Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brush up your Shakespeare and a few other classics for some back to school basic laughs

September is traditionally known as Back To School time and before the month ends,let us take a look at some of those literary works assigned to the returning or freshman student for English class,with a little tongue in cheek there.

This may not be very helpful to those who actually need to achieve a good grade point average but for the rest of us who longer have to shoulder such worries,I think we deserve a well earned chuckle or two about these once daunting tomes that required plenty of essay writing and numerous footnotes. At the very least,you have to be smarter than a fifth grader to get the punch lines here.

Shakespeare will do well for a start. You can't get thru high school or college without tackling most of the Bard's major works,like Romeo and Juliet or Othello. Some even get to perform one of his plays for Drama Club while many get a class trip to see a professional theater company do justice to Shakespeare's immortal words.

I do think that it does help one to appreciate a play by seeing it acted live on stage and hopefully you will be blessed with an appreciative audience when you do so. As this clip will show, bad manners in the theater can have grave consequences:

We mustn't forget the Greeks,who were composing historical dramas long before Shakespeare ever drew breath. Public speaking was once a commonplace method of teaching and it's truly a lost art in this modern age. Perhaps it's time that it should be revived-things might be better in this world if more school talent shows had kids giving recitations from Oedipus:

Enough with the drama,time for some real reading. Thomas Hardy is one of the most seriously taken authors in the English Lit cannon,who can be seriously hard to read all the way thru. Since I heartly disapprove of cheat sheets and Cliff Notes,this abridged version of Jude the Obscure should serve as a good way to make the medicine go down:

Hardy too gloomy for you? Okay,cozy up to some Jane Austen instead. She's just as good for you and has alot more laughs. Her romances have happier endings,too. If you're looking for some extra credit,do a report on one of Jane's uncompleted works like Sandition or this recent discovery:

Finally,to round our curriculum out,some Bronte business is in order here. Jane Eyre is truly the best of both worlds for those Goth kids who like to indulge in romantic fantasies while still keeping their gloom on.

There have been numerous adaptations of Charlotte Bronte's tale of loneliness,love and hidden secrets which would greatly enhance any classroom discussion of the book but perhaps music is truly the universal language. It certainly would highlight more aspects of the supporting characters and raise some good topics to talk about,like Why is Mrs. Rochester so attracted to the pretty,pretty light?:

1 comment:

Pop Culture Diva said...

I adore Jane Eyre. It's one of my favorite books. Good pick.