Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shaking Hands With Shakespeare

This is a book by Alison Schumaker that is designed to help teenagers get to know and perform Shakespeare plays. She makes some great points, and even recommends narration (oral and written) as a help in understanding your lines! (She calls it paraphrasing.)

Here are some quotes I particularly liked...

On his comedies:

"In a comic view, bad things do happen, but we are able to laugh at our mistakes and weaknesses because we know everything will turn out all right in the end."

"Shakespeare's comedies often comment on human nature and how funny it can be, and on the many obstacles that stand in the way of true love."

"He finds a way to reassure us that the chaotic world will come to order..."

On his tragedies:

"In a tragic view, we realize that no matter what we do (or even because of what we do) things are destined to go badly, and we are mere pawns in fate's plan."

"Shakespeare manages to show the inner turmoil of the human mind the way no other dramatist can."

On his histories:

"[Shakespeare] explores a lot of issues... he also uses history for great character studies, getting inside the minds of the great rulers and portraying the emotional turmoil that the rules must have gone through while leading their people."

There were some great quotes on Shakespeare's romances as well, but the kids had been patient with me long enough (we were at the library) and we needed to leave right then in order to make it to allergy shots.

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