This Above All

Genie   July 6, 2017   No Comments on This Above All

The things you can learn from literature and reading and movies and music when you open yourSelf to the words and let them resonate in you.

Did you have to study Shakespeare in your high school English classes? I remember asking my English teacher why we had to study Shakespeare and being told that it was because that was part of the ‘literary canon’ – the holy of holies as far as English literature was concerned.  And then when I taught English, my students asked me the same question.  And I admitted to them that I had asked that question when I was a student and that I really didn’t have an answer they might buy.

I remember Grade 12 English – Hamlet: dealing with content, discussing characters, considering motivation, memorizing soliloquies.   Hamlet and Claudius, Gertrude and Ophelia, Horatio and Laertes – and there was Polonius.  I remember him as being full of himself and long winded and meddlesome.  Yet, in hindsight, I know that he was given a speech which truly held important advice for everyone to remember.

“This above all: to thine own self be true And it must follow, as the night the day Thou canst not then be false to any man”

 

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