Aagh Shakespeare, boring, boring, boring! Or is it?
My kids have left school so I don’t have to listen to cries of anguish as they pore over Richard III scene aged 14, or tackle Macbeth age 16.
But lots of kids out there are suffering from sub-standard lessons packed full of difficult (too difficult?) Shakespearean texts. The answer according to Stanley Wells, Shakespeare expert and professor, who has written countless articles and books on the Bard, is to only let teachers loose on Shakespeare if they have a special qualification in his work.
Currently says Prof Wells teachers are doing untold damage – a generation is being turned off the Bard, he says. Only about half of all state school teachers have the skills and know-how to “make children love Shakespeare”. Taking kids to see live theatre performances helps; boys prefer Macbeth, girls As You Like It. But the real trick is to have teachers who love and understand the Elizabethan language… and can impart their passion to their classes.
“A lot of schoolteachers are not that cultivated,” says Wells controversially.