Over at The Shakespeare Place, regular commenter JM has finally put up a topic that’s near and dear to my heart : kids and Shakespeare.
Regular readers know my answer. Cruise back through the archives (sorry, I am way too busy at the day job to bring up the links) and you’ll find recordings of my kids – as young as 2 – reciting Sonnet 18. Or my 3yr old naming her Barbie dolls Regan and Goneril, and asking to sleep with King Lear under her pillow. Or my 5yr old asking me to explain Hamlet’s ghost. Or drawing the shipwreck scene from The Tempest on the back of her placemat at breakfast.
The all too common response to Shakespeare among schoolchildren is “Oh, no.” What I get from my children is “Oh, cool!”
I think that most people start late, and then only come to appreciate what Shakespeare really means later in life. I am hoping beyond hope that my kids get the kind of jumpstart I never had, and who knows, maybe go on to discover depths as yet undiscovered.