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Gavin Holmes

9th grade humanities

Ms. Britt

April 20, 2017

To be or not to be (in schools)

Jane Austen once said, “One gets acquainted” with him “without knowing how.” It is

ironic that people know Shakespeare without ever reading his work. Reading the works of

Shakespeare exposes students to classical literature/old english and reading comprehension of

this era. Dana Dusbiber believes that it is time to let Shakespeare “rest in peace”. Matthew

Truesdale replies to to Dusbiber’s argument, addressing all points of it and making each one look

ridiculous. Matthew Truesdale, author of Why it is ridiculous not teach Shakespeare in school,

shows why schools should continue to teach Shakespeare with quotes regarding students making

connections, Dusbiber’s argument and conjoining Dusbiber’s ideas with his own.

One of Dusbiber’s arguments is that instead of teaching Shakespeare, schools should

teach Oral African Tradition. In response to Dusbiber, Truesdale said, “Also -- Where does it

say that we can't teach Shakespeare and Oral African Tradition? In fact, why not draw links

between the two?” Dusbiber believes that Shakespeare is harder to connect to people with color.

Shakespeare connects with everybody because he writes about human emotion, a topic we all

can connect to. No matter who you are, you can connect with Shakespeare Truesdale makes a

strong point that both can be taught and connections made between the two teachings.

In the english teaching world, Shakespeare is a fundamental topic and Dusbiber is taking

a very different stance on the subject than most teachers. Once again, Truesdale responds with a

witty remark stating, “What she really seems to be saying is that no one should read anything

that isn’t just like them and if that’s her position as an english teacher, then she should maybe

consider a different line of work.” This statement shows that Truesdale is using Pathos from

Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle of Persuasion. Pathos is the emotional segment of the triangle

and a persuasive tool in writing. This tool allows him to persuade the reader into agree with

what he is writing about. Shakespeare is an accessible topic for all humans and that allows us all

to make connections to his work

In Truesdale’s article, he references connections that he has made and/or his students

have made to Shakespeare and real life. Shakespeare writes about common themes and

connections that are relatable to all humans. Shakespeare is classical but with modern themes

that all people can relate to. Evidenced by Truesdale’s statement, “I also think that its a neat little

thing to see something in a movie, another book, or even (gasp!) real life, and think ‘Hey this

reminds of that scene in hamlet when…” Truesdale points out how Shakespeare connects with

human emotion, can be taught universally and that Shakespeare is a fundamental teaching

foundation in the world of english literature.

Truesdale makes a compelling argument of why Shakespeare should be taught in school

and how valuable this form of education is. Shakespeare is an old teaching subject and has been

taught MANY times but that does not mean it is time to stop teaching him. Shakespeare is a

classical playwright that wrote about human emotions and timeless topics, such as: love, death,

family, revenge, hate, lies, deception, passion and tragedy. The works of Shakespeare invokes

thought, critical thinking, emotion and the ability to understand metaphors. All of these subjects

make students better critical thinkers and allow them to understand human emotions on a deeper

level. Truesdale’s article, in favor of Shakespeare in the school system, reinforces the idea that

Shakespeare is and will be an important element in educating students.