To study or not to study Shakespeare - that is the question


For most young students in the Western world, the works of William Shakespeare are staples of English class curriculums. The Bard is certainly considered one of the greatest and most influential storytellers of all-time, but bestselling British author G.P. Taylor has sparked a fresh debate about whether it's time to retire Macbeth and Hamlet from classrooms in favour of modern material.

"Young people tell me that it is a real pain for them and I think it puts them off," the author of Shadowmancer said to the Daily Mail. "Not just Shakespeare, but it puts them off books in general. The language and the context is just not relevant to them and often they study it without the performance, so it's just dry."

Taylor argues that public schools should replace the Bard with works like Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole series -- contemporary books that he believes will be more effective in inspiring students and fostering a love of language and narrative.

"The key is to get them to read about things which are relevant to their lives," he added.

What's your take? Do you believe Taylor has a strong point, or are the works of Shakespeare too important to leave out of English classes? Leave your comment below and take our online survey.


We are trying to re-imagine Shakespeare for younger generations. Check out their project "Shakespeare High," a collection of stories that take a different Shakespearean character and situates him or her in the present day, recasting him or her in contemporary YA fiction--from a reluctant Petruchio ("Pete") on a blind double date to a depressed Ophelia chatting with a telemarketer.

Read more.