Shakespeare In New Zealand Is Not For The Masses

The genius of Shakespeare was his ability to read stories from the past and adjust them in order to have those in his generation grapple with ideas dealing with the human condition. Zuzette Martin, a teacher in New Zealand was fired for teaching her children a modern version of King Lear. School authorities concluded the modern version was “embarrassing, corrupting and morally defiling.” One can only conclude that any group which believes Shakespeare did not utilize the slang and vulgarity of his era either never read him or read him and was unaware of what words meant in the 1590s. The school argued using a modern version did not prepare students to pass a test.

Ms. Martin, who comes from India, insisted her goal was to do “what was best for the students” and admitted she never cleared the new version with school authorities. The problem is if she had asked permission to engage her students with a new version it would have been denied.

Shakespeare is turning over in his grave at this travesty and he most probably considers the school rationale for firing Ms. Martin, “to be a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing.”