01 January 2012


We have reached the denouement in our study of Shakespeare with some loose ends to be tied up:  tableau vivant for Hamlet happens next week, and the Macbeth test is on the horizon, but most of us have decided on our assessment of the Bard. Me, I'm in heaven. I loved teaching all three plays at once, and did not start quoting the wrong play in the wrong class. AP Lit indulged me in discussion of thematic and symbolic similarities once or twice, but it was for their own good (I told them this. I am sure they believe me). And I got better in steering my young friends' observations and reactions.
 The outstanding part for learner Healigan was my deeper emotional connection with each of the plays. I know that I FEEL them better. I started the month knowing that Hamlet was the best of the three, but I ended knowing that it was poetry alone that gave Ham the edge over Lear. Lear shocked me with its wildness and the tremendous sorrow I felt reading it. Maybe it is my age--those children could have been mine, at least age-wise. And Macbeth is so great to teach: the arc of character and plot are in total sync. The ending leaves no ambiguity--I think that is a good thing for 16-year-olds, whose lives are so rife with ambiguity and equivocation. Good conquers evil, justice is served and all is right with the world.  We share so much more with the Elizabethans and their great chain of being than we want to admit.
Did you notice I have not mentioned the project or resolution for Lear? That's is because it gets its own post tomorrow--I am still grinning about how my Lear class rocked the playlist project LIKE A BOSS.

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