Once you have read and evaluated the quality of this paper, rewrite it, making any appropriate corrections. When you are finished, write a brief explaining some of your most important corrections and why you made them.
When Shakespeare was a young boy going to grammar school, which was a school open only to boys, he was taught Latin, Greek, and rhetoric, which is persuasion through logical argument. Students read Latin and Greek writers to learn about the history of ancient Greece and "the glory that was Rome.” This material had been translated by the students into English or French after many hours of work. Im glad the school curriculum of the 21st century has evolved and we no longer spend our days doing boring stuff like that! Their old-fashioned subjects have little relevance in the modern world of the Internet and space travel. The question is: shouldnt we allow our education system to further evolve and file Shakespeare in the same drawer where weve stuck Homer, Plato and Ovid? Given the society of North America in the 21st century, Shakespeares relevance is declining with each new technological advance. The purpose of this essay is to prove that it is time to address this question head on, even at the risk of causing legions of English teachers to collapse in horror.
Speaking to the world may be the least of the challenges facing those who want the teaching of Shakespeare. Shakespeares English is the language as they spoke it 400 years ago. It is as ancient, antiquated, and old as the Latin and Greek that I spoke about in my introduction. Watch any class of high school students tackle Shakespeare and the first book youll see on their desks is a student guide of notes explaining who the characters are, the plot, the themes, and the analysis of the plays. Indeed, it is doubtful that the play itself is ever cracked by some students. How can students in the 21st century understand any of the great themes raised in these plays if they cant even understand what this guy is even saying? If students must read this stuff, switch it for a more modern translation. I would like to write a graphic novel using Shakespeares plots, but maybe its been done. Consider how this problem is even worse for those students whose first language is not even English. If were going to combat feelings of alienation we must not cling to cultural icons of a white Anglo-Saxon culture.
Given the modern, multicultural societies to be found in any Canadian city of today, can a writer from "olde England” really claim to have any relevance? High school teachers need further training to examine the important literatures of Africa, Asia, or the Muslim world. The succession of Anglo-Saxon monarchs can have little connection with the issues gripping the globe from Africa and the Middle East. As members of a global community, we need to be aware of the moral issues facing these cultures if were going to talk to them. I think the issue of AIDS and HIV in Africa is one of the most important problems we face. It is the Western literary traditions refusal to look beyond Shakespeare that cements Western, primarily British, culture as the dominant cultural group and causes other groups, like African, Middle Eastern, or Asian to exist in a mental cultural ghetto. How will we in the West understand the moral concerns of other cultural or religious groups if we refuse to look beyond Shakespeare? How can Shakespeare speak to the world?
The really important argument put forward by those who want to keep Shakespeare in the curriculum is that Shakespeare is the greatest writer in the Western literary tradition. Says who? I think importance is a relative value judgment. Shakespeares plays, second in Shakespeares own mind to his poetry, were written to satisfy the political fashions of his time. Why does Macbeth look into the cauldron and see "a show of eight Kings, the last with a glass in his hand"? We are told now it was to impress James the First of England and Sixth of Scotland. It was James’ interest in the occult that caused the inclusion of the three witches who "look not like the inhabitants o the earth, and yet an ont" who Macbeth consults. You cant look at any copy of a Shakespeare play without finding obvious references to the monarchy of his time. Shakespeares plays, like any political propaganda found today, either concentrates on defending the status quo or attacking the unpopular leadership of an earlier time.
As you can see I have pretty strong feelings about Shakespeare and his plays. In the 21st century, spending time with the confusion that is Shakespeare is about as useful as training doctors in the value of bleeding their patients as a means of correcting a problem with the four humours. By examining the great works of other cultures and religions we can learn about a major part of the world. Through the literature of many different parts of the world, their concerns will be understandable to us and well show our willingness to meet the rest of the world, not throw forts built of iambic pentameter with the occasional rhyming couplet to securely glue the walls together. If we ignore the future to sort of celebrate the Western literary past well have a disaster of global proportions.
Works Cited
1. William Shakespeare, Macbeth. Toronto: Longmans, Canada. 1965
Some of the most important corrections that were made throughout this paper involved grammar and punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and the proper use of tense, all of which have been edited to increase the clarity of the paper.
There were quite a few portions throughout the paper that either had incorrect grammar and punctuation, or else did not have the needed punctuation at all. There were some misuses of commas and semi-colons, with semi-colons taking the place of commons when it was not appropriate. Question marks were common yet unneeded, so some of the questions in the paper were made as opinionated statements. This helped to clean the paper up a little bit and make it more visually inviting. The word “West” needed capitalization, since it is usually used as a proper location.
There were some issues with spelling, such as “there” instead of “their.” Shakespeare’s name was spelled wrong on a few occasions, usually with an “s” added on at the end. There were a few other basis spelling mistakes that consisted of a missing letter and were probably the result of just typing too fast.
The sentence structure became confusing, mainly due to the fact that there were questions continuously being asked throughout the paper. Some sentences were run-un, while others were compound sentences. These were fixed to help with the flow of the paper.
The proper use of tense was probably one of the biggest issues with the paper. The tense kept going back and forth from past to present, making it difficult to read at times. All of these were altered to be just one tense - past tense, as most papers are usually written.