Why Shakespeare for Christian Students?
How to Study Shakespeare
Leithart, Brightest Heaven of Invention: A
Christian Guide to Six Shakespeare Plays
Shakespeare's Christian Dimension: An Anthology
Shakespeare Films in the Classroom: A Descriptive
Note: Some of the movie versions of Shakespeare's
plays include violence and sex scenes that may be offensive. Why these
scenes have to be introduced to otherwise good productions is in part
a mystery [the other part is Hollywood notions of what people want
to see. One would think that someone who saw the value in producing
Shakespeare might also see the value in producing it in such a way
that they did not limit the audience.
Most of the plays can be enjoyed by junior high
school students and there is a real value in getting younger students
interested in Shakespeare. My recommendation is that if you want to
introduce Shakespeare to younger students, begin with Marlon Brando's
version of Julius Caesar [Brando plays Marc Antony]. For other plays,
when in doubt, rely on the BBC version. They virtually never include,
so far as I can remember, scenes that younger students can't watch
-- the one exception being the scene in Hamlet where the prince virtually
accosts his mother in bed.
Otherwise, always view the play yourself first before
you invite the younger students to watch with you. The good thing
about buying a video is that you can edit it yourself. If you spend
the money on a video, you should make your own copy and view the copy
most of the time rather than the original. If you consider a particular
version of a play generally good, but are bothered by a particular
scene, edit! Cut it out! It's your video and your house. You are not
charging people to see the video, so do what you please.