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AO Shakespeare

AmblesideOnline: Shakespeare

Question: What is the purpose for using Shakespeare? What are the educational benefits? What about some of the questionable situations in his plays?

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First of all, the decision about whether or not you feel God wants you to read Shakespeare's plays with your children, in original or story form, has to be your own. You are the best judge of what is right for your family.

On that one particular problem of "lover", it's sometimes just a question of Shakespeare's vocabulary: "lovers" can often mean sweethearts, unless it's stated otherwise.

On the more general question of Shakespeare's value for Christian readers, Terry W. Glaspey wrote (in Great Books of the Christian Tradition) "Whatever the circumstances of his personal life, it is unquestionably true that Shakespeare wrote from a Christian worldview. His insights on human will, guilt, forgiveness, and the search for truth should be required reading for every believer. His grasp of the human condition is perhaps umatched in literature."

Also check out this essay: and this blog post: What's So Great About Shakespeare?

Anne W.

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Several users, including some on the Advisory, have found that Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare is actually easier to follow in many instances than Nesbit's Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children, even though Lamb's is a bit more advanced. Nesbit's is very good, no question - and you will not err in choosing to continue using it. But we did side-by-side comparisons and found that Nesbit's often simplifies a story to the point that it is actually harder to follow - you miss some plot twists and turns that help it all make sense.

If you're unsure, you might check out Lamb's from your library and give it a try. A few years ago, I thought my then-second grade child would do better with Nesbit's, but when I read a tale to her from both versions as a test, she preferred Lamb's, which surprised me. Despite the more difficult language, she narrated from it better because the story was more thoroughly presented. But if Nesbit's works better for you, please feel free to stick with it.

Lynn Bruce

Another mom blogged about her experience with Shakespeare here.