“Mom?! How come you’re going so slowly? I can’t stand it! How on earth am I supposed to follow the action in the story if you take so long explaining one scene?” cried out my 10-year-old son Stephen.
“Sweetheart,” I answered, “you’ve already heard the plot of the story, and you’ve seen the play. Now we are going to read the actual Sharespearean language. I want you to understand the poetry of it, to savor the language. We are going to settle in and study one or two scenes per day. It will take a month for us to study this play. By the end of the year, after studying many plays, you will be able to understand any Shakespeare play that you’ve never read before just by reading the real thing.”
My 12-year-old son Bryan stated another observation about Shakespeare. “Mom, how come there are so many words in each scene? It seems like the characters could have said their lines in a much more simple and understandable way. Even in the play we saw, the action didn’t move forward very fast.”
“That’s because the language is poetic. It’s beautiful language, and your future wife is going to thank me for teaching you how to understand poetic language.”
My son Nathaniel asked, “Is that how Dad got you to marry him?”
“No,” I said, and we all laughed.Tweet