Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare)

I just finished reading How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig. This has been such an inspiring book! This school year our Shakespeare reading have kind of fallen to the wayside, but I will be making sure we get back to it in our 3rd term. 

Some may be put off by the author's use of memorization to "learn" Shakespeare, but don't let that deter you from reading this book. Ken Ludwig is passionate about Shakespeare and it shows. Even if you don't "do" Shakespeare as he recommends you will be inspired.

I am sharing a portion where the author has just gone through The Saint Crispin's Day Speech from Henry V:
What a speech! What a rallying cry of sheer patriotism! One of my favorite sections of the speech is this:
Old men forgot, yet all shall be forgot, 
But he'll remember, with advantages, 
What feats he did that day. 

Shakespeare starts the line with a fond observation about mankind as it grows older:

Old men forget;

Then he adds a joke, a warm, human, touching joke: 

But he'll remember, with advantages
What feats he did that day. 

The old man won't just brag about his exploits in the war; he'll exaggerate the exploits with advantages. Only Shakespeare could pack this much wisdom, humor, and humanity into three short lines. (p.238-239)


  1. Such a good book and, I agree, Ludwig is clearly enamored by Shakespeare and I like how he loves the humor. Very nice. :)

  2. I enjoyed that book and his contagious enthusiasm, too. I loved his method for learning Shakespeare, and we've been doing something similar for a year now with great success. :)

  3. I so want to read this. I had it via inter-library loan and had to return it. I need to request it again!

  4. Yes, he really draws you into his passion, which is an admirable goal for any author, writer or conversationalist. I borrowed it the first time to see what is was like and then ordered my own in paperback which now awaits me. I *must* finish some other books first, then...



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