Do we have to read Shakespeare?
"I feel sorry for people who never read Shakespeare", my 15-year-old son told me one late night in the darkness and the tiredness after just another of the many parties we attend while visiting our home country.
"I feel sorry for people who know ABOUT Romeo and Juliet but do not truly, KNOW Romeo and Juliet."
They are missing out on a delicacy of literature, something truly touching, something that offers a language for emotion, existence, life, the unknown - it will give you a roadmap to a huge part of modern literature and amazing metaphors to enjoy for a long time.
Life is long, yet short. And I can and will not change who I am. Living as an unschool mother does not mean I am not supposed to share my passions and push to teach my kids some of the values I have carved out with my existence. Unschooling does not mean un-parenting; neither does it mean erasing the personality of the adults in the family. At least not i my book.
Unschooling is about mutual respect and about living the most important relations with true ethics and true presence.
To me, it is about me listening just as much as they do and sharing passions or at least to chime in for a while in each other's interests. Some of the things my children enjoy, I simply can not focus on for long, and some of the things I love, they do not see the point. So we go look for shared space.
In our family, we share a passion for literature, and as I am 22 years into motherhood, I realize there is a limited amount of books we will read together before they are adults. So we start from the top. Why start anywhere else. And we read theater scripts because the novels more or less read themselves.
Plus, there is another thing. Shakespeare, the jewel of theater, goes through so much content, you can think about it for the rest of your life, so when we play Shakespeare we get to enjoy a lot of nuances of life together and think about important stuff and funny stuff, so we grow our personalities and relations in the most beautiful way.
If you play Shakespeare as a family, it will also give a special bond, a shared language of poetry, and a ton of hours shared with laughter, love, art, and community.
So, why don't we all read Shakespeare all the time?
That's the question.
May the sun shine on you
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