The Instigator
enak101
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
BangBang-Coconut
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points

Should Shakespeare be compulsory in schools.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/4/2011 Category: Arts
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,075 times Debate No: 16286
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (5)

 

enak101

Con

Hi, first debate so sorry if it isn't the greatest one you have had.

This debate is about whether Shakespeare should be compulsory in schools. In Australia and UK they are.

Round 1 is definitions etc.
2 is debates
3 is rebuttals

I look forward to this.
BangBang-Coconut

Pro

I accept the debate, and hope for a fantastic round with my opponent!
As per the rules, I won't actually be arguing here; only giving definitions.
Shakespeare [1] "William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616)[nb 1] was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist."
Compulsory [2] "required by rule"
Schools "Educational Career grades pre-k through 12th grade"

Sources:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...

I hand the debate back over to my opponent, and here's to a wonderful round!
Debate Round No. 1
enak101

Con

Those are fine.

I argue that Shakespeare is only one writer although a good one, his work is pretty old. It should not HAVE to be taught but definitely could be.

I have to study a Shakespeare text every year and it carries around 15% of my yearly mark. It doesn't seem to make sense to do this. There are lots of other books that cover topics like racism and love.

Teachers need to be able to teach what they wish and this constricts them to one single author.
I do realise he is a great author and some say he improves our language, I don't think we need to know most of Shakespeare's 'language' though.

So in conclusion, we shouldn't and don't HAVE to study one author. This exception is Shakespeare which is ridiculous. There are so many stories out there that we can easily cover any topics we want.
BangBang-Coconut

Pro

I thank my opponent for his excellent, albeit short, argument!

Before getting into any serious argumentation, allow me to offer some frame work
I have two things to say here, first is on the BOP; since Con is not only advocating a change to the Status Quo, but also advocating that there is even a problem at all, he holds the Burden of Proof in this round. Thus if at the end of this round, my opponent has not convinced you to vote Con in greater Magnitude than I can convince you to vote Pro, the the vote must go Pro.
Second is on the grounds of Fiat; IF at the end of this round you are swayed neither towards the Pro nor the Con, then the vote must go Pro. Again since this is not a debate of reciprocal burdens, you must not vote Con if you are unconvinced.

Going on, As a brief Road map I will be presenting the Pro Case, negating the Con Case and finishing with voting issues of the debate thus far.
Pro-
When taking to study any subject, a study of the subject's father must be made in order to understand the subject truly. In some subjects like Math and Science, this can be done quickly, even in one day's time, others such as History focus solely on this subjects, whereas the study of the English language is much different. English is an ever evolving language, and with this past paced lingual evolution, we must be careful as to not allow it to degenerate into nonsense; we must guide it's evolution

All of this said, I have two contentions,
C1: Modern English is based on Shakespeare's writings.
Let's Compare the Lord's Prayer in both Old English, and modern English [1]

"F�der ure �u �e eart on heofonum
Si �in nama gehalgod
to becume �in rice
gewur�e �in willa
on eor�an swa swa on heofonum.
urne ged�ghwamlican hlaf syle us tod�g
and forgyf us ure gyltas
swa swa we forgyfa� urum gyltendum
and ne gel�d �u us on costnunge
ac alys us of yfele so�lice"

The same passage in , post Shakespeare English
"Father our thou that art in heavens
be thy name hallowed
come thy kingdom
be done thy will
on earth as in heavens
our daily bread give us today
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who have sinned against us
and not lead thou us into temptation
but deliver us from evil truly"

The fact is, I don't think a single person reading this debate will be able to interpret the first passage; whereas the Second passage will be understood by every single person reading this debate, to at least a surface-level.

C2: Shakespeare's Words.
Exactly how much of an impact did Shakespeare have on the world today? How much did he bend and flex our language? well other than giving our grammatical structure a drastic overhaul, he literally just created more than 500 new words we still use today, this is not counting the other thousands of words he created; the man was said to make new words every single day.
Just to name a few [2], Shakespeare created the words, Schoolboy, Rival, Besmirch, Countless, Useful, Lackluster, and radiance.
Now for a man who single-offhandedly coined a good portion of English jargon; it would be utterly ridiculous not to read his works.

Con-
Now my opponent makes three distinct arguments here, I will be going through, dissecting, and refuting each argument.
First, my opponent argues that although Shakespeare was a good writer, he was only one writer of many.

Second he claims that He has to read a work by Shakespeare every year, and that it carries 15% of his grade.

Third, he claims that Teachers need to be able to teach what hey wish to teach, and not be constricted to a single author.

On his first Argument;
-The school year is a very long time, especially in the 12-14 years students are in the educational system and in this time, if it is a great enough interest to students, they are more than capable of simply checking a book out from the library. The primary purpose of an English class, is not for students to be able to have a book club; but it is so that they may learn as much as they can concerning the English language in terms of grammar, writing, and interpretation as possible.
It is an understatement to say that there are a multitude of brilliant writers out there, covering everything from Ideas, to Philosophy, to Fantasy, to Science. Where students to take the the 8-14 years they have in compulsory education studying all of these different fields; they would have absolutely no time to study anything else. They would literally spend every waking moment studying literature, and graduate not even having learned the subject in it's entirety

- While schools do spend a good amount of time on Shakespeare, they also spend plenty of time on other works of literature. I remember reading to kill a mockingbird my freshman year, and Animal Farm My sophomore year, neither of which where written by Shakespeare.

On his second argument
- This does nothing to say we shouldn't focus so much on Shakespeare in school. Where Shakespeare taken off the curriculum, it would be replaced by something else.

On his third argument
- In compulsory education, teachers can't have too much liberty in what they teach. And while this is ultimately very sad, it is conducive to ensure that some students don't get more than others out of a Tax-Dollar funded education. There would always be those who became teachers because they knew nothing else, and not because they had an actual passion to teach (Very sad in the current economy) and million, perhaps even billions of students would be cheated out of an education simply because their decided that a Disney movie held he necessary content to help students pass their senior exit Exams, or students who would spend an entire year taking free time simply because the teacher didn't know what to do.

- There are some things that simply needn't be taught on tax dollars. Say an English teacher was a strong believer in a particular political ideal, in that case the students would likely read only literature on said ideal. Or say that a teacher decided they wanted to teach only from marvel comic books because they liked the stories, again the students would lose.

Finally, a few voting issues thus far;
You must vote pro because;
1. Shakespeare is a necessary piece of literature to study in order to more deeply understand the English Language
2. My opponent has present no solid reason as to why Shakespeare shouldn't be compulsory in education.

With that I ask for a Pro Vote, and hand the debate back over to my very capable opponent!

Sources:
[1] http://www.angelfire.com...
[2] http://www.folger.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
enak101

Con

Vote pro people :)

I have had a good debate but my opponent is better. While you have changed my perspective a little bit I still do believe it is overdone a little bit. I may have exagerrated though, I did read Animal Farm the term before.

Vote pro and I hope to have another debate with you again.
BangBang-Coconut

Pro

There you have it, vote Pro!
I thank my opponent for a fun debate!
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by BillBonJovi 5 years ago
BillBonJovi
enak101BangBang-CoconutTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made better arguments and better sources
Vote Placed by darkkermit 5 years ago
darkkermit
enak101BangBang-CoconutTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: CON conceded defeate
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
enak101BangBang-CoconutTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Orange got him to forfeit xD
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
enak101BangBang-CoconutTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Decent opening, but HO brought down the banhammer with such violence that Con could not survive even if soulstoned, he had no choice but to spray and pray
Vote Placed by Cobo 5 years ago
Cobo
enak101BangBang-CoconutTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfiet