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Upon enrolling into ENG 102 for my summer semester at UCCI, after attending class the first day and hearing that we would be working on one of Shakespeare’s play for the majority of the semester, I thought to myself this is going to be the worst semester by far however I am midway through the semester and have been asked whether students in ENG 102 at UCCI should be required to study a literary work of Shakespeare as part of the course and I can honestly say that I will be discussing with delight how Shakespeare certainly gives his viewers and listeners a new standpoint on morals and values, his work helps to overcome the difficulty of old modern language and discussing the cultural connection of Shakespeare to the British culture.
Throughout Shakespeare’s plays there are many valued teachings and morals we can grasp and put to use in our everyday life. For example, in the play of Macbeth we learned of a noble leader that well along refutes his morals to gain the position of the King of Scotland after hearing the foretelling of Three Witches.
Due to his deep desire of ambition the story results in tragic deaths that lead to Macbeth’s path of destruction. The play Macbeth shares a powerful theme of the corrupting power of unchecked ambition. There were also themes about love, loyalty, friendship and betrayal. Others may argue against saying, why should teachers teach of Shakespeare when there’s more modern plays and novels we can integrate into the school curriculum and too learn the same notions.
I personally believe Shakespeare is the way to go, his work has thrived for 400 years and has worked effectively. There hasn’t been anything to show that his work is inaccurate and invaluable, with that said my opinion is we should absolutely stick to what we know is effective and acquaint students in ENG 102 at UCCI to Shakespeare exposure.
Shakespeare is an area in which helps develop student’s analytical skills. Although the language is a bit difficult to understand, it forces students to truly understand the message and translate it to modern English. Shakespeare also develops a student critical thinking, as it not only forces you to identify and present your own perspective and unique position on each story, but to identify others perspective and summarize finding through our modern-day language.
In this modern day we have side by side translation to help give us a better understanding.
As Shakespeare usually comes off to students as boring and unpleasant, some may argue against as they find it boring, and very time consuming to understand and ask why we have limited our courses to only old modern English. In my opinion, as we are a British Territory, it is essential for student’s at UCCI to learn and understand changes made to our grammar since Shakespeare’s day. Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the history of the English language and is deeply integrated in our culture, we quote Shakespeare and don’t even realize it. There are many words that originated first in written form from Shakespeare, that we commonly use such as uncomfortable, manager, eventful and fashionable.
Shakespeare is highly known within the British territory, he remains to be one of the UK’s single most enduring traditional figure, and acts as an influential icon for the country. Encouraging engagement with Shakespeare can provide an advantageous pathway into further appreciation of contemporary UK culture. Some might argue what does this have to do with our local Caymanian culture. I believe learning of other cultures opens doors of diversity to give a better understanding to students on a global scale, it is vital to encourage students to learn of other cultures and not isolate themselves which will help them to become more open-minded and bright forth awareness.
To conclude Shakespeare’s work is personally viewed as something essential to have within University’s, it is known for catering to different audiences with different values and morals to be learned and are visibly shown. His work is positively seen as helping students to challenge their critical thinking skills, he has made an impact when it comes to the English vocabulary, making Shakespeare a very influential individual for all English native countries. He has made a positive impact for over 400 years and in my opinion, would be the best when it comes to English literature, not only because he is an impactful poet but because he teaches great life lessons in a fun and imaginative way.
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