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Tales from Shakespeare.

Byline: Syed Badshah - Buner

I TEACH English at a college in Buner. The second year English book has two stories from Shakespeare's plays The Merchant of Venice and King Lear.

Recently, while I was lecturing about The Merchant of Venice, a student told me that there was no taste in this story.

Yes, she was right in a way, because there is definitely no literal taste in this story.

This was also evident from the facial expression of other students in the class who also did not feel any interest in it.

Now the question arise: why didn't the students take any interest in it even after finishing the whole tale of the drama? The answer is quite simple: these two tales included in the English textbook of 12th grade were written by Charles Lamb for children and not for students of 12th grade.

One can check the preface of the book Tales from Shakespeare written combined by Charles Lamb and his sister Mary Lamb in which it is written that these tales are the summarised versions of the original Shakespeare plays for children and definitely the things written for children can never be enjoyed by the adults and mature students of 18 or 19.

Shakespeare is an acknowledged playwright who is enjoyed worldwide, but my students have now started to have doubts on his greatness though I told them that these are not his original plays but the summarised works for children.

The authority concerned of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa English curriculum must revisit these two stories in this textbook and must exclude them by replacing the sorts of material best suited to college-level students or perhaps the authority concerned can say that 'yes' the 12th grade students are 'children'.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Dec 27, 2018
Words:340
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