Many people know William Shakespeare as the father of English Literature. Although Shakespeare stopped writing almost four centuries ago now, Shakespeare’s poems and plays are just as alive and vibrant today as they were then. Why should children learn Shakespeare with so many modern writers available?
Shakespeare was one of the most important poets and prose authors in the history of the world. His rich, complex language and complex characters and themes are still as prevalent today as they were back then.
William Shakespeare was an English actor, playwright, and poet. He was born April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. Anne Hathaway married him at 18 and they had 3 children together: Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith.
Shakespeare produced his most well-known works between 1589-1613. His writings comprised comedy, poetry, and tragedies. His plays have been translated into many languages across the globe. Some of his most notable works are:
The Merchant of Venice
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Romeo and Juliet
It’s as you like it
I could go on. Shakespeare’s work merits a mention. Shakespeare had a great career in London as an actor/writer before he retired in Stratford around 1613, where he later died in May 16,16.
This year celebrations will take places around the globe starting in the UK to celebrate the 400th anniversary William Shakespeare’s death and his work.
For Shakespeare Workshops for primary head on over to Sky Blue Theatre
Why Study Shakespeare Now?
Here are four very good reasons why children should be encouraged read the works by one of the great literary giants of the world.
1. Extraordinary Storylines
Shakespeare’s ability write amazing plots was one of his greatest strengths. Some people may argue that Shakespeare’s writings have inspired many of our best contemporary works. Here are his themes
Shakespeare’s plays all have great story-lines. Hamlet is a beautiful tragedy with tremendous depth. Hamlet, the main protagonist, discovers his father’s demise and his mother’s relationship to his uncle. He speaks to his ghost about his late father and is told by the ghost that he should seek revenge on the new monarch (the same uncle who murdered his father). The play explores many relationships, such as Hamlet’s obsessions with Gertrude, his mom and his love affair for Ophelia. Hamlet is a dramatic drama that is beautifully written and worth reading for lovers of literature.
Macbeth is another spectacular play about ambition/contradiction, with a host of creative characters and subtle witchcraft. Shakespeare’s plays tell stories in a clear and engaging manner that will captivate the reader. Children of all age can benefit from the works of this literary icon.
2. Powerful Characters
Shakespeare’s characters were so rich with depth, that it is something I cannot dispute. Shakespeare had a beautiful way of exploring his characters, and describing their emotions.
Romeo of Romeo & Juliet is undoubtedly the most loved young lover in the entire world, and Hamlet can most likely be considered Shakespeare’s most complex character. Shakespeare’s characters display a range of talents and are meant grab the reader’s attention. Shakespeare’s characters offer everything you can imagine, from villains to murderers, lovers to dreamers to traitors to servants, witches and wizards. There is no better way to spark a child’s imagination, teach them about different themes in the world today than by encouraging them to read Shakespeare.
3. Stunning Quotes
Shakespeare’s ability to interpret words well and the many famous quotes that he left behind are one of his greatest assets.
One of Shakespeare’s most famous phrases is “To be/not to be: that is question” from Hamlet. Hamlet deals with his obsessions with death and questions his ability to take his own lives, forming a quote that was to remain in use for nearly four centuries after its first publication.
You can also find great Shakespearian quotes here:
“Romeo Romeo. Romeo. Romeo and Juliet
“All the planet’s a platform, and all men and women are merely actors. They have both their exits as well as their entrances. However, one man in his lifetime can play many parts. – As you like it
“If you poke at us, do not we bleed?” If you tickle our ears, don’t we laugh? Do you want us to die if poisoned? Und if we wrong you, shall it not be our revenge?” – The Merchant of Venice
“I’m one who loved not wisely, but too well.” Othello
“The journey of true love did not run smoothly.” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“The fault, dear Brutus lies not in stars, but within us, that is, we are the underlings.” – Julius Caesar
4. Inspirational and challenging
I cannot think of a better way to challenge a child’s reading comprehension than to have him or her study Shakespeare. To stimulate their brains and build confidence in reading, encourage children to read Shakespeare’s works. This can be done by reading together the first time. Together, they will slowly learn the language and you can help them overcome any difficulties.
Reading Shakespeare can provide a wonderful learning experience for children. Shakespeare’s writings can be referred to as timeless and have many meanings. Children can learn so much by studying the works this great bard, including the history of his writings as well as the messages he sent.