By Evan Copeland, Jaron D’Costa
Shakespearean Studies is a semester long English elective class offered for students to take in their senior year at Wethersfield High School. It is a class that entirely studies the work of William Shakespeare. It is taught by English teacher Mr. Marc Pfister.
The class studies many plays throughout the semester, including the tragedy play Hamlet and comedies like Midsummers Night Dream. In the class you take an in-depth look at both the works and life of William Shakespeare and how his life and circumstances may have influenced his work.
At the beginning of the class we start off with Hamlet, which is probably the most famous play that we do not get to study in underclass or junior english or most elective english classes. Being able to study the comedies is interesting because it is a side of Shakespeare writing that we also do not get to study.
For the final exam the class splits into groups and presents a scene from any play that they have read in class. Acting in the play was fun and exciting. It gives the students a chance to act out the play in a way that they see fit. They get to experience an idea of how it was for shakespeare's actors to memorize and act out the lines.
We asked Mr. Pfister about the class, which he has taught for sixteen years, and when asked who he would recommend the class for he said ¨anyone that is interested in knowing why Shakespeare is the best writer of all time, and why the plays are supremely popular.¨ About the plays read in class he said that he believes studying Hamlet is an absolute requirement, and then the choice of comedies will vary from year to year. What is often read however is Midsummer Nights Dream, Taming of the Shrew, Much to do about Nothing, Merchant of Venice, and As You Like It.
We interviewed current student in this class Sydney Ouellette who finds the class enjoyable. When asked why she took the class she told us, "I wanted to read more Shakespeare; I’ve read Macbeth, and Julius Caesar, and As You Like It, so I wanted to read more.” We asked what made the class different from other English classes that she has taken, “It only focuses on one author and all the other english classes I’ve taken revolve around topics like American literature and humanities; I think it's nice in this class we focus one one author because we can really dive into his works.”
Shakespearean Studies is a great class to take if you have interest in Shakespeare, especially if you haven't read Hamlet yet.
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