Much Ado About Nothing
Shakespeare was smarter
Last year I saw a wonderful Taming of the Shrew at the Old Vic, a play about life and learning, with stacks of references to learning, teaching, schools and lessons. The play presents different methods of learning by Lucentio, Hortensio and Petruchio. He covers book study, tell & practice and learning by strict instruction. On the whole Shakespeare has a clear distain for an over-scholarly approach to life and learning. Learning Latin is satitrised, the expense of University questioned and learning at one’s own pace praised. Learning from experience is his recommendation.
The play starts with a goal:
Here let us breathe and haply institute
A course of learning and ingenious studies.
O this learning, what a thing it is! O this woodcock, what an ass it is!
On scheduled learning:
I am no breeching scholar in the schools;
I'll not be tied to hours nor 'pointed times,
But learn my lessons as I please myself.
And, to cut off all strife, here sit we down:
Take you your instrument, play you the whiles;
His lecture will be done ere you have tuned.
Drama is a wonderful thing in schools but pre-school Shakespeare would kill interest off quicker than Caesar in March. Shakespeare knew this, it’s a shame that his minstrel troop haven’t learnt the lessons of his work.
This announcement was followed up by plans for a ‘Centre for Articulacy’, announced by another luvvie – Peter Hall. Yet another centre for an abstract concept. The said centre is to be in