I loved reading your comments about Shakespeare and how you have incorporated it into your lives… you really got me thinking girls!  In a very good way.

I agree that Shakespeare is an extremely intelligent writer, with great use of language and exquisitely described emotion.

I do not think it is appropriate for children.  Mostly.  Like  Seraphim mentioned, "Shakespeare wrote some of the most lyrical and beautiful verses that have
endured for centuries and I see no harm in sharing that with children."

True that.

In my personal experience, I read and saw Romeo and Juliet when I
was in middle school… I was totally distracted by the 'sex' scene. The story…the fantastic tragedy and
heart wrenching love saga… were all lost on me. I was a teenager.  And I do not believe mine was an abnormal response.

If one of the defenses is, "Children should learn this literature and the
human complexities behind it and understand the value of 'classic'
works"…

…well, then should they be reading adapted versions?  If
that is truly the argument, then what value is the 'childrens' version,
where the beauty of the language and the true story is not represented?

That being said, I do not think the content is appropriate for children.  Most certainly not for 7, 8, 9 or 10 year olds.

Now, am I so old fashioned as to try and shield my children from every genre that Shakespeare represents?

Golly no.

Thats what the Bible is for.  The original great
manuscript. 

The Bible has its own share of lust, incest, murder,
deception, and greed.  The benefit of children hearing it from the
Bible is the follow through.  Not only are they exposed to the
grotesque sin of all man, but it is coupled with the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of a holy and loving God.

Can a child truly understand Shakespeare and his complex irony if
they don't have a strong Biblical foundation to perceive it from? 
Maybe.  But I am not willing to take the chance with my children.

So, thats my opinion.  I apologize if this is offensive to anyone. 

But I thank you for sharing your insights and hope you know that you made an impact!

Share with your friends!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. totally not related but your rainbow cake post wouldn’t let me post…
    I did assembled it a little differently that saved a lot of time. I baked all six layers and froze them wrapped in saran wrap. Then I assembled all the layers at once with the frozen layers.
    Also, I cut out a piece of parchment paper for the bottom of my cake pans that let the cakes slide right out.

  2. Having recently written a paper on book banning, a thought *sarcasm noted 😉 occurred to me. Mark Twain’s target audience was adults, yet we have our children read his books. Why and to what benefit? Who was Shakespeare’s target audience? Adults, as well. I think that we, generally, have become desensitized to violence and indecency. Why and how do we change that for ourselves and our children? “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 KJV. Thank you for really getting me to examine my purpose in choosing what I teach my children.

  3. This is a great post and it was interesting to read all the comments. My kids are a bit young to even think about it yet (2 and 6 months) but I agree with you completely. Love the point about the Bible being a rich resource of stories that raise your eyebrows or make you cringe, but its the Word of GOD! However, as an aside, I’m actually a big fan of movies and literature and even the Bible modified to age-appropriate levels. How cool is it to see the David and Bathsheba story represented by yellow duckies? C’mon, admit it. It was pretty cool.

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