Shakespeare is a massively overrated writer. Classic Literature fans will slate me for the statement, but it is utterly true. His fame is due to his quality use of Middle English but his neglect of realism is frightening.
When someone gets a fright, what is the standard reaction? In Shakespeare, they stanza a limerick of well-constructed prose. The only human that would actually do such is William Shakespeare himself. In reality, most would reply with “Ah! You scared me!” Of course, ol’ Bill could not stoop so low as to make the character seem like an actual human. That would require a dosage of sanity to be incorporated within the series of plays that are only “appreciated” by self-righteous academics seeking acclaim, English teachers (the epitome of insanity) and the odd teenage student that then goes home every afternoon, slits their wrists and puts on all-black clothing.
I’ve never quite known what possesses English teachers to insist on our studying of Shakespeare’s outdated plays. I’ve asked my teachers in a bid to achieve enlightenment, but I’ve been left with more questions than I started with.
The first answer I got was “Shakespeares plays are still relevant today, even though the language is different. The plots can be transposed to the modern day.” Hey, guess what guys? We read Shakespeare because it’s still relevant today – even though there are countless novels around today with a touch of modern relevance that have been released in the past 15 years!
The second answer was “Shakespeare is generally regarded as the best writer of all time. It makes sense to study his pieces so as to expose the youth to the best literature in history.” Yeah, if you really believe the propaganda regarding Shakespeare’s genius then be my guest. Regardless, it doesn’t make sense to starve us of other quality literature by making Shakespeare the dominant force within the teaching of literature at school. Being able to swim is good. Trying to teach someone to swim by dumping them into the middle of the ocean with no assistance is bad. Spot the difference.
Eventually it comes down to this: Are you a self-righteous pseudo-intelligent sheep, or will you develop your own opinion on the overrated, slightly crazy legend. A Loch Ness Monster type of legend, that is.