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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Tupac Or Not Tupac

How does Alan Sitomer, English teacher at Lynwood High School in Los Angeles, describe Hamlet to his students?

"...One character [is] a whore and another...a gold-digger. One's a hanger-on, the type who'd take advantage of his best friend, the rap star. And then there's the "regular dude," a guy who just "wants things to be good in his 'hood."

This "hip-hop approach" to the Bard, says the Los Angeles Times, seems to be working: "... the students — teens whose prior view of Shakespeare could reasonably be summed up as 'boring dead white guy, impossible to understand' — are deep into the text."

The article continues: "To teach Hamlet, Sitomer began with an exercise. He told the students, who are mostly 15 and 16, to take out a piece of paper and write their mother's name, father's name and the name of an uncle. Now, he continued, cross out your father's name, because he died three weeks ago, and your uncle is sleeping with your mother.

"They're like, 'Oh, my God!' Sitomer said.

"He then had them write about how they felt. 'The next morning, some of them were still mad at their moms,' he recalled, chuckling."


  • Hmmm... Great idea, this. Goes straight to the point of Hamlet - how it makes you feel.

    Though I do feel a lot of sympathy for some innocent moms!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:00 PM  

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