Bardophobia: where is the cure?
People of all ages these days strongly dislike Shakespeare, and it’s not just that they’ve had a lot of experience with his works and decide they don’t like it – they have been brought up to fear Shakespeare. It’s human nature to be afraid of what you don’t understand, but this is ridiculous. Students in school are taught to fear Shakespeare. English teachers – who either don’t like Shakespeare, or love Shakespeare but have no talent for passing that on to their students – put the Bard on an inaccessibly high pedestal for the students to gaze up at. All the young students learn is that “Shakespeare is the best writer ever because he uses really big words that only really smart college professors understand what he’s saying.”
Nay, thou lilly-liver’d toad! ’tis not so!
Will this Bardophobia Pandemic ever be solved? Probably not. There will always be those that are incurable, though progress can be made. However this MAJOR problem is not exactly the top button of priority on everyone’s list. Alack, the educational system is kept busy enough trying to make due with their ever-shrinking budget. It looks like the solution will not be handed to us on a government sponsored silver platter.
It’s up to you (yes YOU!) and you alone to educate those unfortunate souls who have denied Shakespeare access to their lives. You must unveil the true magic of Shakespeare language and drama. Most will complain that they don’t understand Shakespeare… but the majority of these people have never, or not recently, seen a GOOD production of one of the plays. That makes all the difference. And if no theatre is nearby with a Bardorific performance then there are plenty of great movies out there. Especially anything directed by Kenneth Branagh – they’re easy to follow and very well done. GO! And preach the word of the Bard to the people! Hallelujah!
Posted on December 29, 2007