Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to start bringing a little Shakespeare appreciation into the world. Right now, from your computer.
Are you on Twitter? Here’s what I want you to do. Figure out how to add search/watches to your main feed, and then add “Shakespeare.”
What you’ll get is a pretty steady stream of students complaining about their Shakespeare homework, or at the very least pleading confusion and begging for help.
Set them straight.
If they are asking for help, give it.
If they’re frustrated over something, help them over it. [A popular complaint is “Why didn’t Shakespeare write in modern effing English?!” I always gently point out that, technically, he did.]
If they’re bored, show them the entertaining bits. [There’s always a dirty joke lurking somewhere nearby.]
If they’re mistaken in their understanding of something, correct them. [Just last night somebody wrote about completing his paper on Jacques, from As You Like It. I wrote back “I hope you spelled it Jaques in your paper, his name’s not Jacques” :)]
That’s part of the beauty of Twitter, you never know when you’ll spot new opportunities to communicate with people. You may not always get a response, and when you do it might not always be polite – but who cares. Give it a shot. For every kid out there that moans “I hate Shakespeare!” there’s even more who want to like it, if only they understood it better. Here’s your chance.