William Shakespeare and Western Literary Tradition

Topics: William Shakespeare, Islam, Macbeth Pages: 3 (877 words) Published: June 28, 2012
When Shakespeare was a kid going to grammar school, a school open to boys only by the way! they learned Latin, Greek and rhetoric, persuasion through logical argument. Students read Latin and Greek writers to learn about the history of ancient Greece and "the glory that was Rome” and this material was translated by them into English or French after many hours of work. I'm glad the school curriculum of the 21 st century has evolved and we no longer spend our days doing boring stuff like that! Their old-fashioned, subjects that have little relevance in the modern world of the internet and space travel. The question is: shouldn't we allow our education system to further evolve and file Shakespeare in the same drawer where we've stuck Homer, Plato and Ovid? Given the society of North America in the 21 st century, Shakespeare's relevance is declining with each new technical advance. The purpose of this essay is to prove isn't it time to address this question head on, even at the risk of causing legions of English teachers to collapse in horror? Speaking to the world may be the least of the challenges facing those who want the teaching of Shakespeare. Shakespeare's English is the language as they spoke it 400 years ago. It is as ancient and antiquated and old as the Latin and Greek I spoke about in my introduction. Watch any class of high school students tackle Shakespeare and the first book you'll see on theredesks is a student guide of notes explaining who characters are, the plot and the themes. Indeed, it is doubtful that the play itself is ever cracked by some students. How can students in the 21 st century understand any of the great themes raised in these plays if they can't even understand what some guy is saying? If students must read this stuff, switch it for a modern translation. I would like to write a graphic novel using Shakespeare's plots, but maybe it's been done. Consider how this problem is worse for those students whose first language is...

Cited: 1. William Shakespeare, Macbeth. Toronto: Longmans Canada. 1965
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