Shakespeare, needed like never before
Nay, upon my word such gross
Betokens deserv’d calamity to this nation.
Just another dead White man?
Shakespeare's work is a crucial component of a child’s journey to full literacy, and love of their own language and culture. Not just for our time, but for all time. And it’s not just me that’s saying that!*
Properly taught, even young children love Shakespeare. Obviously, they love the tales told. But also, delighting in the parsing of even the most flighty of passages. And too, learning them to confident recital – what a power for a child to have and pride for their parent or teacher! I state this as a fact, directly known.
As part of the general educational plan for the English speaking West, it is equally crucial that Shakespeare is kept away from children and that teachers are ignorant, and perhaps even hostile, to our language’s greatest champion. This has largely been achieved, at least in primary schools. Alas, we lose more than Hamlet when we lose Hamlet. For not only is the delight and beauty, wonder and wisdom lost, but also that connection to the world's greatest wordsmith, which is ours by birthright as native English speakers, and thusly a mighty source of pride of kinship. And by the necessary form of this, strength. This is what they are trying to snuff out, and why.
'They' are always the same people. I appreciate that perhaps you cannot see them yet.
We’ve got a fight on our hands, ye celebrants of the numinous turned to word: Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Once more.
* This learned reference for the delight of the many Shakespearians among the readers.
PS. Our many English readers can, of course, have a double celebration as this date is also Saint George's Day.