I suddenly realized I had an opinion (and a strong one at that) about a topic that I never even contemplated before.

So I pose the question to you.

ShakespearePA_449x600

Do you think Shakespeare is appropriate for 6+ year olds?

If yes, why?

If not, when is it?

*This is a repost, but I think I have about seven more readers now then I did two years ago, so I cant wait to hear some new opinions!  I will be posting my opinion on it tomorrow.

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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. Interesting question! As with so many things I think there are some parts that are appropriate for children and LOTS that isn’t until they are older. Shakespeare wrote his plays for a largely adult audience and therefore much of the content is bawdy and utterly inappropriate for children.
    That said, he also wrote some of the most lyrical and beautiful verses that have endured for centuries and I see no harm in sharing that with children.
    HOWEVER the language and its nuances are complex and often require detailed explanation to children. My eldest son is struggling with his literacy skills anyway so Shakespeare for us at least is off the menu for the forseeable future.
    I look forward to reading your post!

  2. Some of his work would be great to tweak the imagination of a six year old! (some of his stuff…of course not!)
    However, as you well know, reading to the little ones is extremely important and beneficial.

  3. I guess I don’t think it necessary at that age…but I haven’t read his stuff in a long time. You know the context you would be teaching it in or reading it in…It is good for them to know who he is but maybe not read his material.

  4. I guess I don’t think it necessary at that age…but I haven’t read his stuff in a long time. You know the context you would be teaching it in or reading it in…It is good for them to know who he is but maybe not read his material.

  5. I guess I don’t think it necessary at that age…but I haven’t read his stuff in a long time. You know the context you would be teaching it in or reading it in…It is good for them to know who he is but maybe not read his material.

  6. I’m having trouble thinking of a work of Shakespeare that would be appropriate for a 6-year-old. I think most of them have subject matter that is not suitable – suicide, murder, adultry, etc.

  7. My opinion isn’t completely settled and has changed over time. It’s been awhile since my daughter was that age. I think I would err on the side of caution, appropriateness and praying about it. Children are different.
    I do like poetry. I do like Shakes. I’m older and have keener discernment. Now that my daughter’s older we’ve read through some of his works. In a way, it’s more to know who he was and to have an idea of what he wrote and what impact that had on history. We do that with a lot of historical figures (secular & Christian) but not every one. Sometimes it depends on what comes up as we go about life too. I am very intrigued by what your response will be!

  8. I think it is funny that this question is arising in my path now. My daughter, who is 13 is doing a Shakespeare play on Romeo and Juliet this weekend. It is called the Suessification of Romeo and Juliet, done as if it were written by Dr. Suess. This is the first introduction that she has had with Shakespeare at all. She loves doing the play but she herself thinks that some of what she is learning about him and his writing is not appropriate for even her age.

  9. I don’t think my comment went through.
    don’t know about Shakespear, but i read Hansel and Gretel to my daughter tonight… yeah, totally NOT appropriate. Evil witches EATING little boys is not meant for toddlers!

  10. No, not really. Shakespeare is bawdy. You could teach about who Shakespeare was, to begin to prepare them; you could read some of the sonnets aloud or even some lines from some plays to teach poetic rhythm and symbolism and other literary devices; you could re-tell some of the stories. But Shakespeare was not meant to be read by young children. I began reading Shakespeare when I was 12 (some of the comedies), then the tragedies when I was a teen.

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