The Benefits of Reading the Bard
The fourth quarter at Integritas Academy is dedicated to Shakespeare’s plays. In our Lit & Comp for Underclassmen courses we study As You Like It and Macbeth. Our middle school courses enjoy The Tempest and Julias Caesar, and in Upperclassmen courses we do in-depth critical studies of The Merchant of Venice and of Hamlet .
Here are a few of the many wonderful reasons to study Shakespeare:
- master the rhythm of the language (including the iambic pentameter poetic sections)
- unpack the rich themes and humor as you gain understanding of the texts, written at the height of the English language expand your knowledge of history and England.
Tips for Reading the Plays
It’s important to read the original language, but there is nothing wrong with following along with an updated version as you read the original, as long as the update is not just a summary. There are quite a few of these now, but the version online, “No Fear Shakespeare,” is a solid one. It also helps to read confusing sections out loud.
Getting to know The Bard is a great way to spend spring! If fact, he calls us to join him at this time of year:
From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing.
(Sonnet 98, 1-2)
©Cindy C. Lange, MA