“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”- Romeo. This is just one of the beautiful quotes from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
In the 9th grade curriculum, many different types of poetry are being taught including Shakespeare’s work.
So why exclude only “Romeo and Juliet”? There has been much debate about whether or not the tragic story of the star-crossed lovers should be taught to 9th graders.
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is just like any other poem you learn about in high school, it simply would not make sense to rule out Romeo and Juliet.
First thing to remember, many different types of poetry is taught as a part of 9th grade and the language is just as complex as that of Romeo and Juliet. Edgar Allan Poe is just one of the many poets we learn about in high school, his poems are defenietly not easier to understand than Romeo and Juliet.
Both poets wrote in Old English and if people say Shakespeare is difficult to understand, then they are also saying Poe’s writings are challenging to interpret. It simply would not make sense to only remove Romeo and Juliet from the 9th grade course of study and not other poetry that are equally as “confusing”.
Equally, the way Shakespeare writes makes students think and use their brain to try and understand what his words mean. Having students read Romeo and Juliet helps strengthen their interpreting skills.
Learning how to interpret Old English in high school can surely have its benefits. His work causes you to think more than you would if you were reading a modern textbook. Reading Romeo and Juliet gives you more knowledge.
On the other hand, some people say schools should cut out Romeo and Juliet and not teach it at all. They say students don’t understand it and they don’t like learning about it. But think of it this way, if schools cut out everything students had a hard time learning or everything students disliked learning, what would teachers teach? Many students have a hard time with trigonometry, should we cut that out too? I know a few people who really dislike learning about the anatomy of animals in biology, shall we have a debate on whether or not our teachers should do teach all those very important things?
All things considered, to suspend Romeo and Juliet from being taught to 9th graders and still teaching other forms of Old English poetry would be silly. Reading Shakespeare’s work actually benefits the students’ vocabulary skills. As shown above, teaching Romeo and Juliet is necessary and it should be kept in the curriculum for the 9th grade.
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