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    (Original post by blissy)
    I reckon if Shakespeare was around today he'd LOVE to be a director, telling a story from zooming angles and fully confusing and bombarding the audience. I personally think he'd love a lot of the modern productions of his works. How is it dumbing down if the very same words are used? Does it matter if we dumb down anyway? My mum teaches condensed versions of Shakespeare to younger children and they're so keen to get onto the real stuff afterwards. We all need a taste of Shakespeare in a dumbed down way - even if that's just a synopsis of the story - because his work is inevitably distant from us.
    It isn't, in that sense, but the text for it has been edited, not only for obvious reasons of length and pace within a different medium, but also to leave out parts which people may have most problems with understanding (but to be honest, as shakespeare's works go, romeo and juliet isn't at all complicated).

    The problem i have with dumbing down is that there really isn't a point. If someone is too young to understand shakespeare, they should be reading things more suitable for that age, and not having something like shakespeare, whether or not its been dumbed down, forced upon them. I don't think people need shakespeare at all, but thats just my opinion.
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    (Original post by addict)
    yes, it may culture some of the chavs, which can only be a good thing.
    good point
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    (Original post by blissy)
    I reckon if Shakespeare was around today he'd LOVE to be a director, telling a story from zooming angles and fully confusing and bombarding the audience. I personally think he'd love a lot of the modern productions of his works. How is it dumbing down if the very same words are used? Does it matter if we dumb down anyway? My mum teaches condensed versions of Shakespeare to younger children and they're so keen to get onto the real stuff afterwards. We all need a taste of Shakespeare in a dumbed down way - even if that's just a synopsis of the story - because his work is inevitably distant from us.

    Its funny you should say that! I read an article..in The Times I think, which said that if Shakespeare was around today, he would have certainly gone for something like the DaVinci Code, or Harry Potter. It was pretty good really, I'll haev to try and dig it up.

    Oh yeah, dumbing down. Yeah, I guess a synopsis is good for younger children, but if you are going to study it at any significant level, do it as it is, or don't do it at all. if we had to study a dumbed down version of Shakespeare for GCSE, I might have found it easier, but I definitely wouldn't have seen how it would have achieved anything.
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    i agree - spot the dog is perfectly written for the audience it is aimed at, as it promotes reading ability.
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    (Original post by Trousers)
    Of course Spot the Dog is well written! Just because it has a different audience doesn't mean there was no talent involved in writing it.

    I would have thought that one particular way to judge literature objectively is to see how well it stands up to the test of time. I think you'd agree that Shakespeare's tragedies are as popular now as they've ever been - or, at least, that they are incredibly well-known hundreds of years after they were written. Doesn't that mean anything?

    With reference to what you were saying earlier about the words he did or didn't invent, as far as I'm concerned it doesn't matter whether he invented them or not - he certainly brought them into wider use with his works.

    He was also a cracking storyteller, and that's what matters.
    I disagree, because the quality of writing in that is obviously less than books written for adults (although i'm not saying that its a bad book, as it is for children specifically, and not written to be a serious piece of english literature).

    I think again, whether it stands the test of time or not, is rather a subjective thing, and unimportant. Spot the dog will certainly last the test of time, at least in being understood by people, and readable in the future. That doesn't make it a good piece of work. While something, for example, based in politics, or current culture, obviously wont stand the test of time, but that doesn't mean that they are poorly written.

    Popularity doesn't mean much either. The crazy frog is popular. Harry Potter is popular. It doesn't mean that they are any good. In the past, treating people from other races as inferior was 'popular'. It doesn't mean a thing, at least to me.

    I agree, whether or not he invented those things is irrelivant, as it does not indicate his quality of writing. George W Bush invented the word misunderestimate, which i think proves that entirely, but in my opinion, shakespeare is not a good storyteller.
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    (Original post by bikerx23)
    i agree - spot the dog is perfectly written for the audience it is aimed at, as it promotes reading ability.
    I know, but that doesn't mean it is a literary masterpiece!
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    By that Spot the Dog argument, you could argue that any book is good or bad. And that means that you can't judge any book objectively.

    This isn't countering anyone's point in particular, I'm just making a satement.
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    (Original post by Eru)
    I know, but that doesn't mean it is a literary masterpiece!
    I dont dispute that, i was disputing the claim that it was poorly written, which is simply not the case.
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    (Original post by bikerx23)
    I dont dispute that, i was disputing the claim that it was poorly written, which is simply not the case.
    In an objective sense, it is poorly written, but its meant to be for children, who obviously couldn't understand something more complex. Not that complexity and quality are the same thing in writing, of course.
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    (Original post by Eru)
    In an objective sense, it is poorly written, but its meant to be for children, who obviously couldn't understand something more complex. Not that complexity and quality are the same thing in writing, of course.
    So what would you say are the characteristics of good writing then?

    Not complexity but also not tailored well to the audience? Not popular and not something that stands the test of time?

    Maybe people would understand your arguement better if you gave some examples of what you believe to be good writing in comparison to Shakespeare?
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    (Original post by Eru)
    In an objective sense, it is poorly written, but its meant to be for children, who obviously couldn't understand something more complex. Not that complexity and quality are the same thing in writing, of course.
    not really - because how well something is done relates to the standard you wish it to be done.
    For example, if you want to build a bungalo, a mansion would be seen as a better, but would be a failure because it is not that you set out to achieve.
    Because the audience is children, it should be compared to other texts aimed at the same subjects, therefore it is well written
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    (Original post by Eru)
    No, not at all. I only voiced my opinion in the first place because i thought that was the entire point of this thread, and also, to a large extent, this entire forum, and there seems to be such a large support for shakespeare, that it is important that there is an strong opposite to this viewpoint. And if shakespeare is so good, then why have so many writers even bothered to write since then? If shakespeare is so absolute, and people cannot have an opinion against him, why bother with any creative works beyond his time?
    thats a very stupid thing to say :rolleyes: no one is saying Shakespeare is absolute,they're saying he has played a HUGE part in english literature and has hugely influenced the language.just because he was a great storyteller deosn't mean other writers should stop :confused:
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    Shakespeare is taught appalingly in schools. The study of his work generally involves a lecture on iambic pentameter and a trip to the worst amateur production in the area. God I suffered when I was fourteen!

    If children are going to be exposed to the man then a decent production should be the first port of call. Deborah Warner's Julius Caesar was magnificent.

    As to the idea that contemporary works are invariably more interesting than those of the past, it's bilge. I'll set The Da Vinci Code against Cervantes, De Quincey, Marlowe, Shakespeare and Congreve on this or any other day of the week.
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    (Original post by Eru)
    I disagree, because the quality of writing in that is obviously less than books written for adults (although i'm not saying that its a bad book, as it is for children specifically, and not written to be a serious piece of english literature).

    I think again, whether it stands the test of time or not, is rather a subjective thing, and unimportant. Spot the dog will certainly last the test of time, at least in being understood by people, and readable in the future. That doesn't make it a good piece of work. While something, for example, based in politics, or current culture, obviously wont stand the test of time, but that doesn't mean that they are poorly written.

    Popularity doesn't mean much either. The crazy frog is popular. Harry Potter is popular. It doesn't mean that they are any good. In the past, treating people from other races as inferior was 'popular'. It doesn't mean a thing, at least to me.

    I agree, whether or not he invented those things is irrelivant, as it does not indicate his quality of writing. George W Bush invented the word misunderestimate, which i think proves that entirely, but in my opinion, shakespeare is not a good storyteller.
    That is utter rubbish. Most of Dickens' work, for example, is classed as social commentary - meaning it has a lot to do with the society in which it was written. Oliver Twist: 1834 Poor Law Amendment act, inner city slums...I could go on. Would you like to contend that Oliver Twist hasn't stood the test of time? No, I didn't think so. And don't try and tell me that it's because Oliver Twist is a good story (which it is) because I don't know of any fiction which is purely political. If something is a cracking yarn, well written and with real value then it will last.

    In fact most things are based on the culture in which they were written to some degree. Yes obviously some more than others, but you can't say that something which makes direct reference to todays society will be unreadable in the future as you can't possibly know that. It's likely that our books will be enjoyed by those in the future, partly as a window into our times as many older books are to us now.
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    (Original post by The Black Rider)
    Shakespeare is taught appalingly in schools. The study of his work generally involves a lecture on iambic pentameter and a trip to the worst amateur production in the area. God I suffered when I was fourteen!

    If children are going to be exposed to the man then a decent production should be the first port of call. Deborah Warner's Julius Caesar was magnificent.
    I actually enjoyed Shakespeare at school but I had a marvellously crazy teacher. We went to see Julius Caesar at the Birmingham Rep (I think) set in 1930s Italy and it was great; we also had the RSC do Romeo and Juliet (which the lower sets were doing) at school. Juliet was topless for one scene, so at least the 13 year old boys were kept awake :p:

    The other thing I think is crucial to understanding Shakespeare is to act it - even if it's just in small groups presenting to the rest of the class, having to play the roles and speak in that language helps so much in understanding it. And I can still remember my "I could be well moved, if I were as you..." speech (yes, I played Caesar, and Capulet in R&J :rolleyes: I always get stuck with bloke roles).

    Having said that, my Mum helped hugely in my understanding of Shakespeare but I think I would have still enjoyed it anyway. Not to mention of course, there is now Baz Luhrman's R&J
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    i think those that have been arguing against teahcing hakespeare are living in some fantasy sitcom world of characatured (sp) schooling where students study every play ever written by shakespeare in school. It certainly wasn;t like that for me or anyone i know from other schools - over my career at secondary school i studied a grand total of two plays by shakespeare and i wish i had done more
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    (Original post by TKR)
    i think those that have been arguing against teahcing hakespeare are living in some fantasy sitcom world of characatured (sp) schooling where students study every play ever written by shakespeare in school. It certainly wasn;t like that for me or anyone i know from other schools - over my career at secondary school i studied a grand total of two plays by shakespeare and i wish i had done more
    Only 2?! Wow! We had to do two a year for 5 years!
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    (Original post by psychic_satori)
    Only 2?! Wow! We had to do two a year for 5 years!
    That's really good..we've only had four (actually five years worth of study, but our system is a bit screwy so we did Macbeth for two :rolleyes: )
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    (Original post by Gwen)
    That's really good..we've only had four (actually five years worth of study, but our system is a bit screwy so we did Macbeth for two :rolleyes: )
    I think the curriculum the result of a lack of creativity from the English Department, rather than any goal to instill a love of Shakespeare in the wanton youth of America.
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    (Original post by psychic_satori)
    I think the curriculum the result of a lack of creativity from the English Department, rather than any goal to instill a love of Shakespeare in the wanton youth of America.
    hey, swings and roundabouts, at least they achieved it in your case.

    [btw, your sig cracks me up ...you were the one who previously had 'thank the hockey gods for blessing my fair city', right?]
 
 
 
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