Short Studies of Shakespeare's Plots (Classic Reprint)
The following studies of Shakespeare were originally delivered as popular lectures before a mixed audience. Their design is to be suggestive rather than exhaustive, and to call attention to a method of teaching Shakespeare somewhat different from that which is now employed in colleges and schools. That method, which treats the plays of Shakespeare more as convenient collections of hard words and unusual idioms than as masterpieces of literature, seems to me to be in many respects extremely unsatisfactory. It is repellent rather than attractive to the student, and it teaches him from the very outset to pursue his studies by a wrong road. Under its influence, the play as a whole tends to be neglected, words are exalted to the exclusion of thoughts, and study is far too much on the lines adopted by the young lady who is said 'to have fastened down the text with a piece of elastic in order that it might not interfere with her learning the notes.'
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