William Hazlitt William Hazlitt.
Have a suggestion to improve this page? To leave a general comment about our Web site, please click here Share this page with your network. Each year and in each class students bemoan the idea of having to read Shakespeare. Their perception of the plays and sonnets is that they are written in an ancient language no longer spoken, much less understood.
So what is the point? My answer is a standard one: I also aspire to reinforce the fact that the plots, characters, language, and even complete speeches are often alluded to in many other great works. If the students have never been exposed to Romeo and Juliet, for instance, how can they understand an allusion to the famous balcony scene?
We have many English as a Second Language ESL classes at the school but the majority of the students are in regular education. The number of Advanced Placement courses offered grows yearly.
At least one Shakespearean drama is required in each class level of English at Capital High School as part of our standard curriculum. Some faculty members are as apprehensive of Shakespeare as the students; unfortunately, that comes across in their teaching.
I sympathize because I know what it is like to be forced to teach a text that I don't particularly like. The students recognize that loathing and they respond with a reluctance to learn.
I, on the other hand, truly appreciate sharing the literary complexity and genius of Shakespeare.
Each time I prepare to teach a Shakespearean drama, it is like learning it from a whole new perspective. Reading the plays with each new class brings a whole new perspective to the plays as well, because as the students become familiar with the language, they add their own opinions and analysis, which is beneficial to all.
The courses I teach are junior and senior literature. The variety of literature in these classes is endless. I try to teach something new each year to keep my curriculum current and exciting.
These courses are offered to junior and senior level students. The curricula for these courses follow the standard curricula at CHS with the addition of preparation for the Advanced Placement Exams taken in May. Students can receive college credit for classes if they score above a three on the one-five scale.
In addition, many colleges base admission on the scores of the AP exams. Shakespearean analysis is an essential skill for the AP students; they must be able to analyze how the author creates meaning through the use of literary strategies.
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