Romeo and Juliet & Select Sonnets

“And Shakespeare?  He, indeed, is not to be classed, and timed, and treated as one amongst others, – he, who might well be the daily bread of the intellectual life; Shakespeare is not to be studied in a year; he is to be read continuously throughout life, from ten years old and onwards. But a child of ten cannot understand Shakespeare.  No; but can a man of fifty ?  Is not our great poet rather an ample feast of which every one takes according to his needs, and leaves what he has no stomach for?  A little girl of nine said to me the other day that she had only read one play of Shakespeare’s through, and that was ” A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” She did not understand the play, of course, but she must have found enough to amuse and interest her. How would it be to have a monthly reading of Shakespeare —a play, to be read in character, and continued for two. or three evenings until it is finished?  The Shakespeare evenings would come to be looked on as a family fest; and the plays, read again and again, year after year, would yield more at each reading, and would leave behind in the end rich deposits of wisdom.” —Charlotte Mason

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