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New approach to Shakespeare -- just teach the best scenes

UPI News Service, 05/04/2013 

Shakespeare might be easier for school kids to handle if lessons focus on the better scenes, the head of Britain's teachers union suggested.

Studying the bard's works from beginning to end is more appropriate for college English majors while the majority of kids just aren't up to deciphering the archaic language, plot twists and long set-ups.

"Is it any wonder that so many students grit their teeth, learn the lines and, when the exam is over, remember Shakespeare only as something that had to be endured in pursuit of an exam pass?" said Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

Britain's The Daily Telegraph said Bousted made her point in the Times Educational Supplement, proposing teachers concentrate on memorable and pivotal scenes from selected plays rather than plowing through the entire script.

She cited "Macbeth" and "Romeo and Juliet" as classic Shakespeare plays that get off to slow starts and can lose the attention of students.

"Don't start at the beginning," Bousted suggested. "Taking inspiration from film trailers, give novice Shakespeare readers a taste of the most highly dramatic scenes in the play."

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