Seeing vs. reading
Posted by Carolyn B on December 04, 1997 at 18:49:57:
In response to Tales from Shakespeare, written by MB on December 04, 1997 at 14:48:03
] At the risk of appearing contrary, I would count Lamb's Tales from Shakepeare as an exception. It's not an abridgement of Shakepeare, nor does it try to ape his style or dialogue in any way. It's a great collection of plots
you already know the "story", so you can begin to appreciate the style and language more. And I do recommend it to people who are going to take their children to see the plays performed.
I read Lamb when I was younger (junior high?) but I really find that it's much easier for me to read Shakespeare after I've seen the play, and WS's works are really meant to be seen and heard rather than read, I think. I was very fortunate that my father used to watch the BBC Shakespeare adaptations so that I saw "As You Like It" and much more when I was in elementary school and was less intimidated when I had to read WS later. (When I saw the Zefferelli Romeo & Juliet in 7th or 8th grade I was devastated because I had no idea that it would end that way!!)
I think today's generation of kids is more likely to be turned on to the classics via TV and movies first (or at least I hope they are) Even if it isn't as "pure" as some of us might like, it at least gets them interested in the story when they might not be ready to cope with the original language.
Plus, you can't expect even high school age kids to be familiar with historical customs, terms, morals, etc. - I was very confused the first time I read P&P as a ninth grader - My main memory is that Mrs. B kept calling her husband "Mr. Bennet" and everyone made a big fuss about Lydia running off with a buy - so, like what's the big deal there?
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