Can We Talk Shakespeare?

I can. My son is reading Hamlet for English and can’t make any sense of it. He haltingly read a brief passage aloud and slammed the book shut with frustration. I took it from him, and in my most regal voices with fake English accents, read the passage he just had. And with a little prodding, he “got it”.

He planned to resort to a modern translation, which would work if tests, essays, and homework could rely on the translated copy. But they won’t. And thus, he must read the Bard’s words.

Sometimes all it takes is reading aloud with some inflection and the appropriate dialectical sounds to clarify meaning. I’ve always loved reading aloud, especially accents – my kids were particularly fond of my “Hagrid” – so it seems that I will be reading Hamlet with him, aloud. We will discuss it… and he will hopefully gain some understanding and respect for Shakespeare and I will get to relive the glorious days when my children enjoyed being read to….

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1 Comment

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One response to “Can We Talk Shakespeare?

  1. When I was in college, I read a lot of Shakespeare out loud to myself. It’s really meant to be spoken – only the poems worked for me (silently).

    After a couple of plays in my Shakespeare class, I didn’t have to read out loud, but I did, anyway. Glad that he “got it” after you picked it up and spoke it! That stuff is hard.

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