Why is Shakespeare so important?

Do we have a “duty” to teach children Shakespeare’s works? This is a question posed to author Celia Rees in an interesting article on SchoolGate. Shakespeare’s relevance in schools today is something that seems to come up over and over again and not just in the UK but in New Zealand too.

Celia Rees asks,”Is it important for the works of a playwright who died nearly four hundred years ago to be studied in our schools?” Rees believes it “would be an act of cultural negligence coupled with pedagogic cowardice” to remove Shakespeare from the curriculum. “Studying Shakespeare is no more or less relevant now than it was when I was at school. The way we were taught then would make modern school pupils weep with boredom, but that grounding meant that I could study Shakespeare and understand him, see his plays and enjoy them. I would never think of Shakespeare as something alien, difficult, not for me”.

Read the rest here.

One thought on “Why is Shakespeare so important?

  1. How can anyone even think of removing Shakespeare from the school curriculum? Shakespeare would turn in his grave! I don’t think any writer has portrayed the various sides of human nature as well as the Bard. Take his ‘Hamlet‘ for example. The soliloquies in this play focus on the inner struggles and conflicts within a single individual. This was new in literature. In a way, it set the ground for the Stream of Consciousness technique in the modern novel. Shmoop.com has some informative comments on the Bard and his plays which I found a great read.

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