Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Shakespeare out of our schools!

If you don't read Toothpaste for Dinner, you really should. It's hit or miss, but when it hits, it, well, hits. This isn't one of the hits, but it's relevant given the Darwin out of our schools movement and the recently passed Banned Books Week.



I'll bite my tongue at that. I remember my first ever exposure to Shakespeare in my 9th grade English class. We read Romeo and Juliet (how clich´┐Ż!), and the teacher made it a point to describe the humor -- even the dirty stuff. Granted, the low brow stuff about swords as phalluses is fairly transparent, but the entire first half is loaded with naughty jokes. It really made it enjoyable to figure out what the characters were saying, making it more than just some classic piece of literature that we had to read. I think Baz Luhrmann was trying to get at that with his version, but it all got lost in the image of a post-contemporary world he was so obsessed about creating.

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