There is still reluctance among many secondary school students to accept Shakespeare as an author who speaks to them and their problems. This misguides them into thinking and focusing on the fact that Shakespeare’s language is “too difficult”. His work shows various ideologies and perspectives that surround a variety of societal and internal concepts. So in that case, following up with my reasons, I say yes, Shakespeare’s work should be taught in school. The form of how it should be taught however is the factor. Some fail to realize who he was and what the purpose of his work was.
William Shakespeare was an English poet. His exact birth date is still unknown to this day but it has been estimated to be on the 26th of April 1564. He lived a 52-year-long life, passing away on April 23, 1616. To this day, William Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers of the English language and the world’s most famous dramatist. He wrote many plays, sonnets, poems, and narrative poems. His plays have been translated to be available in a variety of languages ranging from eighty different languages and they have been staged numerous times worldwide. Shakespeare is not difficult if we understand his work as he intended it, as theatre not narrative. If we listen to Shakespeare rather than reading him, if we attend to the human scenarios he presents rather the seeking metaphors and essay topics then we will indeed begin to recognize the everydayness and real-life experience Shakespeare gave us. He gave us something to relate to before we got the chance to experience it. William Shakespeare set society’s norms and moral values. He gave us real characters that people could all relate to. A quick example would be evil leaders seeking power like in Macbeth. Macbeth is a play of contradiction and ambition. A man has so driven to rule above all, Macbeth will kill all and any that get in his way. He puts his faith in the words and prophecies of the three witches. Macbeth’s wife, Lady Macbeth, is the motivator of Macbeth’s ambition and downfall. Like Macbeth, Trump is power-hungry, motivated by money, and controlled by high power, he will go to any length to get more money and control of things. This brief example helps show how people in power find it difficult to balance their private and public lives. Reveals how the people in power manipulate the population for self-interests. Who knows what these people have done to get where they are today. The plays are very good at studying murders and conspiracy, which can help students like myself who want to pursue a career in criminology. His work also explores other issues such as gender, sexuality, love, and war among others. This comes to prove that Shakespeare’s characters are in fact real, and true to who we are as people. His plays are related able, and they show real human life traits. Of course, his work should be taught in high school because we as students are young and there is a whole world out there that we are not ready for. The many aspects of life are portrayed in his plays as he proposed all aspects of life from love, hate, romance, and vengeance. We are yet to experience those many things and Shakespeare has portrayed those situations in his plays for us to understand and come to a realization. I had a great experience with the way my teacher taught Shakespeare throughout my years in high school. Yes at times it may have been a little boring and hard to understand, but the times when we acted out plays and put ourselves in such scenarios helped me as an individual to learn how to interpret a play, analyze it and express it through acting to get a better understanding of the characters, and the play in general. It has also benefited me in the part where I became comfortable performing in front of a crowd. This comes to show that, once high school is over, thanks to the play studies and acting through Macbeth and a Midsummers Night’s Dream, I learned how to be comfortable talking in crowds, expressing my thoughts, and learning how to portray my ideas.
It is without a doubt that Shakespeare helped lay the foundation of modern language. Ultimately, leading to what is understood and applied to the themes mentioned. He crafted our modern culture of language in the process. It shows us how English came to be what is now and what it used to be. For instance, the exposure to old English from his plays taught us complex words. Words that helped form and enhance the English language. They were in fact hard to understand and challenging. But to face that challenge is the purpose of studying Shakespeare’s work. It has to be challenging, and you have to learn from it. I personally benefited slightly from studying old English text when it came to certain contexts like getting to describe things and translating them to modern English after numerous attempts. From what I observed, if you compare the way the British speak compared to the southern Americans then you’d see a drastic difference in vocabulary. The reason for that is that of the studying and education of Elizabethan English. They learned to adapt from those teachings thus leading them to enhance their vocabulary. He invented over 1700 of our common words by changing nouns into verbs, verbs into adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and composing words as a whole. Canada’s heritage is based on the British, and the learning of Shakespeare’s work is meant to happen. It shows how vital the work of Elizabethan English is to the English language and how we speak and write like people. His work is a vital part of the development of the English language.
Understanding modern culture in society is important to be taught in school because it gives students an understanding of the morals of society. Morals are such an important aspect of society, that it becomes necessary to teach students about this. William Shakespeare’s writing is perfect for teaching such things. His plays like Hamlet, show revenge, King Lear shows justice, torture, and power, and Romeo and Juliet show us what love can do, what gang affiliation can do to us, and how it causes great sorrow and conflict within people. There’s more to his work than we realize, some students are just not aware maybe because of the way teachers teach or the simple fact that they simply are too caught up on getting the “good grade”, rather than understanding what they’re looking for. As said in Midsummer Night’s Dream, apprehension is far more important than comprehension. Schools should teach Shakespeare, but they should also teach us to just listen and enjoy what Shakespeare has to offer for once, rather than just look for a theme. There is more to just finding a thesis or metaphor. It’s about what the morals of his plays are and what they are teaching us.