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Why we should keep on teaching Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest playwright in British literature history. Shakespeare was the author of 37 plays, five poems and 154 sonnets. He wrote for the people in ways that no other writer had ever attempted. His works may appear difficult for students to comprehend on the surface, but they are easy to learn and master with the help of great teachers. You can master Shakespeare with a variety of skills that are applicable to everything, including mathematics and history.
This article is not the only one of its kind. Both teachers, researchers, scientists, and scholars argue for Shakespeare’s continued inclusion in schools and school Shakespeare workshops. Some argue against Shakespeare’s inclusion in schools, arguing that his content may be too complex or irrelevant. Others argue for Shakespeare’s continued presence in schools, and conduct research to support his importance.

University of Liverpool carried out studies showing the positive impact Shakespeare’s use of language has on brain function. Research from the Ohio State University Wexner Hospital Center has supported the positive effect Shakespeare had on autistic youth. Royal Shakespeare Company, a theater company based near Stratford-upon-Avon conducted research about Shakespeare’s value to all students. Shakespeare’s unique language, relatability and interdisciplinarity make it a vital part of public education.
Identifying yourself with the characters

While the plays might not be for everyone but they are certainly interesting, there is a character in each play that will appeal to all readers. The connection with characters is what keeps readers coming back to his plays. This is in addition to the complex language and constant subplots that drive entertainment, humor, and intrigue in his tragedies.

Shakespeare is a clever writer, as he ensures that his plays include both noblest and most common people. While the plays were often written for the royals, the inclusion of nobles makes them more relevant to modern and contemporary audiences.

Take Queen Elizabeth, the reigning monarch during Shakespeare’s time. Elizabeth was a major influence on many of Shakespeare’s female characters, such as Titania and Viola from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and Viola and Viola respectively in “Twelfth Night.” Elizabeth’s love of Shakespeare’s plays drove Shakespeare’s popularity in modern times, which led other writers of the time, to borrow from Shakespeare’s works, and integrate his ideas into their writing. People believe Shakespeare was not Shakespeare. However, that story is for another day.

Shakespeare was born to a shoemaker father and a noble mother. His childhood experience influenced his inclusion of common people, such as Quince and Bottom, in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, in “Hamlet.” Students are able to relate to the antics of the mechanicals and Hamlet’s fearful friends and recognize their humor. The text will be more important to students if they are able to identify with particular characters. Shakespeare’s inclusions of many types of people makes this possible.
The brain works harder

Shakespeare’s language has a complex vocabulary. Shakespeare wrote approximately 7,000 words to his works. It’s not surprising that Shakespeare’s writing is difficult to read. But it is his use of words that makes Shakespeare’s works appealing to readers. This makes them even more valuable for students.

According to University of Liverpool researchers, Shakespeare uses a linguistic technique called functional shifting. This is when one part of grammar is deliberately altered. Shakespeare frequently used functional shift, particularly when using nouns in place of verbs. This causes the brain to experience a sudden spike in brain activity, which forces it to work backwards to fully comprehend Shakespeare’s message. (See study reference in sidebar.

Shakespeare’s language demands that readers have stronger comprehension skills in order for them to understand its meaning. These skills are crucial to become a strong analyst in English, science and history. It is also helpful in social situations when teenagers are trying to decipher what their peers mean in complicated and confusing situations. Students can also improve their language skills to use in social interactions with peers who use sarcasm and metaphors without realizing.
Shakespeare as art therapy

Shakespeare is literature but art is its first and most important function. The arts can be used to teach children, and Shakespeare can help with such therapies. Royal Shakespeare Company conducted an investigation to discover how Shakespeare influences youth of all ages. “Rehearsal Room Approaches to Study Shakespeare” was used by students. They explored the text through physical acting and worked through the play as actors (or, as Shakespeare might have said, players). The results of the studies ranged from positive behavioral changes to improving test scores. (See sidebar study reference.

Ohio State University conducted a study with students with autism spectrum disorders. It used rhythm-based languages and gestures to help them understand Shakespeare’s words in a “social skill intervention” called Hunter Heartbeat Method. Students started and ended class each week with a tapping rhythm on the chests, and then played performance games. The class covered essential skills like facial emotion recognition, eye contact and affective imitation. They also learned pragmatics of dialogue exchanging. These skills showed improvement after ten weeks. Shakespeare is a joy to students and drives them to succeed academically as well as socially. (See sidebar study reference.

Shakespeare is essential for everyday life. Shakespeare is relatable for readers. He also enhances brain function, test scores, social skills, and brain function. Students benefit from Shakespeare programs that are left in schools.

Teachers want students succeed. There should be opportunities to train students and enhance their abilities before and during adolescence. English teachers can be very helpful in helping students develop strong, healthy minds by teaching Shakespeare.