Shakespeare is ok by me, but I’m more of a Bukowski guy (who is basically the polar opposite).

Taylor, watch what you say. Teachers in this area have had some trouble as of late…someone may misconstrue that statement.

I didn’t mean to put down Romeo and Juliet as much as I did. I think it’s great if read as a comedy, but that’s not the way it was taught in high school. Even my college prof. didn’t see it that way.

HM, I think murder and power struggles play better with young men than flowery speeches about love, and that’s probably why we liked Hamlet and MacBeth so much.

Billymac, I had you pegged as a Chuck Palahniuk guy.

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